May 25, 2010

I can bake!

So I have never been a recipe person. I either make the same things all the time or I just fly by the seat of my pants, especially when it comes to dinner! As you know, with my job, I focus A LOT on yeast free eating and the benefits of following a yeast free diet. Therefore, I get A LOT of requests for sweets! Now, I can't take full credit for my new ability to bake...I actually owe most of it (well, all of it) to someone I have never met. Her name is Lauren and she is the author of a blog called "Healthy Indulgences". You can find her blog at and she is freaking amazing! After looking over her mouth-watering, healthy desserts I decided to give in to the recipe God's and make one!

I chose the Healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake. I was a little scared at first, you see, as I am the person who buys the cookie dough that you simply break off and throw in the oven. I have never made anything from scratch...until NOW!

Here are the ingredients (straight from Lauren's blog):

Healthy Flourless Chocolate 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
6 tablespoons unsalted organic butter OR extra virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup erythritol plus 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia extract OR 1/4-1/3 cup honey plus 1 teaspoon stevia OR 1 cup Splenda
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon water (omit if using honey)

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 with sweetener (erythritol or 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 water (if using), 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 350 degrees 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 (I use an overturned plastic chip bowl). 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.

Healthy Chocolate Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted organic butter, softened, OR 7 tablespoons nonhydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon erythritol, powdered, OR 1/4 cup xylitol, powdered
5-6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons half and half OR coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Good-tasting pure stevia extract, to taste

Optional addition for a glossy finish:
1 fresh organic egg yolk

Cream the butter in a small bowl until fluffy. Powder erythritol or xylitol in a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet for a minute or two, until extremely fine in texture (reminiscent of powdered sugar). Let sweetener settle in grinder before opening the top. Stir powdered sweetener into butter with a spatula, then beat until smooth. Slowly blend in the cocoa powder (unless you want to redecorate your kitchen), vanilla, and sea salt. Beat in the half and half and egg yolk, if using. Add stevia, starting with 1/16 teaspoon. You'll probably use less than 1/4 teaspoon. Just keep tasting and adjust sweetness to your liking.

The finished product looks like this-just like any other chocolate cake!

(Ok-so I ate a piece before I even got to take the picture...I was excited!)

I know you are probably wondering how good a cake made out of black beans can taste....I did too. Until I put the first bite in my mouth. OMG. There is not the slightest bit of bean taste's unbelieveable and extremely moist! I am not a HUGE fan of the icing because I used Stevia as the sweetener, which has a little bit of an after taste, but to be yeast free, sugar free, and flour free, it's pretty darn good! Next time, I plan on using xylitol to sweeten the icing so hopefully that will be the icing on the cake (HA!-get it?!)

I brought the cake to work for the official taste test and let's just say the girls devoured it! Even Daisy, our "I-make-everything-from-scratch-and-it's-amazing" girl said (I quote) "I love it!" As you can see below, it's only halfway through the work day and the cake is more than halfway eaten. (I took the piece from the middle...I'm that girl...)

So there. I can bake! And I didn't mess up one bit of it! Thank you, Lauren from Healthy Indulgences whom I have never met, for giving me the confidence to bake something from scratch. I love the fact that I can spread the wealth (and health) to our patients and I too, can enjoy chocolate cake without the guilt!

Putting on my apron,


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