Rich Chocolate Black Bean Cake

by feastonthecheap on March 13, 2012

Mariel here. I had promised this recipe ages ago, but somehow it slipped off my radar, despite the fact that I’ve made it many, many times.

This dish was first brought to my attention by an editor friend over at Epicurious, who had requested it when I hosted her for dinner one evening. In its original iteration – via Serious Eats – it contained chickpeas, bittersweet chocolate and 4 eggs so the consistency was fairly crumbly (it’s still a touch crumbly, but far less).

In its new form, it boasts semi-sweet chocolate and only two eggs, but a heaping 1/3-cup of peanut butter to help tack everything together without the aid of butter. I also swapped out chickpeas, which I find to be a bit mealy, in favor of silky black beans. Their naturally smoky color intensifies the color of the cake making it all the more appetizing. We eat with our eyes first, after all.

You could indeed enjoy this for breakfast – albeit a decadent breakfast – and it pairs beautifully with a healthy dollop of homemade jam. If you’d rather take it farther in the dessert direction, try topping it with frosting. My favorite way to dig in? With a dusting of confectioner’s sugar and a smattering of fresh berries. It looks sinful, but with all those hearty black beans, it’s not your average sugar bomb.

For another fiber-filled dessert, try these Gooey Zucchini Brownies or Five-Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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Rich Chocolate Black Bean Cake
Serves 6
Inspired by Serious Eats

Butter, flour and cocoa for prepping the loaf pan – stock
5-oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted – $3.00
19-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed – $2.39
2 large eggs – stock
1/3 cup of peanut butter – stock
½ teaspoon vanilla extract – stock
½ cup granulated sugar – stock
½ teaspoon baking powder – stock
¼ teaspoon salt – stock
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $5.39
Cost per serving: $0.90

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (adjust oven rack so there’s one in the middle). Butter a 8.5-inch loaf pan (aka a 1lb loaf pan) then dust with cocoa and flour, tapping out any excess.

2. Melt the chocolate over a double-boiler (or melt in the microwave slowly and in 20 second intervals, stirring each time).

3. Puree the black beans, eggs, vanilla and peanut butter in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth, approximately 1 minute. Add the sugar, baking powder and salt and pulse for 20 seconds.

4. Add the melted chocolate and pulse until combined – this renders a pudding-like batter. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then invert onto a serving platter. Cool completely before dusting with confectioner’s sugar or frosting.