Black Bean Brownies and Red Bean Ice Cream

Well that was fun. I can’t say I’m not slightly relieved to have completed the challenge, but it sure did spice up (and speed up) my February. For the last cooking challenge I went a little overboard, but I’m not sorry. I’ve been wanting to make these black bean brownies for ages, but never quite got around to it. But then Micah suggested making red bean ice cream and I couldn’t get that out of my head either. And when life gives you an “and/or,” I like to go with the “and.”

The black bean brownies pretty much lived up to the hype. Not a hint of beanie taste. Very chocolatey. Very fudgey. Yum. I’m not at all ashamed of the red bean ice cream, either. Well, I am a little ashamed that I was never daring enough to get any adzuki beans in the bottom of my Matsumoto’s shave ice back in the day because it’s actually really tasty . . . next time, I guess. Next time we’re in Hawaii.

I’m looking forward to that. Just like I’m looking forward to the 5th Annual RBSC Challenge.

Red (Adzuki) Bean Ice Cream from Closet Cooking

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup anko* (sweet red bean paste)
Heat the cream, milk, sugar in a sauce pan until it almost boils, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add one table spoon of the cream mixture to the egg to temper it.  Add the egg to the sauce pan. Cook at low heat until it is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Add the anko to the mixture. Chill in the fridge until cool. Freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream machine.
*To make sweet red bean paste,  put 2 cups of cooked beans and 1 cup sugar in a pot. Add enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. Simmer for about an hour, until the mixture has thickened, but not all the water has evaporated.

Black Bean Brownies (Blackies?) adapted from 101cookbooks

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well
1 cup walnuts, chopped — optional
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup cocoa
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups light agave nectar

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 11- by 18-inch (rimmed) baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely. Place the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside.

Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well.

Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy. Drizzle over the brownie batter. Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. Refrigerate.

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  1. not going to lie, I am skeptical, very very skeptical. PS what marathon are you training for? Just the Boston? Or do you have a backup marathon…..just in case.


    lizzie Reply:

    Shiloh, I would be surprised if you weren’t skeptical about these brownies. I was too. If you don’t want to test it on your own, I’ll make them and bring them to the next book club or whatever that we have.

    We’re training for the Utah Valley marathon in June. Our hope is to qualify for Boston, and then be able to register for Boston, and then run Boston in 2012. That’s the plan.


  2. Argh! I wish I’d found this post just a few weeks ago. (I have a hard time searching & finding posts on your blog for some reason) I just threw out a mostly full can of red bean paste! I’d bought it for some sweet rice balls filled with red bean paste for a Korean dinner, and didn’t need even a quarter of the can. Then I couldn’t find any decent-looking recipes to use it with. Ah well, next time.


    lizzie Reply:

    Oh, I’m pretty much in love with red bean paste now. We put it on pancakes and in pb sandwiches. I still want to try some more authentic uses for it, though.


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