Today’s question is: Who knew you could make a fabulous cake with some unconventional ingredients?
Background: it’s been 4 years since we stopped eating wheat and I’ve grown as a cook and a baker since then. I have become quite adept at changing recipes to meet my needs. A few years ago a friend came for dinner and made a scrumptious flourless chocolate cake for us. I have to admit that I am not normally a lover of pure chocolate things, especially not cake. I find it all just a little too much for me, too much chocolate. Well, this cake was different, it was a light version of all the chocolate cakes I’ve ever had and much lighter than any flourless cake I’ve ever had. I asked her how she made it and she informed me that the main ingredient was chickpeas, as in garbanzo beans. Wow, I never would have guessed. I liked it so much I asked her for the recipe, which she sent me and I promptly lost. Such is life.
Well, thank goodness I am capable of finding recipes on line. It does require a considerable amount of patience wading through many recipes that simply won’t fit the bill but when you stumble on the right one, it’s like hitting the jack pot. I found a recipe with no flour and chickpeas as the main ingredient. The thing is, I had been growing increasingly unable to tolerate cooked (and ground?) chickpeas. I feel unwell for hours after eating them, this prompted me to change the recipe. I decided on black beans instead and it worked. The end result is a fabulous, light, and delightful cake. You would never guess that it has beans in it.
Black Bean Flourless Chocolate Cake
adapted from The San Diego Union-Tribune, Cook it Light, Jeanne Jones
1 can (14-15oz) Black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
2 teaspoons vanilla (nice quality)
1 cup grade b pure maple syrup (or 1 1/2 cup sugar)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar or maple sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the inside of a 9-inch round cake pan with a nonfat cooking spray. Cut a parchment-paper circle large enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Place the circle in the pan and spray the paper with nonfat cooking spray. Set the pan aside.
Place the black beans, eggs and vanilla extract in the bowl of a food processor with a steel chopping blade (I simply use an immersion blender, but I realize this is probably not too common, it’s easy though). Process until completely blended and the beans are finely pureed. Add the maple syrup and blend, if using.
In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined and the cocoa is well-mixed with the sugar, if using. Be sure that no lumps of cocoa or other ingredients remain. Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and process for about a minute, or until completely blended.
Pour the cake batter into the sprayed and lined cake pan, and bake int he preheated oven for about 50-55 minutes (40 if convection) or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Carefully remove the paper from the top of the cake and allow the cake to coo completely. Dust with the powdered sugar or maple sugar, if desired.
Enjoy every minute of this unusual, delectable and flourless cake.