Red kidney bean, raspberry & chilli chocolate brownies

20 September 2014
Written by Kylie Jurgensen | Images by Kylie Jurgensen
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Guest writer Kylie Jurgensen: mother of five, writer, creative soul and foodie (amongst many other talents) shares a fab brownie with a red kidney bean twist



These deliciously dark, moist and fragrant brownies have the aroma of raspberries with a subtle nip of chilli. But that’s not all...with the secret addition of red kidney beans they will kick protein bars to the back of your pantry and have you fighting fit in no time at all - or not, but hey, they taste a-ma-zing and that’s what matters!

I have to confess I’ve been through a bit of an anti-brownie phase. A while back it gradually crept up on me that the decadent fudgy brownies I used to enjoy now seemed  disappointingly gloopy in the centre and unpleasantly sugary. For a while I kidded myself that the gloop was a delicious ‘molten centre’ but even that subterfuge eventually wore thin. I’m still not sure whether it was me who changed or an epidemic of cloyingly sweet, raw, sagging middle that afflicted brownies in homes, cafes and recipe files across the Southern Hemisphere and beyond, but with every disappointing brownie experience these pieces of chocolatey heaven began to drop further and further down my happy place-o-meter. 

The unthinkable prospect of a brownie-less future looked scarily likely until, in a happy coincidence, a recipe for black bean brownies crossed my path. I remembered these from vegan shared lunches - dark, rich, sweet and delicious with a smooth, substantial texture. Hope began to glimmer again. 

When a lone can of kidney beans emerged from the back of my pantry on baking day, I wondered whether these protein-packed marvels could be sacrificed to a two-fold mission: to revive the brownie love and to produce an energy-rich lunchbox filler that would bake up in bulk, freeze well, and delight the senses of my picky offspring. 

The verdict: a resounding ‘yes’. This recipe is quick and easy to whip up in the food processor and makes a big stainless steel roasting pan full. Halve it if you have fewer mouths to feed, or you can freeze the brownies in a single uncut slab, well-wrapped in foil and cling film. This recipe is extremely forgiving and lends itself well to experimentation. You can ring the changes by leaving out the cayenne pepper and/or raspberries, adding fresh or frozen blackberries, or stirring in a handful of chopped walnuts or oats for a different texture. You can also substitute apple sauce for the oil and egg whites for the whole eggs if you’re so inclined. 

Red kidney bean, raspberry & chilli chocolate brownies

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  • In a food processor, mix together:

    2 cups cooked, drained, rinsed and pureed kidney beans (approximately 1-2 cans) 
    2 cups sugar
    1 ½ cups flour
    1 cup cocoa
    1 ½ tsp salt
    1 cup canola oil
    1 tsp cayenne pepper
    6 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
  • When beans are pureed and everything is well mixed, pour into a greased and lined baking dish (I used a stainless steel roasting pan, approximately 32cm x 22cm)
  • Sprinkle over the top:
    1-2 cups frozen raspberries
    ½-1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Bake in the centre of oven for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the brownies comes out clean. 
  • Allow to cool in the pan and cut into small squares. 




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