Black Bean Brownies

So, as I mentioned earlier, I’m moving soon and trying to use up everything in my cupboards.  Since I spent a significant portion of medical school preparing for a zombie apocalypse (The Walking Dead had a big impact on me), this is no easy task.  I have so many cans of everything.  Black bean brownies it is.  Problem – I had no maple syrup, which is my go-to sweetener and dangerously little honey (my second choice).  Since buying more of either is kind of defeating the purpose of using up my cupboard contents, I had to get creative.  


Enter the saddest bag of hard, crusty dates ever.  I poured the bag into a 2 cup pyrex measuring container and filled to the 2 cup mark with boiling water (completely covering the dates).  After 45 minutes the dates had softened significantly and I blended them up into a sweet syrup, which I used in place of my usual sweetener.  


This recipe is roughly based on the Hemsley & Hemsley “Art of Eating Well” cookbook, but I measured out the weighed ingredients for you, increased the sweetener since the dates weren’t quite as sweet as maple syrup, decreased the butter because – come on – half a cup is plenty, and decreased the cocoa powder to a scant 1 cup because that’s all I had.  I’ve noticed in their book they are VERY generous with pretty much all spices, cocoa & vanilla extract in desserts, etc and I really like the results.  I enjoy strong flavours, spicy food, and dark chocolate.  You can decrease the cocoa a little if dark chocolate scares you.


Black Bean Brownies


  • 2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup date paste (pour boiling water over 2 cups dates and let sit at least 30 min before blending to a paste)
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Grease the inside of a 24 x 20cm baking dish.
  3. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Taste the batter, then pour into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake 45min until surface is cracked and brownie feels firm but springy to touch.
Dessert, BakingKaleigh Briggs