There's some kind of kitchen wizardry that happens when chick peas meet cocoa powder; here's how to find out in five minutes flat.
I felt conflicted, it's true. I bemoan social media trends in which stalwart recipes get makeovers that make the once said reliable dish unrecognizable in the name of fads. (Exhibit A: Internet proves the perils of messing with mac & cheese.) Initially, I cringed to see "brownie batter hummus" and its band of chocolatey chickpea cousins popping up on food blogs. But then I thought, oh wait, I've already been there, kind of. I make black bean brownies and white bean blondies – I'm guilty of my own annoyances.
So then I found myself staring at a bowl of leftover chickpeas, and before I knew it, I was mushing them up with cocoa powder and maple syrup. (I had browsed recipes; this one from Don't Waste the Crumbs resonated.) I was not expecting to like it; no way could the alchemy of the aforementioned black bean brownies translate to something so simple. I was wrong. This stuff is a miracle. The chickpeas add body and texture and do not compete in flavor with the other ingredients, which add depth and happiness. I literally uttered all kinds of happy surprise sounds to myself.
How to make it
- 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15 ounce can, drained and rinsed well)
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I swear by Equal Exchange Organic Baking Cocoa)
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 tablespoons water
Put it all in a food processor; mix until smooth. You could also try a blender or even mashing by hand, though it may be a tad chunkier. (I used my NutriBullet, which requires a little more liquid for a super smooth texture; you can see in the photo above that it is a little rough, but no less delicious.) If you have used sodium-free chickpeas, adding a pinch of salt will help balance the flavors. And adjust water until you get the texture you like.
Serve with fruit, biscotti, in a tortilla, with chips or pretzels for the salty-sweet adventure, with rice pudding, oatmeal, in a smoothie, et cetera ... or just eat it directly with a spoon. (Which is maybe what I did.)
VariationsThough maple syrup is delicious, you could try different sweeteners; I'll try dates at some point. Add hazelnuts for a more Nutella-ish experience. Sneak in avocado (which also plays nicely with chocolate) to make it creamier. Swirl in some chunky peanut butter to boost texture and salty goodness. Cinnamon and cayenne would be delicious. Chopped dried cherries might suit the Black Forest Cake lover. Add espresso powder for even more depth. Use your imagination.
NutritionIn the end, the recipe above yielded about 2 1/2 cups, which equals 40 tablespoons, which I thought was a good way to present the nutrition information. (Sodium may be higher if you use canned chickpeas.)
One tablespoon: Calories 19; Carbs 4; Fat 0; Protein 1; Sodium 1; Sugar 2. Or, the complete picture: