Do you love surprises? Surprises can be great. I love to surprise people. Which is interesting because I don’t think I like being surprised, I prefer to know what’s going on. (Perhaps there’s an underlying issue with control there…)
One way I’m constantly surprising people is by putting vegetables into yummy desserts! It’s fun to see someone’s expectations totally thrown off, they see the chocolatey delight sitting on the counter, take a bite and when I tell them they are made from some sort of healthy base there is disbelief and sensory confusion (vegetables + sugar = ??). What better surprise is there than learning that eating dessert can help you meet your vegetable daily requirement!
There are a lot of surprises in the kitchen – and many of them are bad surprises. You can work really hard on a recipe researching various weird ingredients and trying out new appliances and the finished product looks like a delicious pan of brownies, but then you try it and it just tastes bad. It makes you frustrated and sad because you just spent the afternoon creating and gently mixing the batter, after spending money on quality ingredients hoping that it would come out well, and even though it seemed like you followed all the right steps for a successful finished product it just didn’t work. And then you think about all the other things you could have done with your afternoon now that you’ve wasted your creativity, time, ingredients, and effort on these bland brownies that are definitely not blog-worthy!
It’s frustrating and annoying when hard work doesn’t pay off because it makes you question all those aphorisms ingrained into your brain from school “practice makes perfect”, “there is no substitute for hard work”, “all roads that lead to success pass through hard work boulevard”, and then I start to wonder about the people who create motivational posters and how successful that was as a sustainable business idea.
Failed recipes are just a bummer, they deprive you of motivation and make you question why you bother to make recipes at all! It’s a form of rejection from the kitchen for your sub par baking skills and you get stuck in a rut of not making tasty treats when they don’t turn out delicious all of the time.
Often it’s the most complicated recipes you spend the most time on that don’t work and the worst part is there are so many steps to them that you don’t know at which point you made the error. The mere thought of trying it again is exhausting! You can’t help but re-read all the steps, and do an overly careful analysis to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Not to mention you have to take photos before cutting into a cake or pie so the time spent on the photo shoot is often wasted if it doesn’t taste good, or if the photos didn’t come out well!
It’s for this reason there is so much appeal to create ‘one bowl’ and ‘blender’ recipes that take less than 10 minutes to do before popping in the oven. The less effort you have to put into it the better you feel if it doesn’t work out well. I suppose it’s the classic risk-reward trade-off.
I have worked on recipes that take almost a whole day to create (including time chilling, baking, and ‘resting’) that are so tasty that it’s worth the effort to me. But I have definitely spent just as much time on an all-day recipe that comes out tasting just okay, and I know it needs more work before publishing.
Food blogs are digital portfolios of successful recipes and photos. What many food bloggers don’t discuss is the amount of failed recipes they have to make before creating the post-worthy one. It is truly following a passion to pursue something that has such a low rate of success. The feeling when it works out and you are able to successfully surprise someone with a vegetable-infused treat is worth it!
Chocolate Black Bean Truffles (Gluten-Free)
A gluten-free decadent chocolate truffle made from a base of black beans, cocoa powder, and chocolate for a truly fudgey treat.
- 1 15 oz Can Black Beans rinsed and drained
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
- 2 tsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tbsp Coconut Sugar
- 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 cup Chocolate (for melting)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper (or grease the pan if you don't have parchment paper)
Rinse and drain can of black beans, add to blender or food processor.
Add maple syrup, oil, and vanilla and blend/process for about 60 seconds until well combined.
Add eggs and blend again about 30 seconds until well incorporated and very few black flecks from the beans remain.
Add dry ingredients (baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, coconut sugar) and blend again for about 20 seconds until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan scraping the batter from the blender/processor, add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and gently mix in with a wooden spoon.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, removing them when the center appears firm and the edges aren't burnt. You don't want gooey brownies for this so keep them in longer if you're unsure if they're done.
Remove from oven and let cool about 15-20 minutes.
Once cooled, using a melon scooper or a small spoon, scoop out balls of brownie and roll into a ball about the size of a fresh cherry and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Once all the balls have been formed, freeze them for about 15 mins until hardened and cold.
Melt chocolate of your choice in the microwave or using a double boiler (I used dark but you can use milk or white if you prefer), and dip each ball into the chocolate just long enough to coat it in chocolate and return to the baking sheet.
Once all the balls have been dipped in chocolate, sprinkle with a garnish of your choice (I used Himalayan salt, you could use crystallized ginger or orange, sprinkles, a small edible flower, etc) and freeze again for about 10 minutes or until visibly hardened. Enjoy!!
This recipe was inspired by fellow blogger Sarah over at LiveEatLearn who also has lots of tasty healthy recipes! I used her black bean brownie recipe as inspiration for the base of the truffles.