Black brownies

This recipe is such a favourite of mine because it’s full or iron and protein, yet it’s totally disguised as an indulgent dessert. The dark chocolate really makes it rich, but can be tempered with a side of ice cream (or frozen blended bananas – known as nicecream – if you want a healthy option) for those who prefer lighter flavours of chocolate to the darker ones.

It’s simple to make so children can get involved too. They will love to lick the melted chocolate from the bowl. The parent gets a helping hand in the kitchen, the children have some fun, everyone gets quality time together…followed by a dessert at the end. What’s not to like? It’s a win-win for all involved.


1 centilitre (10 mls) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 can of black beans *

1 centilitre (10 mls) blended desiccated coconut **

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla sugar

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

1  centilitre (10mls) honey

50g dark chocolate (I use 70%)

1 handful chopped walnuts

3 tbsp coconut oil

Optional: 100g dark chocolate for topping

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius/356 degrees farenheit.


Melt the dark chocolate in a water bath, or the microwave. If you do this in the microwave, heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, to prevent burning.

Add the coconut oil and the honey, and stir until they are dissolved and combined. Remove from the heat.

Blend all the other ingredients together, except for the walnuts. You can use a food processor for this, or you can get busy with a potato masher, a spoon and some brute muscle force. Your kitchen, your choice.

Add the melted chocolate mixture to the other ingredients. Once they are well combined, fold in the chopped walnuts.

Line a square cake pan (21cm x 21cm) with wax proof baking paper. Pour the brownie batter into the cake pan and smooth it out to ensure an even surface. You can also use a round cake pan with a diameter of 22cm, in which case don’t use the wax proof baking paper, just grease and flour the cake pan instead.

Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven. 

Take the cake out and let it cool. When it is cool, you can melt some dark chocolate on top, maybe sprinkle with some nuts, or whatever you like. I used edible gold glitter and walnuts in the photos.

* you can buy a can of blackbeans and just use them as they are – just make sure to rinse them well first.

** You can take desiccated coconut and just blend it yourself. If you don’t like coconut you can substitute this with oats, and just blend as with the coconut.

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