Make Me: Black Bottom Black Bean Brownies

Alliteration, extreme! I had to make an impressive title for an impressive brownie. After weeks spent scouring the internet for a specifically black bottom black bean brownie, I decided that I should put my blogging where my mouth is and do it myself!

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

Along with the support of Beano in helping spread the world about the Beano + Dairy Defense enzyme-based digestive aid, I created a recipe that uses two of the most “productive” foods ever: beans & cheese! This recipe was the ultimate test of Beano’s supreme power.

For those of you who haven’t had the joyous experience that is a black bottom brownie, please allow me to explain.

Black Bottom Black Bean Brownies

See that white, luxurious, utterly tempting swirl throughout the extremely-chocolate brownie? That’s cream cheese. Sweetened cream cheese that bakes up into a fluffy, decadent, cheesecake-like texture.

My first “black bottom” experience was through a rich, chocolatey cupcake at a bakery where a past boyfriend worked. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t known that there was a brownie/cheesecake hybrid prior, but it never left me. Since I’ve started to clean up my food act (removing refined sugars and highly processed grains), I have noticed how much I, um… really miss bad-for-you food.

But I can’t bring myself to succumb to those nasty ingredients! So: black bean brownies. If you’ve never tried them, and you frequently think about eating better foods – I highly recommend them. If you are looking for an exact brownie replica, be prepared to be disappointed, but if you’re looking for something made from real, whole food ingredients that tastes like it’s bad for you: give them a go.

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

These are the official secret ingredients in this recipe!

And if you want to supercharge them, make them black bottom brownies.

Beano makes these completely worry-free for me. I am mildly lactose intolerant (46% of people have issues digesting dairy!), and on top of that, I am digestively sensitive to legumes! That makes these brownies a literal gut-bomb for me. Fortunately, Beano made a Dairy Defense product to take care of both of these issues. I love that Beano uses natural digestive enzymes instead of weird chemicals or synthetic products. It makes me feel like it’s just helping my gut eat through an entire tray of brownies, instead of tricking my body!

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

One of the nicest things about these brownies is that they’re one-dish brownies. On top of that, I didn’t even use a spoon. You can make this whole thing in your food processor, the best blender you can find, or with an immersion blender. I’ve tried them all, and they all work fabulously. You can use whatever kind of chocolate you like, but I am a fan of dark chocolate. I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chunks because they’re about 60% cacao! For that matter, I’ve also used kidney beans in place of black beans and it was excellent. Just make sure you blend ’em up really well!

Black Bottom Black Bean Brownies
Adapted from Skinnytaste Amazing Flourless Brownies

Chocolate bit:

  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp honey (raw honey, preferred!)
  • 1/4 c. sugar (I used coconut palm sugar, but you can use this Sugar Substitution chart to use other stuff!)
  • 1/2 tsp oil (I used vegetable oil, but should have used coconut oil)
  • Splash of Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 oz. of fresh espresso or 1 tsp espresso powder, or really strong coffee
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chunks, chopped-ish

Cheesecake bit:

  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, room temp!
  • 1 egg yolk, room temp
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chunks, chopped finely (optional)
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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and put a square of parchment paper in the bottom of an oiled pan (I used 9×9). Then, spray or smear the parchment with a bit more oil and set aside.

2. Put everything for the chocolate brownies except the chocolate chunks – beans, eggs, cocoa, honey, sugar, almond milk, oil, vinegar, espresso, baking soda, baking powder, salt – into the bowl of a food processor, the pitcher of a blender, or just a bowl. Blend it up until it’s nice and smooth. For the best results use the best food processor as it will make a big difference in texture.

3. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan, shaking it and lightly tapping it on the countertop to remove air bubbles and even it out.

4. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate chunks and set aside.

5. Prepare the cheesecake topping: Wash your food processor bowl or get a new bowl, and place all the ingredients except the chocolate pieces together. Blend! Mix in the chocolate pieces.

6. Take large spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture and drop it on the brownie batter. Once all of the cheese mixture is in the pan, take a butter knife (or toothpick) and “slice” lines through the brownies as if you were cutting them into serving pieces.

7. Pick the pan up about an inch of the counter and drop it. Repeat this a few times until all of the batter has settled in together.

8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out free. (Tiny crumbs are ok.)

Notes:

Most important note: wait for them to cool! These brownies get more solid as they cool, and the flavor improves. They’re nowhere near gross when they’re warm and gooey, but room-temp is amazing!

I would suggest blending or processing the beans a little bit first (especially if they are home-cooked and not canned) just to get them broken up before adding the other ingredients. Smoother is better, in this case! Next time I might experiment with using a banana instead of sugar… If I did, I would blend it early with the beans!

Photos:

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

All the ingredients for chocolate brownies in one, tiny little processor. 

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

Adding chopped-ish chunks to a settled brownie pan.

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

Cheesecake ingredients waiting to be blended.

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

Blended! Just needs chocolate.

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

This stuff is crazy dangerous.

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

Dropping lumps of cheesecake batter onto brownie batter!

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

After dragging a knife through the brownie and cheesecake batters to blend, and tapping the pan on the counter.

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

Baked! Dark, dark chocolate. 

Recipe: Black Bean Black Bottom Brownies

Might I add that Beano’s Dairy Defense tablets are chewable, Raspberry Sorbet flavored, and can be taken right before you eat? I’m pretty impressed with it, and our partnership asked me to share my opinion honestly. I really like the stuff, and it’s really nice being able to eat my “problem foods” without having to worry about unfair, brownie-preventing lactose or beans messing up my day.

Now, foods like these brownies can reclaim their rightful place on my food priority list.

Lindsay Ginn

Livin' in your basement, eatin' your canned foods.