Brownies – A Rocco DiSpirito Recipe from the FOOD magazine, Issue 3, 2011

After I’ve gone through a magazine, there are always tabs left; paper reminders of recipes that I didn’t have time to get to. They hang around in the recesses of my mind, whispering ‘hello’ once in a while. It’s because of this that I’ve created Turn Back Time Tuesday. It’s a chance to go pull out an old magazine and make one of those recipes that doesn’t deserve to be forgotten. Care to join me?

Ok, I’m embarrassed, but I admit it; I got sucked in by a pretty face. Yes, what you see there is chocolate. Yes, it’s in my little space in this bit of the universe. And yes, I made chocolate on purpose.

It’s all Rocco’s fault. He’s in an old issue of the FOOD magazine. I’d never heard of it before I saw the one I have and haven’t seen it since, but it had Wolfgang Puck on the cover and Rocco inside, so I bought it. Turn Back Time Tuesday seemed like the perfect time to dust off the cover and see what was inside.

There were several amazing looking recipes I could have chosen, but, well, if you had the opportunity to work in the kitchen with Rocco staring at you the whole time, wouldn’t you pick a page that had him on the opposite side? It made sense to me too.

Yes, I definitely realized that there were black beans in the brownies. I thought it was a pretty cool idea and I was interested to see if I’d be able to get a square past Dudette without her knowing something was different. We’ll see how that goes.

For someone who reads over a recipe several times before diving into it, you’d think I’d have noticed that there were a few things that are ‘normal’ brownie ingredients missing from this.  See; Rocco’s fault. It should be illegal for food magazines to put that kind of distraction within their pages, at least right next to the recipes.

The Process

All you’re going to need for this is a food processor. Isn’t that fantastic? No blender blades to clean, no bowls but the one. Heaven from the start.

If you’re not distracted by Rocco, you’ll notice that there is no flour in here. None. There isn’t any baking powder or sugar. No salt.  But yes, these are brownies. In fact, and I think I may have made a gluten- and sugar-free dessert. Did I?

It was totally Rocco’s fault.

If you want these to have any moisture in them, I recommend baking them less than the 28-minute bottom-line time. Start checking at 25 minutes. Definitely cool them in the pan all the way. Then refrigerate them. Only then, taste them. It helps.

The Verdict

These are very, very high in chocolate flavor. Because of that, I have to remove myself from any kind of taste review. As far as texture goes, the brownies definitely don’t have the normal chewiness that you’d expect. The recipe says that they have a fudgy texture, which is more accurate a description, though mine were a very crumbly, more like the Greek halva, definitely not fudgy-gooey.

If you are diabetic or just need to cut gluten and sugar out of your diet and you love chocolate, this might be the recipe for you.  Not only are you getting your chocolate fix, you can feel good about the amount of fiber you’re consuming as well. But for our family, there wasn’t much positive to say about them.

Oh, and Dudette? Not a fan. Again, her comments have been censored for the sake of the reading audience.

What I’d Do Different Next Time

I wouldn’t even know how to begin to alter a recipe like this so I’ll let those with better understanding of the gluten-free diet fill in. Anyone have any advice on what to do different?

Brownies - A Rocco DiSpirito Recipe from the FOOD magazine, Issue 3, 2011
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is from the FOOD magazine.
Recipe type: Bar Cookie
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1½ cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • ¼ cup egg substitute
  • 2 tablespoons low-calorie sugar-free chocolate syrup, such as Walden Farms
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream, such as Breakstone's
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 24 packets Truvia or 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8x8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the beans, cocoa powder, espresso powder and egg substitute in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl halfway through.
  3. Add the chocolate syrup, sour cream, butter, Truvia and vanilla. Process until all of the ingredients are combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 28-30 minutes, turning the dish halfway through the baking time. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with soft batter clinging to it.
  5. Let the brownies cool completely in the baking dish on a wire rack. Then cut into 12 squares and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.