Yesterday we had some friends over for a dinner on the patio and we opted for a fun mexican night. Loreto made veggie quesadillas, guacamole, shrimp tacos and a fresh mexican salad made of tomatoes, peppers, bbq corn, onions and mixed beans. Other than helping him by making the oven roasted vegetables for the quesadillas, my task was to make a dessert. Considered the theme of the night, I decided to bake a Black bean Cake with a Strawberry Compote.
I found out that baking with beans is absolutely fantastic: healthy and yummy at the same time! How can that be, you might be wondering... but it is. Health and flavor can go hand in hand. (Oh, did I mention that this black bean cake has honey instead of refined white sugar?). Loreto made amazing Whole Wheat White Bean Pancakes lately, thanks to a cookbook that is now in our possession: "Spilling the beans", and now I am using black beans for a cake. We're definitely on the same page, aren't we? 🙂
This Black Bean Cake is very easy and quick to make.
It needs few hours to sit but it may be one of those "last minute, hurry up I need a cake for tonight" kind of situation 😉 . I am using again the coconut oil, I must say that I really love the texture and flavor it gives to my baking sweets. It has been a recent discovery, but I am hanging on to it.
Back to the cake, it is extremely moist and chocolaty that you may wonder where the black beans are...have they disappered? For sure they disappeared in taste. They just helped build the texture and the color. The only thing that I can say is that it is a really low cake, so maybe you could bake 2 (just double the ingredients), put one on top of the other with a nice layer of chocolate or jam in the middle and a frosting on top. You know me, I like simple and not too sweet. So I stopped there and instead made a wonderful juicy compote with some fresh organic local strawberries that we bought at the Farmers' Market.
Fresh strawberries, a dusting of coconut sugar, few drops of fruit juice (any kind). On the stove for few minutes, no straining or puréeing required, and there you have it. Your chunky strawberry compote. Together they taste stupendous.
Hope you try it and let me know how it turns out for you. It is so nice when we share recipes and experiences. I reeeaaally would like to hear your comments. Even a bad comment (or maybe not 🙂 ) . You know what they say... "Nothing is worse than being ignored".
P.s. Due to the fact that we wanted to enjoy the company and give them our undivided attention, we decided to opt out on picture taking for the meal. Too bad, because it was an exceptional meal with wonderful people. I wish there were pictures of our faces while enjoying Loreto's beautiful mexican food 🙂 .
For background music, any cds by Oscar Lopez, a master guitarist, would work.
For the cake:
- 1-15 ounce can of unseasoned black beans
- 5 eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted organic butter OR coconut oil (I used coconut oil)
- ½ cup of honey or other sweetener (I used mango honey)
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon water (omit if using honey)
For the strawberry compote
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons fruit juice (any kind)
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- Spray a 9" cake pan with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray.
- 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, and salt into a blender. Blend on high until beans are completely liquefied. No lumps!
- In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer or with a whisk, beat butter (or coconut oil) with sweetener (sugar or honey) until light and fluffy.
- Add remaining 2 eggs, beating for a minute after each addition.
- Pour bean batter into egg mixture and mix.
- Finally, stir in cocoa powder/baking powder/baking soda mix, and beat the batter on high for 1 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 onto a cooling rack. Let cool until cake reaches room temperature, then cover in plastic wrap.
- For the strawberry compote: in a pan over medium/low heat put chopped strawberries, sugar and juice. Stir until strawberries start to melt and form a chunky jam.
- Serve the cake with the strawberry compote on top.
The batter is runny, not firm. That's why the cake comes out so light and moist.
For best flavor, let cake sit overnight or for few hours.