Giada De Laurentiis Sneaks Canned Beans Into Her Brownies

Giada De Laurentiis smiling
Giada De Laurentiis smiling - Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Giada De Laurentiis is known for incorporating unconventional ingredients into many classic dishes — she adds pumpkin puree to her carbonara and puts carrots and celery in her marinara sauce. While you'd probably never think to use these ingredients in these recipes, it somehow works. The pumpkin puree makes the carbonara extra creamy, while the carrots and celery add depth of flavor to the marinara. The celebrity chef's brownie recipe, shared on her blog Giadzy, yields a similarly upgraded outcome due to an unexpected ingredient.

Most brownie recipes rely on a combination of cocoa powder, flour, eggs, and sugar. But De Laurentiis also adds canned black beans. The thought of encountering black beans in your dessert might seem like an April Fool's Day prank since it's usually used in savory dishes but they're virtually undetectable once baked and served. This is because De Laurentiis purees them along with the other ingredients in the batter. This addition may be unconventional, but the resulting texture is worth it if you trust the process.

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Why You Should Add Black Beans To Your Brownie Batter

taking brownie out of pan
taking brownie out of pan - Simonkr/Getty Images

If you like extra fudgy chocolatey brownies rather than cakey ones, you'll definitely want to consider adding black beans to your batter the next time you want to whip up a batch. Typically the more fat and chocolate that's present in a brownie batter, the fudgier the baked goods will turn out. Unfortunately, this can easily lead to greasiness and a much sweeter flavor but by adding black beans instead of more butter and chocolate, you'll achieve the rich, decadent texture but without the potentially greasy, overly sweet side effects.

When you add black beans to brownies, it also increases their nutritional value. Black beans are naturally high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins, so it makes sense that Giada De Laurentiis refers to them as "Better-For-You" brownies. Her recipe also doesn't call for flour, because black beans actually give them plenty of structure, which means they also function as a great substitution for flour if you want to make gluten-free brownies.

What You Should Know Before Putting Black Beans In Your Brownies

sliced brownies surrounded by black beans
sliced brownies surrounded by black beans - vm2002/Shutterstock

When Giada De Laurentiis adds black beans to her brownies, she opts for the canned variety. While there are many false facts about canned beans, it's true that they aren't always the best choice in certain recipes. However, since they tend to be much softer than beans that are cooked from scratch, this consistency is ideal for brownies since you don't want any grittiness to come through in your dessert.

Canned beans are also packed in brine, which mellows out their natural flavor. But since the brine used for canned beans is salty, De Laurentiis also specifies draining and rinsing your beans before using them in brownies. This is also an important step because the added liquid will thin out your batter.

If you don't have any black beans on hand, you may be wondering if you can substitute other varieties and you technically can, though they may not blend in as well because of the color. Look for bean varieties that have a bland flavor and creamy texture, such as navy or lima beans and if you can get past the color, they'll work just as well at making your brownies ultra fudgy.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.