Years ago I tried black bean brownies. I enjoyed the flavor and texture, but I think what I liked best was the fact that they contained an unusual ingredient and that they were gluten free. I can’t say I know anyone who is actually celiac, but I like the idea that if I did I could bake for them. That, plus it’s just fun to try new things.
Today’s recipe is along the same line as black bean brownies, but instead of black beans the secret ingredient is chickpeas. Packed with protein, fiber and fat, I love chickpeas on salads and pureed into hummus, but was really curious how they’d be in brownies. Would the brownies be mealy? Could I taste the beans? Inspired by Brian’s guest post on More Than a Mountful, a wonderful blog written by Chef Dennis, the Culinary Director at Mount Saint Joseph Academy in PA, I made my own batch.
Thanks again to Brian from A Thought for Food for the recipe and congrats on getting his picture selected by Taste Spotting. His photo his far superior than the one I took today, but I’m very happy with my variation on the recipe and thought I’d share it with you along with Brian’s.
I wasn’t sure what I’d do with a whole batch of chickpea brownies so I decided to use half a can of chickpeas and make a half batch. Because I wasn’t sure how to halve a 9 inch square pan (though I have a feeling a loaf pan would have worked just fine), I made the brownies as “mini bites” and used my mini muffin tin. Below is the recipe as I made it, but I went ahead and typed the full version because I think you will want to make 36 of these babies instead of just 18. They are chocolate bombs with benefits. The chickpeas stand in for flour making them gluten free and agave, which is said to have a lower glycemic index than sugar, stands in for the sugar. I didn’t bother calculating nutritional profiles because low calorie and low fat, they are not. But they are rather “wholesome” and more importantly, they taste fabulous! Frankly, I think I like these better than the black bean brownies.
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup agave nectar (or honey)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, cold
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips plus more if needed
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 36 mini muffin cups with paper liners. If you are halving the recipe, use 18.
- Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl for about a minute or until melted and very hot. Add the chocolate and stir until it melts. If it doesn’t melt, microwave butter and chocolate together for another 30 seconds and stir. Stir the cocoa into the melted chocolate mixture.
- In a food processor, puree the chickpeas, agave and salt until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and process until smooth. Pour the chickpea mixture into the bowl of melted chocolate and stir until blended. Make sure it’s sufficiently cool, then stir in chocolate chips.
- Spoon batter into mini muffin cups dividing equally among the 36. Bake at 325 F for 20 minutes or until brownies appear set and a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs rather than batter. Let cool completely.