Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Sweet 16

Katie is in CT for the last few days for her BFF's Sweet 16. Katie and Katie have been friends since they were 6. We all met one day in November 1999 at Wolfe Park in Monroe, CT. It seems like yesterday. I miss the F's but am very grateful that we are able to keep in contact and the girls get to visit once or twice a year.

Three beautiful girls, inside and out!

Katie F.-16, Katie K.-16, Sarah F.-14

P.S. We found my Katie's dress for $19.99 at Ross. SCORE!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Black Bean Chocolate Cake

This was recommended on a list of gluten free recipes a friend compiled. I found the idea intriguing and the reviews glowing so I thought.... what the heck!
I have tons of beans as Chris brings them home from work all the time.
I made it and it is FABULOUS. No, we are not going gluten free in our home but who can balk at losing the nutritionally poor white flour and replacing it nutrient rich beans??

I used the recipe from this blog:Black Bean Chocolate Cake

Healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake (slightly modified from original at Healthy Indulgences)

Makes a single 9" layer cake.

1-15 ounce can of unseasoned black beans
OR 1 1/2 cup cooked beans, any color
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup erythritol plus 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia extract OR 1/4-1/3 cup honey plus 1 teaspoon stevia OR 1 cup Splenda OR 3/4 cup regular sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon water (omit if using honey)

Mint Chocolate variation:
2 teaspoons mint extract (in place of 2 teaspoons vanilla)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9" pan.

Drain and rinse beans in a strainer or colander. Shake off excess water. Place beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla, stevia (if using) and salt into blender. Blend on high until beans are completely liquefied. No lumps! Whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat butter with sweetener until light and fluffy. Add remaining two eggs, beating for a minute after each addition. Pour bean batter into egg mixture and mix. Finally, stir in cocoa powder and water (if using), and beat the batter on high for one minute, until smooth. Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top. Grip pan firmly by the edges and rap it on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles.

Bake for 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cake is done with the top is rounded and firm to the touch. After 10 minutes, turn out cake from pan, and flip over again on to a cooling rack. Let cool until cake reaches room temperature, then cover in plastic wrap or with cake dome. For BEST flavor, let cake sit over night. I promise this cake will not have a hint of beaniness after letting it sit for eight hours!

I used regular sugar, butter etc...pretty much the same as a basic chocolate cake but instead of flour I used liquified canned black beans. I served it 'frosted' with Nutella :D It was divine. I don't do well with subsititutes, I find Tofurkey revolting, don't even show me margarine or 'butter substitute'. Either it's traditional/real or I would rather skip it. Trust me, this cake does NOT taste like beans. It is a 100% better than any box cake and is just about bakery quality in moistness and flavor. Try it. Let me know what you think.