I may have had unrealistically high expectations for my chocolate pound cake, but I certainly did not for this one. Gluten free? Dairy free? Sugar free? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Please. No.
But here’s the thing. With the holidays and all the excess of candy and cookies and sugarsugarfatfatsugar in my
face kitchen life, I needed a break. When you make yourself some scrambled eggs with cheese and avocado for lunch and your body almost doesn’t know how to handle all that protein because it’s been on insulin overproduction for like a week straight, it’s maybe time to rethink that last dozen Hershey kisses you just scarfed. You know what I mean. We’ve all been there.
Anyway, in the interest of self-preservation while still meeting my baking goal (I’m so close you guys!), I tried this recipe. I was skeptical–it’s made of beans, for heaven’s sake–and definitely concerned by the ingredients’ refusal to fully incorporate, but I gave it a shot.
People. I am not the kind of girl who would lie to you about baked goods. Bad food is bad food and there’s no sense in pretending otherwise. But this cake? I actually like it. Really. What’s more, Mila LOVES it. When I gave her a piece she was all, “Mmmm! Mmmm. Mmmmmmmmm…” a la Bob Wiley and it was hilarious.
This is not as sweet as your standard flour-butter-sugar cake would be, obviously. But it’s sweet enough to hit the spot at three in the afternoon when you just need a little something to tide you over till dinner. It’s so moist that when I covered it with plastic wrap there were beads of condensate when I unwrapped it again. After that it sat on our counter uncovered for nearly a week–in the desert, in the winter, when everyone’s hands are all kinds of cracked and dry–and was just as moist when we finally polished it off as when I first made it. It’s crazy.
For my gluten-free peeps out there: you should definitely give this a try. For my sugar-free peeps: you should also give this a try. For my dairy-free peeps: I genuinely don’t know how you live without eating cheese and ice cream, but it’s your life so whatevs. Also, give this a try.
And for everyone else who doesn’t actively avoid any of those things but could use a treat that is a little bit kind of good for you: give this a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. I sure was.
Gluten-free Chocolate Cake
adapted slightly from Healthy Indulgences
One 15 ounce can unseasoned black beans, drained and rinsed well
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9″ cake pan with cooking spray or butter. Cut a round of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pan, then grease the parchment lightly. Dust cocoa all over the inside of the pan, tapping to evenly distribute.
Place beans, three of the eggs, vanilla, and salt into 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 a large bowl, use a mixer to cream the butter and honey until light and fluffy. Mix in the two remaining eggs, beating for a minute after each addition. Beat the bean mixture the rest of the batter. Finally, stir in cocoa powder and beat the batter on high for one minute, until smooth. (You really should stir it first, then beat it. Otherwise you’ll end up with a dusting of cocoa powder all over your kitchen. I know because it happened to a friend. Ahem.)
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 the cake for 40-45 minutes. Cake is done when the top springs back when you press on it. Remove cake to a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out cake from pan, and flip over again onto cooling rack. Cool completely, then dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving.
If you are avoiding dairy, the original recipe indicates that you can sub coconut oil for butter. I didn’t try that (my coconut oil lives in the bathroom and I just like butter better for eating purposes) but I’m guessing it would be pretty tasty.
If you are avoiding sugar, you’ll want to skip the dusting of powdered sugar at the end. Obviously.
If you are avoiding gluten, check your powdered sugar for additives (not all powdered sugar is GF) or just skip it altogether.