Daring Bakers: Hidden in Plain Sight

My initial feelings about this challenge can best be described as nonplussed. The challenge goal was to hide veggies in baked products. I’ve never been a fan–to me such behavior implies that it’s ok to be ashamed of openly serving vegetables and that picky eating is acceptable. No way. Eat your vegetables and be proud of it! Of course, I say this as a non-mother who doesn’t have to actually worry about getting small ones to consume a balanced diet.
My second raised eyebrow came on the brownie recipe option offered by the challenge host, the hidden “vegetable” being kidney beans. I don’t consider beans a vegetable, and I’d actually just had a debate earlier in the day with some fellow nutrition students as to whether it was appropriate to categorize pulses as vegetables in an epidemiological study. (The consensus, in case you care, was categorization would depend on the proposed mechanism of action hypothesized for vegetables; it would be a different story if you were investigating, say, micronutrients or fiber. Yeah, we’re nerds.) Anyway, I decided if I was going to stick beans in my brownies there had better be a good reason, and since the recipe already had a low flour content I decided to transform it to gluten-free. (I have several friends who won’t touch gluten.) I also halved it in case I didn’t like the result. So:

DSC02118Bean “Brownies”
8 oz (1/2 can) kidney beans
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice flour (if you don’t care about gluten, you can use regular flour)
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Puree the beans, then mix all ingredients and pour into a 8×8 pan. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Verdict: In my opinion, these still taste distinctly like kidney beans. Not unpleasant, just distinct.

As a result of low enthusiasm for the first round, I decided to make another batch playing with the ingredients a bit more and spicing it up to get rid of the kidney bean taste. This also got rid of the other half a can of beans.

DSC02117Chocolate Bean “Gingerbread”
8 oz (1/2 can) kidney beans
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup rice flour (if you don’t care about gluten, you can use regular flour)
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash cinnamon
pinch of cayenne
chocolate chips and walnut pieces to sprinkle

Heat oven to 350. Puree the beans, then mix all ingredients except chips and walnuts and pour into a 8×8 pan. Sprinkle chips/walnuts on top. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Verdict: The molasses, cinnamon and cayenne covered up the beans a lot better than the first recipe had, but gave the dessert a distinctly gingerbready flavor. I think next time around I’ll try throwing in some actual ginger and see how that goes. The best addition was the chips, which kept the focus right where it belonged: chocolate chocolate chocolate!

Blog-checking lines: Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Food and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s