Sunday, 10 July 2011

Fudgy Wudgy Brownies

These are some of the best mother fudging brownies I have ever eaten. They tick all the boxes for me:

Not tooth achingly sweet
The original recipe I adapted them from called for something like 2 cups of sugar plus the dates. I cut the sugar back to ½ cup, added ¼ cup maple syrup which lends a buttery taste but also is rich in minerals and kept the dates to add sweetness, moisture and fibre. They are plenty sweet.

Full of Fibre
These have dates which provide sweetness but are also chock full of fibre. But the secret ingredient for making these so moist is 1 ½ cups black beans. You could use a tin of beans that have been drained and rinsed, but I used beans I cooked from scratch. They also use a bit of flax meal for an egg substitute. Flax provides fibre as well as Omega 3. 

Virtually fat free
Most baked goods need butter or oil to provide this much moisture which also adds a tonne of fat. These are dense and fudgy and moist but that comes from the beans and dates, not oil. We need fat in our diets to help us feel full and to lubricate our joints, but these desserts don’t need them.

Gluten Free
I chose gluten free flours that are high in protein, calcium and iron but low on the Glycemic index (meaning their sugars are released slower in the bloodstream and will help you avoid a sugar high and then a crash) The tapioca starch is higher on the Glycemic index being a white starch but it is balanced by the wholemeal qualities of the buckwheat, chickpea and quinoa flours.

You can eat one and feel like you are getting a treat but not one full of refined flours and sugars or unnecessary fats or animal products.

Spidergrrl’s Fudgy Wudgy High Fibre Low Fat Gluten Free Vegan Brownie Yum Yums

Note: if you want to do them not gluten free then use 3/4 cup wholemeal pastry flour and ½ white flour (or another ½ cup wholemeal) .

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
Sift together
Dry ingredients:
¼ cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup chickpea flour
¼ cup quinoa flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup tapioca starch
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup Demerara sugar (or brown sugar)
¾ cup broken walnuts (optional)
Handful dark chocolate chips (optional)
Wisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. The wisking mixes the different flours as well as puts a bit of air in there for lightness.

Wet ingredients:
1 ½ cups black beans (one tin drained and rinsed well)
1 cup pitted medjool dates--this can be anywhere from 7-10 dates depending on their size)
¼ cup maple syrup

Whiz those together in your food processor until it is completely smooth.

Then add:
1 TB balsamic vinegar (or cider vinegar but I think the balsamic compliments the chocolate flavour--but if you are not a vinegar whore like me who keeps at least 5 different kinds around just use what you have--you just need it to react to the baking powder)
3 tsp instant coffee (optional but enhances the flavour)
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 TB flax meal (ground flax seeds)
1 cup water

Whiz that all up until it is smooth then mix in with the dry ingredients. Spoon into a greased 9x12 or 9x13 pan. Sand the top with a TB of sugar to make it look all glittery/sparkly --optional but groovy.

Ill be honest I did the first batch in my food processor and the second batch in my vita mix blender. The second time the liquid ingredients were considerably smoother owing to my blender having a stronger motor than a Vespa. Probably also because I couldnt be bothered to blend it long enough in the food processor. But both ways tasted good. It was slightly harder to scrape it all out of the blender than the food processor. Do whatever you like just blend it up well, ya dig? .

Bake for 14 minutes then take the pan out and rotate it and put it back in for another 14 minutes. Test with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. If not put it in for 2 more minutes.

Let cool before you slice. Slice it into 16 brownies--4 by 4. Store in an airtight tin. I think they taste better the next day. Yum!


  1. okay, here's the whole recipe, thanks! I am mightily tempted to make them, say nothing about them having black beans and dates in them, and do a taste test on Jamie and Teresa---or my Sunday School class. Kinda like what we'd have to do with GLT if we expected him to put one in his mouth!

  2. changed my comment name from Rebecca to Becky/Mum and tried to add a photo---this is just testing to see if it worked.

  3. Those sound pretty good! May have to give that one a try!

  4. Ok, I varied this a little - so 3/4 cup wholemeal and 1/4 cup white flour as suggested, but also replaced maple syrup with date syrup (cheaper and I love the taste), dark brown sugar, as that's my fave sugar to cook with, and replaced the flax powder with hemp powder. It all worked beautifully, and second time around I added some sweetner (as I have a very sweet tooth but am not good with tons of sugar). They're a big hit with the non-vegan boyfriend. PLUS I have been making a black bean humous with the black beans I cook that remain extra - whizz together with some chopped pepper, soya yoghurt (to lighten it and make it less fatty - replacing the usual ingredient of olive oil), tahini, cumin powder, salt and garlic yummy. THANKS SPIDERGRRL!!! X Adina

  5. Tried it with a tin of kidney beans yesterday as I didn't have any black beans prepared, and it worked! x a