Never. Not in a million years. I’ve seen all of those Brownie recipes floating around the internet. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that feature beans. Black beans, to be sure. Lots of bloggers have made and sang their praises. Not me. I wasn’t going near a brownie recipe that contained beans. Come on, you gotta be kidding?! Beans in a dessert recipe? Beans and chocolate? Married? Couldn’t possibly be true.
Until this afternoon, that is. Today marked a new chapter in my willingness to look at beans as baking contendors! Though today my bean of choice was not the black bean, despite the fact that I am partial to them whenever corn or flour tortillas are on my menu. But no, the beans I’m talking about are simple, uncomplicated chickpeas. Yes, chickpeas. And I’m not even talking about brownies. I’m talking decadent-as-decadent-can-get Chocolate Fudge Truffle Cake. Yup, the little round beany nuggets marched right in and knocked me over with a feather. The damn cake tastes like fudge. Pure, unadulterated fudge. Wait! Don’t run. Don’t panic. Don’t judge. Read on.
I’ve looked high and low for a fudgy chocolate dessert that was gluten free, egg free, and dairy free. A tall order, to be sure. And then I discovered My New Roots, a lovely blog written by Sarah Britton. Her Chocolate Fudge Cake with a Secret recipe intrigued me. That is, until I considered one of the ingredients. Chickpeas. I could hardly believe my eyes. But after reading Sara’s description, I knew I had to give her cake a run. And I’m glad I did. It will be staple in my dessert repertoire from here on. First, because it’s delicious. Second, because it will allow me to indulge while maintaining a lower fat way of eating. SH! Don’t tell anyone. They won’t believe you.
Chocolate Fudge Truffle Cake
adapted from My New Roots blog Chocolate Fudge Cake with a Secret
8 oz. dark chocolate, melted, preferably organic
3 tbsp organic cocoa powder, preferably organic (I used cacao powder)
1 1/3 c. garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. applesauce, unsweetened
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 large date, pitted
1 tsp Grand Marnier, optional
1/4 c. hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan.
Melt chocolate either in microwave or in a pan that is set over a pan of gently boiling water.
In a blender, mix the cocao powder, garbanzo beans, applesauce, maple syrup, baking powder, date, Grand Marnier, and hot water until thoroughly blended and smooth. Add the melted chocolate and blend until incorporated.
Pour into your prepared baking pan and bake for one hour. The original recipe called for baking it for 35 – 50 minutes. I tested it at 45 minutes and it was still pretty wiggly. I preferred giving it another 15 minutes, which I did in five minute increments. And even after an hour, the cake tester still came out a bit wet. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Once the cake reaches room temperature, cover with foil and place in freezer until frozen.
To serve, remove from freezer and allow to sit on counter for about 10 minutes. Then slice and serve either with a sprinkling of confectionary sugar or strawberry sauce. Or both:). For the strawberry sauce, blend a bunch of strawberries in a blender with sweetener of choice and fresh squeezed lemon juice, if desired add some Grand Marnier.
By the way, I tasted the cake when it came to room temperature, before putting it in the freezer. Um, well, it was ok, but not what I’d hoped for. But I covered it with foil and put it in the freezer for a few hours. And then I waited. And I waited. And when I could wait no longer, after about two hours, I ran to the freezer, pulled out the cake, fork in hand, and dug in. The cake was transformed, magically. But I don’t think it really needs more than about 10 minutes at room temperature before you dig into it.