Blackberry & Black bean brownies, yes, it does say black bean! And yes these brownies do contain black beans! Don't worry, I've not lost the plot, well not entirely yet. So do keep reading and check out these gluten free scrummy brownies! And yes, they really are scrummy!
I can safely say that I love GBBO! Not only do I have the pleasure of salivating over all of the beautiful, scrumptious bakes the contestants make week in week out, but I also get to learn so much.
Well, this week's GBBO episode was no exception. My learning this week sky-rocketed when the contestants tackled 'Free From' food! A first for GBBO; and me. As we know, the bakers had to tackle a refined sugar-free cake, make gluten free pitta breads and then a showstopper of a dairy free ice-cream roll. Given that Mr E & I have no food intolerances, I've happily never had to tackle these bakes, so my knowledge in this baking area was somewhat minimal. Though, the more I've learnt the more intrigued I am about it, especially gluten free flours! Apparently gluten free flour make the lightest of biscuits, sponges and pastries. Makes sense really; I definitely need to try that out.
Now we had intentions of tackling the gluten free pitta challenge. Having done some reading about it in a couple of great 'gluten-free' blog sites (Gluten Fee Girl and Gluten Free on a Shoestring) I tackled a gluten free loaf of bread on the Wednesday morning as a trial run for the challenge, using a purchased bag of pre-mixed flours. Well my plan was scuppered. The trial bread was awful, dare I say disgusting! Oh, my poor Mr E, faithfully eating my bake for his sandwiches the following day! So we got our thinking caps on again and decided to make a refined sugar-free cake.
I had a few ideas floating around my head for this bake, but decided to go with this brownie. Yes it's not a cake in the strictest sense of the word, but it's here, and it's gorgeous!
I first came across black bean brownies after stumbling on Chocolate Covered Katie over a year ago. I can honestly say I was intrigued. A lot of her readers who had made her brownies were in raptures about them, completely loving them. Work colleagues who were being treated to the bake had no idea the brownies contained black beans even after eating them. So, given such favourable comments I knew I had to try her recipe. And we loved them too, even more so by the second day when the flavours seem to meld together even more. I adapted Chocolate Covered Katie's recipe by replacing the Stevia / refined sugar with honey and adding blackberries to the mixture. I also increased the volume of the mixture to make a deeper more fudgy brownie! Yum!
So the blackberry and black bean brownie. It's gluten free, dairy free, low in refined sugar and low in saturated fats! It's most certainly NOT low in flavour. It's chocolaty, soft, fudgy and beautiful like any good brownie should be. Given that these brownies are made from black beans and a generous addition of oatmeal, they are packed full of complex carbohydrates. And to be even healthier, these dudes include a handful of blackberries! They'd be equally good with raspberries. So much healthier than their counterpart!
These brownies are sweetened with beautiful maple syrup and honey, so they're not really suitable for diabetics, because although it's not refined sugar, it's still sugar. And although the GBBO challenge was to make a refined sugar-free cake, these brownies actually contain chocolate chips, so I can only describe them as being low in refined sugar (though I'd imagine replacing these with cocoa nibs in a lower quantity would work nicely).
I may have mentioned it, but these brownies are gorgeously scrummy! Just don't tell the children what's in them and they'll be non the wiser, loving the chocolaty fudgyness and the slightly tart fruitiness when they come across a blackberry! Yum! I do hope you'll give them a try, they're seriously easy to make!
So let's get to it and bake.
Blackberry & Black Bean Brownies YumYield: 9 - 12 portions
Serves: 9 - 12 people
Freezable: Sorry, untested
Time: hands on time about 10 minutes; plus 25-30 bake time; plus cooling time.
Adapted from: Chocolate Covered Katie's Black Bean Brownie
You will need:1 x 20cm square Brownie Tin
little Butter / Margarine for greasing the tin
Food Processor or Stick Blender
For the Brownie300g carton Black Beans, drained and well rinsed.
3 tbsp. Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
110g Maple Syrup
48g Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 tsp gluten free Baking Powder (such as Dr Oetker)
35g Runny Honey
100g Milk Chocolate Chips (plus extra handful for sprinkling)
9 large Blackberries, halved (or 18 small ones)
How to make them:1. Pre-heat the oven to 190c / Fan 170c / Gas 5.
2. Prepare the cake tin. Grease and fully line your brownie tin with greaseproof paper.
3. Make the batter:
To make with a food Processor:
Place all of the ingredients apart from the chocolate chips and blackberries into the food processor and blend until smooth and well combined.
To make with a stick blender:
a) Place the black beans into a bowl and pulverise with a stick blender.
b) Add the oatmeal and blend aiming to breakdown the oatmeal a little further. Add the cocoa powder, salt, maple syrup, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, baking powder and runny honey and blitz again until well combined and smooth.
4. Add the chocolate & blackberries. Add 100g of chocolate chips and combine with a spatula. Pour into the lined brownie tin and level out. Evenly distribute the blackberries over the top of the batter. Push the blackberries into the mixture covering them over with the batter. Sprinkle with a handful of chocolate chips.
5. Bake. Place into the oven and bake for about 25 - 30 minutes until the brownie has a nice crust but is still very slightly soft when prodded. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the brownie tin. Slice into 9 or 12 pieces. If you find the brownie is still quite soft, place in the fridge over night to firm up.
This recipe has been shared with:
Fabulous Foodie Fridays co-hosted by Lauren of Create Bake Make and Lucy of Bake Play Smile
Great Bloggers Bake Off, co-ordinated by Jenny of Mummy Mishaps and hosted this week by Kirsty of Hijacked by Twins.
Free From Fridays, hosted by Free From Farmhouse