Pylon recently made brownies from brownie mix—but with an extra-special secret ingredient: a can of black beans. “They are great, and a huge hit at the office as well,” says Pylon. “No, they don’t taste like beans. Not that they taste exactly like ‘regular’ brownies, but still pretty darn good.” elieli has made a gluten-free version of black bean cake, and loved the result: “Even after the blending of the beans, eggs, sugar, and salt, the flavor of the beans was barely perceptible. The resultant batter had even less hint of bean. The end result was a mildly coconutty, moist cake that smelled exceptional.” plantainchips has made a related version of flourless chocolate cake with black beans. “It was surprisingly light and chocolatey, I would not have guessed it contained beans,” says plantainchips. “The website [Judy in Her Natural Habitat] mentioned that most people seem to prefer kidney instead of black beans, so that’s what I used.”

poppet has had less encouraging results with black bean brownies. “A friend who cannot have gluten ADORED them. I thought they were barely adequate as brownies,” says poppet. And natewrites has tried a sugarless version that he found “hideous”—”flat, dry, and the weird chemical-taste of Splenda after it’s been baked,” he says. “They are fine, though, if you’re gluten-free, or really dying for something sweet and cannot have sugar. But otherwise, yuck.”

Discuss: Has anyone ever made those black bean brownies or chocolate cake?

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