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 think hiding vegetables in dishes is great idea! I often stretch my spaghetti bolognese out with loads of veggies both grated and chopped – although I’m sure kids wouldn’t think they are particularly well hidden.
So it was easy to choose from the recipes we were given this month, I liked the idea or using red kidney beans in the brownies. I cooked the mix for only about 15minutes and it was properly cooked by that stage. When I tried it after it had cooled I enjoyed the taste and found the brownie quite light – more the consistency of cake.
I tested this on most of my family and none could pick the secret ingredient – some screwing up their face when I said “what’s the secret ingredient” after they had already eaten a piece. I found the top of the cake went a little tacky on top as moisture got to it, so it may have helped having a thin icing perhaps. I wouldn’t substitute this recipe for any of my current brownie recipes, although it has opened my eyes to what can be hidden in food.
Cashew Kidney Bean Chocolate Brownies
makes one 8 inch x 13 inch/20cm x 33cm tray
I tested these on half a dozen people and none could identify kidney beans in the finished taste. Indeed they couldn’t hazard a guess at anything weird at all – they just commented that they were good brownies!
400gm (14 oz) tin of kidney beans (in water, not salted water), drained
1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm) (8 oz) unrefined caster (superfine) sugar (can use regular white granulated sugar)
2 tablespoons (30ml) maple syrup
½ cup (120 ml) (70 gm) (2½ oz) of plain all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking powder
½ cup (120 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) cocoa powder
½ cup (120 ml) flavorless oil like canola or vegetable
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
½ cup (120 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) raw cashew nuts (can use roasted cashews, but unsalted is best)
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 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 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!