The Daring Bakers #23 Walnut kidney bean chocolate brownies...

Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!
I was quite excited by this month's challenge. Having two 'little ones' at home I know how important it is for the kids to eat plenty of fruit and veg. Luckily I don't have to 'sneak' anything as my girls like fruit and veg (well fruit more than the latter but still I don't have a big problem when it comes to dinner times). This recipe was quite simple and I was pleasantly surprised by the result! Nice, moist, but not dense, brownies! I also planned making courgette cupcakes but ran out of time. Nothing lost tho - as I'll be making them later on! I am definitely more encouraged to experiment with 'veggie cakes/sweets' more now and I'll definitely be making more of those kind of bakes in the future :)

Tried this cake on few of my friends and no one had any idea that they are beans inside it - unfortunately when some of them learned the truth they stopped eating the brownie all together... Well - more for me! :)

How to make it...

- 400 g tin of kidney beans (in water, not salted water), drained
- 1 cup unrefined caster (superfine) sugar (can use regular white granulated sugar)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (I didn't have any and used honey instead)
- 1/2 cup of plain all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup flavorless oil like canola or vegetable
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts (can use roasted cashews, but unsalted is best - didn't have any and used chopped walnuts instead)
Preheat the oven to 180 °C and grease and base line your baking tin.
Drain, rinse and puree the kidney beans until smooth - if in doubt, blend it a bit more - bits of unblended kidney bean in the finished brownie spoil the ‘hidden’ element of surprise!
Combine all the ingredients apart the nuts and beat well until mixed. You could do this in a food processor or mixer if you wanted. Stir in the nuts.
Pour into the prepared tin, and bake for about 25 minutes (I had to bake it for 50 minutes! because after 25 minutes my brownie was literally raw) until just firm to the touch.
Cool in the tin, then cut, serve, allow people to enjoy, and then surprise them with the secret ingredient!
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