black beans & brownie
For a while now I been eyeing up a certain beans and rice dish, Moros y Christianos – because, as much as we love our staple refried beans (cheap, substantial, nutritious, quick, freeze-able, adaptable, super easy…), one does get a little sick of kidney beans. Hence, when I came across a pound of dried black beans in the cupboard I had one of those “oh yeah!” moments, remembering this oh-so-fantastic bean recipe I was so excited to try which I raced out and bought black beans from Bin Inn for, and evidently forgot about them… Moros y Christianos. It’s Spanish for Moors and Christians, representing the black and white of the dish – black beans on white rice – a staple in Latin American countries.
Ok this post isn’t even about this dish. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I got so excited cooking my black beans (oh-so-easy thanks to our wedding-gifted slow cooker) to make Moros y Christianos for dinner tonight, that I just chucked the whole pound in to the slow cooker. Needless to say I ended up with far too many cooked black beans on my hands.
And what does one do with tons of freshly cooked black beans? Why, make black bean brownies of course! This was a real experiment (I’ve been doing that recently…) where I really used the best from all three. The recipe I mostly based this on is from 101 Cookbooks which uses agave nectar instead of brown sugar (and if money was indispensable I too would use agave nectar). The beans get pureed in the processor so are barely unnoticeable. In fact the whole thing get pureed in the food processor, making it one super easy recipe. Also, having no flour makes it suitable for those with certain intolerances.
To cook black beans: Sort through the beans carefully – I found a good few stones in mine. Rinse well and place in a slow cooker with 6 cups of water (don’t add salt). Leave to cook for 3 – 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Drain and rinse if using for brownies, otherwise reserve the liquid for black beans and rice (recipe to come – eventually).
The texture of this is really something different. Dense and super fudgy. The ground nuts give a firmness while the beans give a really unusual bite.
Black Bean Chocolate Pecan Brownie
Makes 10 dessert-sized slices
120 g unsweetened chocolate
¾ cup brown sugar
2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well
½ cup pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 Tbsp brewed espresso (can replace with instant coffee granules)
4 large eggs
75g dark chocolate, extra, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly spray a loose bottom tart tin, or a 9 inch brownie pan.
Melt the chocolate, butter and sugar in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely. Place the beans, ½ of the pecans, vanilla extract, eggs, coffee and the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth. Fold in the remaining pecans and chopped chocolate and pour into pan. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, until set and a skewer comes out clean (mine took a good hour, but it really depends on your oven!). Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into wedges. The brownie will remain soft until refrigerated. Serve chilled with yoghurt and roasted pecans.