Are you up for yet another bean cake?? Yes, I am talking about a cake made almost entirely out of beans. It’s free of grain, dairy, added fat and has a very low sugar content. You might already have tried the black bean chocolate cake I posted a while back, well think of this as its little sister.
I still have a crush on any chocolate cake, but if I have to be honest I am really a fruit and cream kind of girl. I have always loved a moist carrot cake topped with creamy frosting or a fruit pie served with sour cream, that’s why this challenge was very obvious to me – and I had to nail it! Actually it didn’t take that long – since I have tried using various kind of beans in the chocolate cake I have by now discovered that most beans a very willing to play along in the cake show. So I chose an old favourite of mine – chickpeas – and paired them with the sweet, aromatic danish apples still lying around in the markets.
First time around I made a very simple cake with a couple of apples and a lot of different spices. It turned out just fine but it kinda missed a little texture and definitely something creamy to go along. So I added grated coconut, more apples and some lemon zest to the batter, and then I came up with a classic and creamy cream cheese frosting and again topped the cake with fresh apples, voilà a new favourite cake came to life!
Since it was time for yet another weekend trip with my favourite girls (remember the last get away we had) I had of course timed the making of this cake so I could bring it as an extra sweet surprise. And luckily the girls liked it as well – it was gone by lunch the next day… must have been good!
Even though I know many of you are chocolate lovers and probably already have your next chocolate baking session planned, I will still highly recommend you to try this version of a bean cake. It is very different from the chocolate version but it has some wonderful flavours, a moist texture, a natural sweetness and it fills you up completely so you can have it as a snack meal or maybe even for breakfast. So now you know beans are rocking in the sweet kitchen and I am a fan. Come join me, just watch out for the batter – it will quickly lure you into eating al of it long before it ever sees the inside of your oven…
Apple & Chickpea Cake
1 2/3 cup chickpeas, soaked and cooked or from a can (400 g)
1/2 – 3/4 cup honey or sweetener of your choice (100-150 g) *
1,5 Tbsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp applecider vinegar
A pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup grated, dessicated and unsweetened coconut (75 g) – optional
Lemon zest from ½-1 organic lemon
3-4 big apples
* Vary the amount of honey/sugar according to your own preference and the sweetness of the apples. Be careful not to add too much sugar the first time, it can easily get too sweet as soon as the apples are baked and fruit sugar is released (I used around 120 g sugar).
Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4 cup cream cheese, you can use light and a vegan product (200 g)
2 Tbsp honey, agave or powdered sugar
Lemon juice and zest from 1/2 -1 organic lemon, depending on size
1 apple to decorate and a few walnuts to sprinkle
1. Preheat oven to 350 °F/200 °C and grease an 8 inch (21 cm) springform tin with butter.
2. Add everything to a good blender or food processor (except the apples) and blend until a very smooth texture.
3. Cut the apples into thin slices. Now you wanna layer the cake with batter and apples. So you start by adding 1/4 of the dough, spread it out in an even layer. Then add a layer of apples and top it with 1/4 of the batter and continue this process until all batter and apples are used.
4. Bake the cake for 35-40 min until the edges and top seems firm but still moist. You can test it with a pin, but the cake might seem a little doughy in the center even though it is done, at least according to my experience and preference for moist and slightly doughy cakes.
5. Set the cake a side to cool while preparing the frosting. The frosting is made by whisking everything together, and then adjust the taste with sweetener and lemon.
6. Top the cake with all of the frosting and then decorate it with apples slices and walnut crumbles.
The cake could be served straight away, but it can also keep moist and delicious a couple pf days in the fridge. Just be aware that the apples on the top will look less appetizing after a couple of hours. So make sure to add them just before serving and maybe removing them if you plan on keeping leftover for a day or two :)
Happy baking and healthy living