Beluga Lentil Brownies
Deep, dark, rich, gooey, slightly spicy and surprising, the Beluga lentils are like little chocolate chips inside the brownies. The combination is irresistible! You can also bake the brownies in smaller, individual dishes for a little less time, take them out of the oven when they are still shaking in the centre and eat them hot and gooey. I like to serve this with vegan ice cream and oat crème fraiche. You will need a 20 x 25cm or roughly equivalent rectangular baking dish and baking paper.
By Alex Mackay
Suitable for vegans
The Beluga Lentils
- 300g golden caster sugar
- 150ml water
- 30g cocoa
- 1 x 250g pouch Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Beluga lentils
The brownie mixture
- 200g plant based butter alternative, plus 30g for the tin
- 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
- The liquid from 1 tin of chickpeas (this is also known as Aqua Faba) I got 155g)
- 180g golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 65g cocoa powder, plus 15g for the tin
- 60g plain flour
- 1 large mild red chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
- Pre-Heat your oven to 175c/ Rack Position Middle Shelf.
- Put the 300g sugar, water and 30g cocoa powder into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil. Add the Beluga lentils. Bring back to the boil. Take the pan off the heat. Leave to macerate for 10 minutes. Strain the Beluga lentils through a sieve into a clean saucepan. Leave the lentils to cool. Boil the chocolate syrup until it is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Leave to cool.
- In your microwave or in a bowl over pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate with the butter. Once it has melted, stir until the mixture is smooth. Leave to cool until it is just warm. Do not let the melted chocolate mixture go cold or it will set when you try to mix it.
- Use an electric mixer to whip the the chickpea water until you get stiff peaks that look like egg white meringue or firmly whipped cream. Still whisking, add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, then continue whisking for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is very firm and shiny.
- Sieve the cocoa and flour over the top of the chickpea meringue mixture. Fold together until smooth. Briskly fold this mixture into the just warm chocolate.
- Fold the cooled lentils and diced chilli into the brownies.
- Line your 20cm baking dish with soft plant based-butter, baking paper, more plant-based butter, then cocoa powder. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the brownie mixture into the dish. Flatten the mixture to an even thickness.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes in your pre-heated oven until the centre is just slightly wobbly. Turn off the oven and leave to cool to finish the cooking. You can eat the brownie gooey and hot with spoon, or set it hard in the fridge overnight to cut into squares. Serve with the chocolate syrup.
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