Clara's Love: Cannellini Bean Brownies

Decadent Cannellini Bean Brownies

Oh my wow. I cannot even do these brownies justice through the English language. They are really everything you want in a brownie – the perfect balance between fudgy & dense, light & crumbly. Perfect for some lazy Sunday baking or for the inevitable post dinner I-want-somethin’-sweet moment. Decadent, sweet (but not too sweet), rich, dark, hearty and oh-so satisfying and light.

Did I mention that they are gluten free, grain free, vegan, they can be made oil free and are highly nutritious as they’re jam packed with nutrient dense plant foods like cannellini beans, raw cacao, chia seeds, banana, maca powder, cinnamon AND coconut. They are also paleo friendly and just plain YUM. 

When I lived in Canada for a year with my folks, we lived next door to our dear family friends, Andre and Clara and their three boys. The house we lived in was dreamy; similar to one of those long houses that run along the channels in Amsterdam - standing humble and proud, quirky and quaint. During those months that we lived there, Clara and Andre showed us the ropes, helped us to navigate the very french world that now was our reality and introduced us to the new family favorite: les macarons. Clara showed us the most beautiful macaron shop that was tucked away in the city center just streets away from our french conversational classes. This macaron shop was laden with delectable flavors from lavender and raspberry to caramel and double chocolate. And today, for the first time in ages I was transported back there because for some odd reason, biting into this brownie took me back to that moment of biting into that much deserved double chocolate macaron after a tedious 3 hour french conversational class I took with my dad. Perhaps it's the scent of the dark chocolate or perhaps it's the lightness as you bite into the soft richness, feeling as it engulfs my mouth and belly with a comforting nostalgic hug. And so, in honor of that delicious memory and as a deeply heart-felt thank you to Clara for gracing me with one of my favorite culinary experiences as well as some of my favorite memories shared with my dad (it became a bi-weekly ritual after every conversational french class) I dedicate this loving brownie recipe to Clara. 

 

Ingredients:

·     1 tin cannellini beans, drained & well rinsed

·     ¼ cup coconut flour

·     ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or alternative syrup-like sweetener)

·     ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons raw organic cane sugar

·     ¾ cup raw cacao

·     2 chia eggs (1 tablespoon chia seeds to 3 tablespoons water = 1 chia egg)

·     3 tablespoons banana (or one small one)

·     8 blocks of 85% dark Lindt chocolate

·     1 tablespoon peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)

·     1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

·     2 teaspoons maca powder

·     1 teaspoon cinnamon

·     ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt

·     2 heaped teaspoons baking powder

·     1 tablespoon goji berries

 

Method:

1.       Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease your muffin or madeleine trays with a light coating of coconut oil. Or you can omit this step if you have non-stick muffin trays. Set aside.

2.    In a bowl place 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and 6 tablespoons of filtered water, set aside to allow the chia eggs to thicken.

3.    In your food processor place the banana, the beans, the chia eggs, the maple syrup & sugar, the salt, the cinnamon, the coconut oil, peanut butter and maca powder and blend well.

4.    Once smooth, add in the raw cacao and coconut flour. Continue to blend. Once thoroughly blended, add in the baking powder.

5.    Fill your muffin holes/baking trays with about 1 heaping dessert spoon of the mixture. Cut 3 of the Lindt chocolate blocks into smaller blocks to place into the center of the filled muffin holes. Make sure to cover any chocolate bits with brownie batter.

6.   Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the muffin tin.

7.     While they are baking melt the other 5 chocolate blocks in a bain-marie. Do this by bringing a small saucepan with a bit of water to boil, place a glass or silver bowl over it, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bowl, and place the remaining chocolate blocks into it. This allows you to melt the chocolate steadily and evenly instead of the heat being too direct against the chocolate. I added ½ teaspoon of coconut oil into the melting chocolate to keep it smooth and drizzle-able. Set aside and wait for brownies to be finished and cooled before drizzling and topping with Goji Berries.

8.    TUCK IN AND ENJOY!