• Tapping into the global trend of taking on a more plant-based lifestyle, we give you the green light to add more of Mother Nature to your plate. These black-bean brownies with peanut-butter icing are as tasty as they are wholesome. In fact, they’re so good, they’ll make eco-warriors out of even the hardiest of carnivores!

    Recipe by Claire Ferrandi and Dashania Murugas
    Styling by Claire Ferrandi
    Photograph by Dylan Swart

    Black-bean brownies with peanut-butter icing

    Serves: 9
    Cooking Time: 1 hr



    • 2 tbsp golden linseed flour (find at woolworths.co.za)
    • 125ml (½ cup) water
    • 1 x 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 100g maple syrup
    • 50g castor sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • pinch salt
    • 70g cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 2 tbsp canola oil
    • ICING

    • 3 tbsp maple syrup
    • 60ml (¼ cup) water
    • 300g smooth peanut butter
    • pinch salt
    • vegan dark chocolate, to top (optional)
    • vegan chocolate clusters, to top (optional)



    For the brownies, preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease the base and sides of a 20cm-square cake tin. Cut a rectangle of baking paper large enough to line the base and 2 of the sides, leaving some overhang (the overhang will help you to lift the brownies out of the tin once they’re baked).


    Place the golden linseed flour and 125ml (½ cup) water in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Set aside until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.


    Place the black beans, 100g maple syrup, castor sugar, vanilla extract, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and canola oil in a blender and blitz until smooth. Add the linseed-water mixture and blitz again until smooth.


    Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin and smooth the top using the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven until set, 30 – 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool in the tin.


    For the icing, place the 3 tbsp maple syrup and 60ml (¼ cup) water, along with the remaining ingredients, in a medium bowl. Mix until combined and smooth.


    Remove the brownie from the tin and cut the slab into 9 equal-sized squares. Top each square with a dollop of icing, as well as a few pieces of vegan dark chocolate and chocolate clusters, if desired.