I normally research what kind of cake I want to make for my birthday months ahead of time. Since I wasn’t able to bake my own cake last year in Costa Rica, this year I wanted to really make my cake count. Needless to say, I had my recipe picked out a month in advance and braved rush hour, pre-snow storm traffic for my first trip to the ABC store. You could say I was pretty invested in this cake by the time February rolled around. I had my recipe for the cake that I found this blog and an icing recipe from Southern Living.
Let me preface this baking adventure by saying that even though I am a scientist and a loyal follower of Alton Brown’s book about the science behind baking, I’m Just Here for More Food, I can be a bit imprecise in the kitchen and don’t follow a recipe to a tee. I am also that person that gets so excited about having company over that she runs to her folder of recipes to try or to a new cookbook and pick out something to make that she has never tried before (my mother and grandmothers will never understand this). But, on February 22nd, with less than twelve hours to bake and ice my birthday cake before company arrived, I was leaving nothing to chance. I was very precise and followed the recipe exactly. It paid off and the cake turned out better than I imagined, both in taste and in appearance. It was chocolate-y and dense without being overly sweet and the hint of Kahlua in the icing and cake really set it apart from the run-of-the-mill chocolate cake.
This cake solidified Kahlua’s role in baked goods produced in my kitchen. So, I wanted to use it in something else, although I hoped it would be a slightly healthier. I thought what better way to use it than in chocolate-y lightened up brownies? I had tried this brownie recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie months ago and loved it. I made the brownies more fudge-y and chocolate-y with a very subtle hint of Kahlua that enhanced the chocolate and added a little something extra. Mission accomplished.
Kahlua Black Bean Brownies
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
1 1/2 c. black beans (1 15 oz. can, rinsed and drained well)
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 c. oats (quick cooking or regular)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 c. + 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp. Kahlua (Baileys Irish Cream may work too, but I haven’t tried it)
3/4 c. chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8” pan. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in the bowl of a food processor; process until very smooth. Mix in the chocolate chips. Pour the brownie batter into the pan and cook for 15-18 minutes. The brownies will still be gooey (so do not rely on the toothpick test), let them rest in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting.
Another way I have found to enjoy these brownies, with leftover birthday cake icing!