Healthy substitutions can be a wonderful thing. For example, greek yogurt can stand in for sour cream or even mayonnaise in almost anything and it makes the dish healthier without sacrificing any texture or flavor.
But I am violently opposed to creating an entirely fat-free, sugar-free version of a delicious thing (like cake) out of fat-free cream cheese, fat-free whipped topping, fat-free cake mix, sugar-free instant pudding, etc. Gross. If you're going to eat cake, I think it should have real ingredients and taste good!
So, this recipe has no flour or oil, and uses a surprise ingredient substitution. I wanted to make this not because I don't like flour or oil. Nope. Actually, I wanted to make this because I love super moist, fudgy cakes and the picture that accompanied this recipe made my mouth water.
The secret ingredient is chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), although I'm certain that ANY bean (cannellini or black beans come to mind) would work just as well. I've had black bean brownies that were awesome. It sounds strange but nobody who tastes this cake would ever guess it's made with beans. Bonus: the cake is loaded with fiber and protein!
I served my warm cake with sweetened whipped cream and a ridiculously amazing bottle of red wine that was a Christmas gift. Pretty much nothing wrong with this picture!
Would I make this cake again? Absolutely, but not when I'm craving real chocolate cake. It had a fabulous deep chocolate flavor. But the fudgy moist cake I was searching for this was not. Instead, it had a somewhat unidentifiable texture but outstanding flavor. It was clearly not a traditional chocolate cake. For that, I recommend chocolate lava cakes. However, if you want a great (and healthy) chocolate dessert, give this one a try!
Chocolate Chickpea Cake, adapted from Serious Eats
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
3 oz (1/4 bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees (or 350, but my oven runs hot).
Grease and flour a loaf pan (I used cocoa powder instead of flour).
Melt your chocolate slowly in the microwave or over a double boiler (in a glass bowl over simmering water).
In a food processor, blend your chickpeas, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt and blend again. Then add your melted chocolate. Batter should be thick.
Pour into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
Serve dusted with powdered sugar or with sweetened whipped cream.
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