Saturday, January 2, 2010

Flourless Chocolate Cake/Cupcakes

This rich, fudgy, amazing cake is so easy to make, I can whip it up on a weeknight. It's already gluten free and dairy free, but I wanted to try an egg-free version for vegan friends. The eggless version sunk in the middle, and that recipe could use some further tweaking, but it was delicious nonetheless, and the dent made a great holder for extra frosting :).

Chocolate Can o' Cake
(Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free)

1 can (15 ounce) garbanzo or black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
3 eggs*
dash xanthan gum (optional - it's fine without, but a little crumblier)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant coffee
1/3 tsp baking powder (i.e. a heaping 1/4 tsp)

*Vegan option: substitute 1 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer whisked into 1/4 cup cold coffee or water and 1/4 cup silken tofu.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Rinse and drain beans. Prepare your baking vessel - a greased & sprinkled (with GF flour or cocoa powder) cake pan or 10 cupcake liners

2. Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl. Nuke on medium for 90 seconds, stir, then continue in 20-second intervals until melted.

3. Meanwhile, blitz beans, eggs (or replacer), and xanthan (if using) in food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides halfway through. Add remaining ingredients, except chocolate, and blend to mix. Finally, add chocolate and blitz, scraping down the sides once or twice to ensure everything is evenly mixed.

4. Pour promptly into your cake pan or cupcake liners - as the mixture sits, it will get thick & harder to spread. Bake time will depend on the size/shape of your pan - an 8" round will take 45 minutes or so, and cupcakes take 20-25 minutes. Check doneness with a toothpick inserted in the center.

5. Embellish with frosting, fruit, nuts, or simply dust with powdered sugar. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

Notes: Any of the flavoring ingredients (coffee, vanilla, cocoa) can be omitted if you don't have them on hand, but they really help to deepen the chocolate flavor. A teaspoon of cinnamon is also a welcome addition, for a warm, Mexican chocolate flavor - you can even add a touch of cayenne if you're feeling bold. Mix in walnuts or top with sliced almonds, if you wish.

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