Salty and sweet taste so good together. It’s the juxtaposition of flavors on your palate that make it so appealing. That’s why savory and spicy enhancements work so well with chocolate. I love seeing all these new haute confectioners coming out with chocolate paired with herbs and spices like cardamom, lavender, smoked paprika, cumin and curry. It’s fun to taste them, too!
I was thrilled to see this month’s Recipe Redux theme: Favorite Chocolate Matches. Whether it’s dark, semi-sweet or milk chocolate, you can have a lot of fun with texture, mouthfeel and aroma depending on what you add to it. Immediately, I grabbed one of my favorite cookbooks, Best Ever Three & Four Ingredient Cookbook by Jenny White & Joanna Farrow to jumpstart my idea wheel. There was a simple chocolate brownie recipe that caught my eye. I knew I could jazz it up from a health perspective – as well as do a pairing that would taste delish and satisfy even my kids’ sweet teeth!
Chocolate + Black Beans (+ Cinnamon + Vanilla + Sea Salt Flakes)
I love adding black beans for fiber, protein and velvety texture to my baked goods. With the help of my Cuisinart, this recipe is super simple! Puree the black beans and add to the melted chocolate. The black beans work in this recipe in lieu of butter. Plus I added cinnamon, pure vanilla extract and a dash of sea salt flakes (aka “Pyramid Salt” – I picked them up at my local Trader Joe’s). I love a pinch of salt with chocolate.
For moisture, add eggs and fold into the flour to give its cake consistency. Mix and dollop into small, bite-size muffin baking sheet. Sprinkle with a few salt flakes (they are large, so a little goes a long way!)
Salted Chocolate and Black Bean Brownie Bites
11 ounces dark chocolate (or whichever style of chocolate you prefer)
1/2 cup black beans, canned, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 whole eggs
2/3 cup self-rising flour
A couple of pinches sea salt flakes
1/2 ounce, milk or semi-sweet chocolate for drizzling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line muffin tins with liners (or use a non-stick muffin tins). In a blender or Cuisinart, add beans and pulse a few times until pureed. Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and put in for 1 minute on High. Remove and stir – you may have to put back in for another 20 – 30 seconds. (You can also melt chocolate in stovetop in a double boiler).
Add pureed beans to melted chocolate and stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Crack eggs in to mixture and fold in the flour. Gently mix together – do not over mix. When combined spoon into muffin tins, sprinkle with salt and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean after the “poke test”. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. If desired, drizzle with melted milk or semi-sweet chocolate for a bit of added sweetness. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (per brownie bite): Calories: 141, Total Fat: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 36 mg, Sodium: 209 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 3 g
Enjoy eating simply!