Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Secret Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake made without flour, sugar, or dairy. Low carb and gluten-free, of course. Cake made out of a surprise ingredient, one that will make you wrinkle you're nose upon hearing it. This cake is good. So good.

You know those feelings that come over you when you play around a bit with a recipe, adding a pinch of this and a tablespoon of that? The nervousness as you put the batter in the oven, the fiddling around with the baking time, the checking and rechecking for doneness? The anticipation as you're cutting the cake, hoping upon hope that's it's not too dry, too mushy, too crumbly?

It's always a roller coaster of emotion... this time, with a very sweet ending. Why was this particular culinary journey so nerve-wracking?

The cake is made out of black beans. Beans, seriously!

I love beans but even if you're the fiercest of bean haters, you'll fall head over heels for this moist chocolate cake. I think you will agree with me after you give it a try!

Note: I cut 1 single layer in half, width-wise, and stacked the semicircular halves on top of one another to achieve the 2 layer cake shown here. Just double the recipe to make a whole 2 layer cake. ;)

Makes a 9" one layer cake

1-15 ounce can of unseasoned black beans
OR 1 1/2 cup cooked beans, any color
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey + 1 teaspoon pure stevia extract
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mint Chocolate variation:
2 teaspoons mint extract (in place of 2 teaspoons vanilla)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9" cake pan with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray, or just grease it with a thin layer of butter. Dust cocoa all over the inside of the pan, tapping to evenly distribute. Cut a round of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pan, then spray the parchment lightly.

Drain and rinse beans in a strainer or colander. Shake off excess water. Place beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla, stevia (if using) and salt into blender. Blend on high until beans are completely liquefied. No lumps! Whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat butter and applesauce with honey until light and fluffy. Add remaining two eggs, beating for a minute after each addition. Pour bean batter into egg mixture and mix. Finally, stir in cocoa powder, and beat the batter on high for one minute, until smooth. Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top. Grip pan firmly by the edges and rap it on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cake is done with the top is rounded and firm to the touch. After 10 minutes, turn out cake from pan, and flip over again on to a cooling rack. Let cool until cake reaches room temperature, then cover in plastic wrap or with cake dome. For BEST flavor, let cake sit over night. I promise this cake will not have a hint of beaniness after letting it sit for eight hours! If you are stacking this cake, level the top with a long serrated knife, shaving off layers until it is flat and even. Frost immediately before serving.

Greek Yogurt Frosting Recipe

1 C Greek yogurt (I used AE Plain, but more expensive brands may work better)
A good splash of vanilla extract
1/2 C powered sugar, sifted

Whisk all ingredients until they become a bit thick.
Place in the fridge to thicken even more (at least 30 minutes).
Spread on cake.

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