Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rocco DiSpirito's Red Velvet Chocolate Squares

Red Velvet Chocolate Squares

I guess I'm on a health kick or something. Don't worry, I haven't forsaken sugar and butter and all things naughty and delicious. I decided to try this recipe out of pure curiosity. Curiosity killed the cat, but these should theoretically keep me around longer, so why not?

I'm glad I did try it because these things are awesome. I was slightly skeptical, but I do love little Japanese pastries filled with sweetened adzuki bean so I figured they couldn't be too awful. I did expect them to taste something like health food though. I mean, they have beets and beans in them for cryin' out loud!

I was wrong though - they are nothing like health food. They taste rich and decadent, just like a flourless chocolate cake. In fact, they are good enough that you could bring them to a dinner party as a luscious dessert and laugh silently to yourself as you watch your friends consume something nutritious without their consent! Bahaha! So EVIL! 

When making these I used a high quality cocoa powder which I'm sure helped with the end product tasting so rich and chocolatey, so don't skimp on that if you can help it. I made it exactly as written to see the results, but next time I will just use a couple of eggs instead of the substitute as that is not something I keep in the fridge or particularly care for. Also, don't over bake them - when you insert a toothpick into the center it should still come out with some batter clinging to it. 

Red Velvet Chocolate Squares

Rocco DiSpirito's Red Velvet Chocolate Squares

Makes 12 bars
1/2 cup chopped canned beets, drained
1 cup canned red beans, rinsed well and drained
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup liquid egg substitute
3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp natural red food coloring (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8x8inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Combine the beets, beans, cocoa powder, egg substitute and flour in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the edges of the bowl once halfway through.

3. Add the agave, butter, vanilla, almond extract and food coloring and process until everything is thoroughly combined and smooth, about 1 more minute.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Bake for 28-30 minutes turning the dish once halfway through. (A toothpick should come out with some batter clinging to it) 

5. Let the squares cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Once cooled, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Once they are thoroughly chilled, cut them into squares. Keep refrigerated.

This recipe was featured on SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl and Vitamin G on!


  1. What a pleasant surprise. These were so good! I took a couple of bites and then thought, "Hey, I bet this would be good with some hazelnut coffee". So, I made a pot. What a great afternoon pick me up. When I ever learned what was in it, i couldn't believe it! I still don't believe it!! Everyone should really try these.......

  2. Did you use the natural red food dye in your squares? These look great, I can't wait to make them!

  3. I did add some natural food coloring to mine. They have a slightly red tint on their own without it, but it does make them pop a little more!

  4. Cool! I love trying crazy stuff like this. I just made avocado cream sauce for some pasta. :)

  5. What a yummy recipe idea! Thanks for sharing. I'm the health and fitness blogger for Glamour magazine, and I'll be posting this with links to your site on my blog tomorrow. I'll use one of the above photos and send lots of traffic back your way. Hope that's OK! Thanks much, Sarah

  6. Any suggestions for a gluten free option? I'm new to GF baking so don't know if there's a substitute that would work for the WW pastry flour. They sound delicious though!

  7. These do sound DELICIOUS !!! I have made brownies with black beans before & they turned out so moist and rich. Can not WAIT to try these !! Will pass this link along to my friends too !

  8. Hi, I just recently found your blog and fell in love! I featured this recipe on my Friday Faves post. I don't have a 'featured' button but just wanted to let you know that I love your recipe and I can't wait to make it! Check out my post at

    Have a great weekend!

  9. @Sarah - you might be able to get away without the flour at all, or just substitute it for any other gluten free flour option!

  10. Hi! I'm so excited to try this recipe! I tried black bean brownies awhile back, and they were amazing! I can't wait to try these-- I have no doubts that they are going to be amazing:)

  11. I just baked these, and they are delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Glad you liked them! I need to make another batch soon....!