I decided to make these Adzuki Bean Nutella Brownies because black bean brownies seem to be all the rage lately, but I thought adzuki red beans might be better suited, as they’re used in a lot of traditional Japanese desserts. Adzuki is a type of red bean grown in Eastern Asia that’s quite similar in size and texture to black beans, and they’re recently being hailed as a superfood.
Red bean paste is used as a filling in lots of Japanese sweet snacks such mochi (a cake made from sticky rice), dorayaki (red bean paste sandwiched between two pancakes) and anpan (a sweet bread roll filled with red bean paste).
You can buy adzuki beans either dry or in tins from most supermarkets.
So these brownies are great because they’re really healthy, full of protein + fibre, low sugar, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and you can easily make them vegan…
…but all these health perks aren’t why I’ve decided to blog about them – they’re the easiest brownies I’ve ever made AND the most delicious! They’re actually richer, fudgier, more gooey and taste more indulgent than any other brownie I’ve ever made with flour, sugar and butter.
The beans make the texture a lot denser and fudgier, while the dates and date syrup add a caramel-like sweetness and the Nutella adds extra richness and flavour. And the recipe is pretty versatile too – if you don’t like Nutella, you can swap it for regular chocolate spread, any kind of oil (such as vegetable or coconut) or nut butter (such as almond or cashew). You can either use a shop-bought Nutella (ensure it’s vegan/dairy-free if necessary) or make it yourself (it’s ridiculously easy, and you can scroll down to see a recipe). Bear in mind if you’re using shop-bought Nutella you might want to decrease the amount of date syrup you use as it’ll make it a lot sweeter.
I like to add some chocolate chips or roughly chopped pieces of chocolate so you can get bursts of extra chocolate-y flavour when you’re eating the brownies.
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 2 400g tins (around 28oz total) adzuki beans (or sub black beans), drained and rinsed
- 15 small dates
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4 heaped tablespoons Nutella (or sub chocolate spread)*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 50g (2oz) dark chocolate chips or chunks
- Optional: handful of nuts of choice (pecans or hazelnuts work well), roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (350 degrees)
- Add all ingredients except for the chocolate and nuts to a blender and whizz until completely smooth – you might need to mix it around a few times to make sure it’s all evenly blended
- Stir in the chocolate and nuts
- Pour the mixture into a square or rectangular baking tin
- Bake in oven for around 30 minutes – it should be slightly cracked at the top and firm inside (but make sure not to over-cook)
- Leave to cool before cutting into squares
- *Either use shop-bought Nutella (ensure it’s dairy-free if necessary) or homemade (you can see my recipe below)
Ingredients (makes roughly 4 tablespoons):
100g roasted hazelnuts
Few squares dark chocolate (or sub milk chocolate if you want)
Pinch of salt
Sugar/maple syrup, to taste
- Place hazelnuts in a blender and blend until completely smooth and oily in texture (like a nut butter)
Melt the chocolate either in a bain-marie or a microwave
Add the melted chocolate (along with salt and sweetener if you wish) to the blender and blend again until well mixed
Thanks for reading! If you’d like to receive a FREE COPY of my ebook of the 10 most popular recipes on my blog, you can sign up here.