It seems I am not done with brownies yet. After developing a recipe for the fudgiest Nutella brownies, I thought that would be it. After all, they are amazing. But no. The paleo world was calling, and I found myself experimenting with a version of brownies made with red kidney beans. Yuck! You might say, but then you haven’t tried these yet. I would have said the same thing a year ago. I love playing with new ingredients, and it was a fascination with aquafaba that really hooked me in. Have you heard of it?
If not, you’re not alone! It has only been a relatively recent (i.e. 2015) discovery that the viscous liquid from cooked beans (whether they be chick peas, kidney beans, black beans or other) had properties that could render it a suitable substitute for eggs or egg whites. Unsurprisingly, the discovery has taken the vegan world by storm! Folks are now able to make vegan meringues, macarons, mayonnaise and other such delicacies previously unknown or unachievable for those eschewing animal products.
Not vegan myself, I simply thought that if there was a vegan recipe for brownies made with beans, then surely it’s a no-brainer to use the aquafaba in those to substitute for eggs? The first batch I used flax meal eggs as well as aquafaba and they were just too wet. But the second batch, made simply by using aquafaba instead of eggs, and a bit of coconut flour for substance, worked out so well that I’m sharing them here. The only disclaimer is that I have a sweet tooth, so these are not quite as healthy as the original recipe.
How about you, dear reader? Have you tried baking with aquafaba before?
Aquafaba Kidney Bean Brownies
Breaking all the rules; putting the healthy in brownies… and no-one will ever know!
420g can kidney beans, drained, liquid reserved
6 tablespoons reserved bean liquid (aquafaba)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (I used sunflower oil)
¾ cup good-quality cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
¾ cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon coconut flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup chocolate chips
Optional toppings: crushed walnuts, raspberries or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 F). Lightly grease a 12-hole standard size muffin pan (I used silicon). Once you have reserved the bean water (aquafaba), make sure to rinse your beans and drain thoroughly again.
Add beans and all other ingredients (besides chocolate chips) into the bowl of a food processor and puree – about 3 minutes – scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth. When the mixture is sufficiently blended, stir through the chocolate chips.
Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger. Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, raspberries or more chocolate chips. (I used pistachios)
Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides. I found mine took about 25.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. Even better, place in the refrigerator for a few minutes as it will help to firm them up. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork, or if using silicon molds, push up and out gently, to avoid breaking them.
Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.
Adapted from the Minimalist Baker
Use three tablespoons of aquafaba per egg – but don’t live by that rule.