These are rich and delicious brownies made from a can of beans – and you use the whole can: the beans and the liquid to create a beautiful brownie dessert with a fluffy marshmallow-y merengue topping. So not only is it secretly healthy, it is super economical as well. You probably a can of beans just sitting there getting lonely in your cupboard, too. You have to see this to believe it, folks.
Aguafaba. In case you haven’t heard of this magic liquid, it is the name for the water that is within cans of beans. Yes, BEANS! Vegans have been using this healthy liquid as egg replacers in recipes for decades. You can make all kinds of cool things from it: merengue, marshmallows, mayonnaise, use it in baked goods. Here is a link to an article about it. Chickpeas are most commonly used, but I’ve used kidney beans, too.
I have been experimenting with flourless brownies and cupcakes, made out of beans since I heard about it when we moved to Australia 2.5 years ago. For my son’s 2nd birthday party I made these Magic Bean Cupcakes from the Thermomix community. Honestly, you would never know that these are made with beans. And the kids go crazy for chocolate treats – little do they know they are actually eating fiber, protein and anti-oxidant rich beans. You don’t need a Thermomix, by the way, just any blender or food processor which will smash and mix everything together. The beans take on the rich cocoa flavour very well with no bean-y taste.
I think the key to doing these kind of recipes is NOT to tell your guests that they are made from beans. Maybe afterwards, if you must. I have passed off chocolate cake made from beans a few times and just not said a thing! And vice versa – I have told people only to get a yucky reaction, and then once that has happened then their mind is closed.
These brownies are pretty rich and goo-ey, which is totally delicious warm right out of the oven. I’d say they were more like a molten brownie dessert or pie served that way. If you want them to hold better like actual brownies, just firm up in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Liquid from 1 can of chickpeas (AguaFaba)
- 1.5 Tbsp powdered gelatine
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Maple syrup or honey
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- ½ cup coconut sugar (or normal sugar)
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or butter/oil)
- In a bowl, 'bloom' the gelatine powder by mixing it thoroughly with ⅓ cup warm water and let sit for 2 minutes to dissolve and thicken.
- Drain the chickpea liquid into a blender/food processor. Add the bloomed gelatine, cream of tartar, vanilla and syrup and whip for about 5 - 10 minutes until firm peaks have formed. Spoon out onto a plate and set aside. No need to wash out processor bowl.
- Heat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a 8inch square pan with some baking paper and set aside.
- To the same food processor add the drained chickpeas, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and coconut oil. Blend until no lumps remain.
- Using about half of the aquafaba merengue, fold in a few large spoonfuls at a time until all incorporated.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature in the pan.
- Spread on the rest of the marshmallow merengue topping.
- Eat straight away for a gooey brownie dessert or allow to set in the fridge for 2 hours for firmer brownies.