Be my slightly less sweet Valentine this year. This decadent chocolate cake is exactly what you would want to make for a loved one or to finish a romantic meal. Except it isn’t quite as naughty as it seems. This cake is free from refined sugar, sweetened instead with dates and a little maple syrup. There’s no dairy just coconut oil instead of butter and coconut cream for the frosting. And there’s no flour or grains at all, so it’s completely gluten free. There is, however, a surprise ingredient- black beans. I recognise that this sounds a little incongruous, but trust me, it makes for a really moreish, fudgy texture. Anyway, everyone is doing it- it’s the new beetroot as far as chocolate cake baking goes and just as delicious. My apologies for the Roxette pun in the title, I couldn’t resist.
Chocolate Black Bean Cake with Hazelnut Mocha Mousse and Coconut Frosting
Makes 1 cake
You will need:
For the cake:
1 can black beans (400g), drained
2 tbsp very strong coffee
5 fat medjool dates, pitted
3 tbsp maple syrup.
1 tsp vanilla extract
30g raw cocoa powder
75g coconut oil, plus a little extra
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
5 eggs, separated
For the mousse:
150g hazelnuts, covered in cold water and soaked overnight
2 tbsp very strong coffee
1 tbsp raw cocoa
1 tbsp maple syrup
For the frosting:
150 ml coconut cream
1-2 tbsp maple syrup, to taste.
Red fruits like strawberries, raspberries, red currants, pomegranate seeds and figs, to serve
2 tbsp dessicated coconut, to serve.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two 20cm sandwich tins with a little coconut oil. Line with parchment. In a magimix, combine the beans, dates, maple syrup, coffee, vanilla and cocoa. Blitz until completely smooth- it should take a few minutes before the dates have completely dispersed into the mixture.
2. Add the coconut oil and continue blitzing untill the coconut oil has completely dispersed- there should be no white flecks. Add the bicarb, salt and egg yolks and blitz until just combined and transfer to a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Beat a large spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten slightly. In three separate additions, fold in the egg whites until just combined. Divide equally between the two sandwich tins and bake for 20-22 minutes, until firm to the touch with a little spring and a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins.
4. To make the mousse, drain the hazelnuts and place in the magimix with the cocoa powder, coffee and maple syrup. Blitz until broken up and grainy, stopping to clean down the sides from time to time. With the motor running, slowly add 150ml of cold water and continue to blitz until you have a light, fluffy mixture. Set aside.
5. For the coconut frosting, whisk the coconut cream in a small bowl sweetened with a little maple syrup. Refrigerate until needed. Spread the mousse on one of the chocolate cakes, then top with the second. Frost with the coconut cream and decorate with fruit. Finally, dust with a little dessicated coconut.