Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me: A Grainless Wonder Cake

Today is my birthday. Chuck's was last week. We've already had too much of a good thing, and while I'd much prefer no cake at all, He-Who-Bakes won't even listen. So when he asked what I wanted for a birthday cake, I told him a no-grain, no-sugar, nothing-artificial cake. While he was still gaping at me, I sent him this link, to a beautifully written and researched blog. It's called "Healthy Indulgences" and Lauren has a cake recipe on it that I promise, no one will know is gluten free, grain free, and not sweetened with sugar, or chemical sweeteners. 

Sweet man that he is, he gathered together all the ingredients at Whole Foods on Sunday and made it. Considering he's a traditionalist when it comes to cake, I don't think he was prepared to find that a cake recipe that includes black beans, erythritol, and stevia, besides the usual eggs and butter produces a real, honest-to-goodness cake, that's moist, delicious and tender. 
Yes, cake, no grain, no sugar, no fake stuff!
We've already dug in, even though it's a bit ahead of time. Couldn't resist. Moist, chocolatey perfection. The cake is wonderful, even unfrosted. Tonight, it'll have whipped cream on top, and a candle, too, with a stevia sweetened raspberry coulis below on the plate.

The really nice part is that this is a gluten free cake, so good you can serve to anyone, with no apologies and it's not full of weird vegetable gums and odd things ground into flour. It's all stuff you probably have in your kitchen already. The erythritol is easy to find at any natural foods store and in some supermarkets with the sugar-free products. It's a natural sugar alcohol, that will not cause digestive upsets like other sugar alcohols.

As I get older, I am less willing to sacrifice my health just because it's a holiday or birthday. Especially when there are too many events too close together. And everyone in this family is a great baker. Luckily, Lauren to the rescue. This cake makes it easy, it just tastes sinful, but isn't. Try it.

Happy Birthday to me!
Rich, moist, chocolatey, just MY perfect Birthday Cake!
Thank you, Chuck! Love you...
Healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Healthy Indulgences who--

Adapted from a recipe at LowCarbFriends

Makes a 9" one layer 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 unrefined coconut oil
3/4 cup erythritol + 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia extract
OR 1/2 cup honey + 1 teaspoon pure stevia extract
or 3/4 
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon water (omit if using honey)

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 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