People always said, “Oh yeah, once you are in college, you will miss having a home cooked meal every night.” And the true meaning of this statement never sank in until I was actually in college. I have eaten cafeteria food for a little less than a month, and I cannot wait to go home and eat my parents cooking. Not that our cafeteria food is bad, it just isn’t the food I’m used to. For all my UC school friends that still have another three weeks of summer, savor every bite of home cooked food. Appreciate it in its entirety. You will miss it.
I was assigned to live in a room with three other girls. I was very unsure of how it was going to turn out because living in a cramped space with complete strangers for nine months could go many ways. Then, the week before I left to go to school, one of my roommates emailed us and informed us that she toured the room and we have a full kitchen and bath in our room. Um, excuse me? What? How is this possible? As it turns out, we were randomly assigned to the Resident Director’s apartment that was converted into a student dorm. We basically won the entire housing lottery. It has been such a blessing to have a kitchen and be able to make my own food once in a while. The truth is that I wish I could make every meal for myself and not even have a meal plan. But alas, since I’m living on campus, I must have a meal plan and I should use it or it would be a huge waste of money.
Anyway, I have made eggs, chocolate chip banana pancakes, two batches of chocolate chip cookies, toast, and as of an hour ago, black bean vegan brownies. I even sent some cookies home to my mom and sister, because my sister made a comment over the phone that she and my mom were down to their last homemade cookie after sending me so many in a care package and how it was too hot to even think of turning on the oven to make more. So I sent them some dorm-made cookies because I wanted to repay the care package favor. Because really, no one should be without homemade cookies for too long, especially after school has just started. That cookie in your lunch very well could be the highlight of your day some days. (Sadly, this is the case once or twice in life; you have bad days that require a cookie to make it better.) I learned to check with the person who ships your package as to how long it will take for it to arrive, because once they got back home, they were a little crumbly and drier than expected. It’s the thought that counts, right?
Anyway, tonight I made plans with a friend(yes, I made a friend. Can you believe it?) to try out this new vegan recipe I found on Buzzfeed. We had no idea how it was going to turn out, but after being sick all weekend and therefore doing nothing but homework and sleeping, I had a little free time tonight to try it out.
The verdict is that they are super fudgy, rich, and dense, and completely and unexpectedly good. When I heard they had black beans in them I was a skeptic, but these are definitely brownies I would make again.
Here is the recipe that I got from Farmgirl Gourmet, and then tweaked to fit the ingredients I had in my dorm:
Dark Chocolate Vegan Brownies
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and filled with new water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I used regular unsweetened cocoa powder, because it was cheaper)
4 tsp instant coffee powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of water (the original recipe calls for Guinness beer, but seeing as I am underage, that wasn’t going to happen)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (or nuts, if you so desire)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drain the can of black beans into a colander, rinse the can clean and the beans until all bean juice is gone. Pour the cleaned beans back in the can and fill the can back up to the top with fresh water.
- Puree the beans and water in the blender and set it aside.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and instant coffee powder. Mix together. Make a well in the center to pour your liquids into.
- Pour bean purée, water, and vanilla into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix together, being careful not to overmix.
- Stir in chocolate chips or nuts and pour into a greased 9 by 13 pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes and rotate the pan halfway through.
- Let cool and enjoy! :)
Note: Depending on whether you like coffee or not, I would adjust the amount of instant coffee powder. The four teaspoons definitely makes it so you can taste the coffee-ness but not in a bad way. I don’t drink or enjoy coffee, but I loved the extra layer of flavor it gave the brownies and it complimented the chocolate very nicely(as expected). Also, I haven’t tried it with beer yet, but I am curious as to how it tastes, so when I get home I will be trying it again, this time with the beer. Lastly, I am not vegan, so I didn’t worry about using butter to grease the pan, so if you are vegan use canola oil or cooking spray.
PS Don’t worry, I promise I have made more than one friend. I mean, who doesn’t want a friend who will bake them yummy goodies all the time? :)