Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Cake
You will never guess the secret ingredient in this moist, fudgy, not-quite sinful chocolate brownie cake. Never. Besides, when I tell you what the secret ingredient is you probably wont believe me. At least my lovely family that got to eat this cake didn’t believe me. It wasn’t until after a few “Really?” “No way!” “Seriously?”s that it began to sink in.
Except, of course, for the birthday girl. When you have an extraordinary cousin who is probably one of the coolest people around and you are lucky enough to call her family, you relish the opportunity to bake her a birthday cake and help her eat it on her birthday. Now, what of the fact that she is a recycling vegetarian, sustainable-living, slow-food loving, farm friendly girl who knows her way around all corners of the food growing world? Clearly, bacon cupcakes were out of the question. Did I mention that she was the only one who could guess the secret ingredient after just one bite? Yep. I told you, she’s awesome.
Lest this challenge seem easy, let’s not forget that her birthday also happened to fall on Passover this year thus removing the possibility of using leavening, flour or any variety of other baking staples. An extraordinary challenge for an extraordinary girl … to that I say: Bring it!
Are you ready for the secret ingredient? Are you sitting down? I don’t want you to get hurt. Ready? Black beans. Ok, be honest, did that just blow your mind? It did, right? The first time I came across this recipe for Amazing Black Bean Brownies on Heidi Swanson’s site 101Cookbooks, I found it to be nothing short of mind-blowing. No flour (gluten-free!). No sugar (sweetened with agave nectar). This couldn’t possibly taste good, right? But, it did! Oh, how it did!
Knowing that my cousin is a big fan of black bean burgers, natural sweeteners and the like, I thought this was the perfect recipe to morph into a brownie cake for her special day. The brownies themselves are dense, rich and have a very fudgy consistency. But they do not taste like beans. Let me repeat this important point: These brownies do not taste like a chocolate burrito (as my boyfriend incorrectly predicted that they would).
Instead of making a jellyroll pan full of brownies, like the original recipe calls for, I made two 9” layers and filled the center with a thin layer of raspberry preserves. You can easily make your own filling by pureeing and straining fresh or frozen raspberries or just buy an all-fruit variety of preserves.
Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups soft-cooked black beans, rinsed and drained well
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups light agave nectar
1/3 - 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
fresh raspberries (for decoration)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely.
- Place the beans, the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans completely smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the remaining melted chocolate mixture and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside.
- Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the rest of the melted chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well.
- Add the egg mixture. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely. Place baked brownies in the refrigerator to firm up for a few hours.
- Invert the pans over a cooling rack or a large plate. Tap the pan, if necessary, to remove the brownies.
- Place one layer on a serving plate or cake board. Spread with a thin layer of raspberry preserves. Lay the second layer on top of the preserves. Top with whipped cream and fresh berries, if so desired.
- Decorated cake can be stored in the refrigerator, but the cake can be brought up to room temperature before serving.
Note: Leftovers keep well in a refrigerated airtight container for a few days.