chocolate raspbeberry loaf (and black beans, too)

I’m going to be completely honest here.

I think you should lie about this cake.

Please, let me explain. It’s a white lie, a helpful, honest-to-goodness, I just want what’s best for you so you can get down with some chocolate before you politely decline a slice of cake made with beans, kind of lie.  Exactly that kind.

Maybe lying seems to harsh.  Let’s call it strategically, cautiously, deliberately avoiding the whole truth.  You could describe this as a jacked up banana bread, soaked and smothered in chocolate and dressed up with walnuts, raspberries, and espresso. And that would be true.

The truth you just don’t want to spell out too legibly is that at it’s core, it’s gooey, dense, fudgy center, the dough is essentially 2 cups of black beans pureed with 2 bananas.   That’s also why I think you should get busy making this cake.

When I say get busy, I don’t mean very busy at all.  Really, once your oven is hot and you’ve gathered the ingredients, you are 90% through the hands-on part.  All that is left is to puree the batter and stir in whatever you decide to stir in.  I very strongly recommend raspberries and chocolate chunks, but you could also play around with different nuts, shredded coconut, orange zest, peppermint extract, tahini or any nut butter, chili and cinnamon, salted caramel… whatever you might usually do to add a bit of jazz to your chocolate. The photo below is of a version of this cake with coconut and maple on top that formed a crispy crust (delicious) and less chocolate and no raspberries mixed into the batter (mistake).  You can see that with fewer wet mix-ins, the dough is less gooey with more of a textured crumb.

Beyond being simple to make and wholly delicious, this loaf is free from any animal products and gluten, and if you leave out the nuts you can be fairly certain that if you bring this to a picnic, nobody will surprise you with a new allergy that prevents them from getting into a thick slice.  All in all, it’s  a handy little trick to have up your sleeve.

Chocolate, raspberry black bean cake
If I’d come up with the idea of swapping flour for black beans, I imagine I would humbly and graciously take credit.  But, white lies aside, I first came across the idea when I tried (and fell a tiny bit in love with) these brownies. This version is simpler and a bit quicker to whip together, but really, you would not be making a mistake in trying both.

You could use canned black beans or home cooked ones here.

cake batter:
2 cups black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 large ripe banana
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons espresso
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chunks

1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

Preheat your oven to 200 C/400 F. Grease a loaf pan.

Blend together the batter ingredients.  I used an old yogurt container and an immersion blender, but if you have a stand alone blender or a food processor, just place all ingredients in there and blend.

Stir the ‘jazz’ into the batter and then pour into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake the cake until it’s formed a nice crust which you can tap without it jiggling back at you, 30-35 minutes.