Posts tagged black beans
Battenberg Cake…with a difference

So this month’s Daring Bakers challenge is….Battenberg cake.

Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

Battenburg- the classic chequered sponge cake, sandwiched together with jam and all wrapped up in a marzipan jacket!

Marzipan is a tricky one, the traditional version is full of powdered sugar and although it's generally vegan I still have difficulty in endorsing such a sugary treat here on my blog! I have been trying to suss out a sugar free marzipan for quite some time now, with some degree of success here in my Christmas Stollen and my the toppings for the super-cute Christmas puds.

But when it comes to a rollable marzipan I have not yet had a breakthrough!

However this challenge allowed us to push the boundaries beyond a traditional Battenberg as long as we held true to the chequered sponge concept with a sweet covering whether it be marzipan, fondant or chocolate. So, one idea came to my mind straight away….

….the ‘world’s healthiest chocolate fudge’!

I had tried rolling the fudge dough previously to make these hearts and it worked really well, so I figured it could also work really well as the Battenberg covering.  That then just left the sponge and the flavours to choose. I opted for a plain vanilla sponge alongside a raspberry sponge (although it has taken on more of a brown tinge in the photos), that allowed me to use sugar-free raspberry jam as the sole sweetener in the raspberry sponge.  I opted to try my ‘easiest ever gluten free sponge’ recipe as the basis for this cake as i really wanted to go gluten free for this recipe.

In hindsight I wish I’d gone for a different sponge recipe, as whilst that simple sponge works well as a small super-simple mug cake, it just didn’t really do it for me as larger oven baked sponge. There was nothing drastically wrong with it, I just felt it could have been a lot more delicate with a lighter crumb. I also wish now that I’d rolled the fudge wrap a little thinner before wrapping the sponge slices.

The overall concept was a great success and the chocolate fudge coating worked a treat (particularly if I’d rolled it more finely), however after eating a slice with the sponge, I got the feeling that the sponge was not doing the cake justice. So what did I decide to do?  Peel the fudge off and reform it into fudge balls of course. Mmmm…much better!

Try this frosting…go on give it a go! It is so easy to form and model that you can cut it into rounds, bars, roll it out as an icing layer or even turn it into a soft piped healthy frosting as I did here with thes cupcakes.

I will give the Battenberg another go with an alternative sponge recipe at some point soon. This fudge frosting is so versatile that I want to give it a proper chance to do my Battenberg proud!

This link takes you to the original Daring Bakers Challenge notes with  plenty of alternate recipes for battenberg to try.

Recipe: Healthy Battenberg Cake

Makes 1 approx. 7” long cake

Ingredients: chocolate fudge frosting

  • ½  can black beans- rinsed and drained
  • 1 mashed banana
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (or raw cacoa powder)
  • 1/3 cup dates
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½  tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp stevia
  • ½ cup ground oats
  • 2 tbs ground flax
  • 2 tbs chia seeds

Method

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth pliable dough is formed. The dough should be fairly tacky but not sticky and should easy to handle.

Roll out the dough on a sheet of parchment or similar for easily handling. Roll to achieve desired thickness and then, using thr parchment to assist, carefully drape across the jam coated sponge to create the finish Battenberg.

Ingredients: simple vanilla sponge

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour (or other GF grain)
  • 3 tbs ground almonds
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup plain soy yoghurt (or regular)
  • 2 tbs agave (for vanilla version)
  • 2 tbs sugar free raspberry jam (for raspberry version)

Method

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl and then add wet ingredients (other than agave and jam) and mix together well.  

Divide the mixture between two bowls and then add the agave and jam to a bowl each.  Note: to achieve a deeper red/pink colour you may need to add a few drops of food colouring.

You will now have two different coloured/flavoured mixtures. Spoon each into a 7” square  baking tin divided down the centre with parchment paper and foil to prevent the batters mixing (foil helps make a more ridged central partition).

Bake in  pre-heated oven  at 180C for approx. 15 mins until very lightly golden.

Assembling the Battenberg: 

Cut the slices of sponge into neat squares and arrange in a larger square with each flavour on the diagonal. Paint each edge with slightly runny sugar-free raspberry jam and then firmly wrap the chocolate fudge frosting around the entire cake, ensuring an overlap to seal.

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Raspberry ripple chocolate torte slices (fat free)

These chocolate torte slices are the perfect summery twist on my tried and tested chocolate brownie torte recipe. Super healthy and indulgent…yet light and fruity!

The perfect summer snack to put a smug smile on your face, knowing that you can indulge guilt-free without worrying about undoing all your hard ‘beach-body’ work.

These are also the perfect pick me up….or in this case the ideal ‘get well soon’ gift. The recipe below makes a small batch of 4 slices (you could easily double the recipe) as I created this recipe for a friend who was laid up and recuperating after an accident. The criteria was simple….low fat but not low taste!

I often use coconut oil or coconut butter in my recipes, as a healthy good fat which I rarely skimp on, but in this instance I wanted to lower the fat as much as possible or even eliminate it. The obvious choice was the brownie recipe, and so to change things up a bit and create a unique dessert, here you have the raspberry almond version. 

I used crushed frozen raspberries to mix through the batter as they hold up better when they are mixed through (although you can barely see the pieces in the photos). I also sprinkled a few extra pieces on the top and then once out of the oven I glazed them with a layer of sugar free raspberry jam.  I made sure these brownies were not too overly sweet as I love the richness of the dark chocolate and tartness of the raspberries contrasting with the sweet topping, but you can increase the agave/stevia slightly to taste. If you add more agave (up to 1/3 cup it might be advisable to increase the flour by a couple of tablespoons also).

These chocolate slices  are by nature more dense and gooey than cakey when bitten into, although they do have a lovely firm texture. I think they are best served warm as a dessert, maybe with a little vegan icecream or cashew cream with some extra berries on the side.

Recipe: Raspberry ripple chocolate torte

4 slices (approx. 3x9” pan)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup silken tofu
  • ¼ cup agave and a pinch of stevia
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 1tbs ground chia plus 2tbs hot water
  • ½ cup wholemeal spelt (or GF mix)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ cup frozen raspberries- crushed
  • Handful cacoa nibs or dark chocolate chunks- optional
  • Handful flaked almonds
  • Handful frozen raspberries- crushed

Method

Blend all wet ingredients together in food processor until well mixed and smooth. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add the wet ingredients, mixing lightly until well mixed, add the cacao nibs (if using) and the ¼ cup crushed frozen raspberries last and fold through the mixture.

Spoon the batter into a smallish tin or mini muffin pans, scattering the remaining frozen raspberry pieces and flaked almonds across the top

Bake in a preheated oven for approx. 25 mins (less time for mini muffins). Test with a toothpick in the centre to check when done.

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
A quick dip... pea and black bean

Hummus is great, and I eat a lot of it… I mean a lot!!

A dip for raw veggies, a quick and easy base for my roasted vegetable tarta simple spread for sandwiches or tortilla wraps… the list goes on. It’s strange as I never used to like raw carrot but since discovering hummous I can devour carrot stick after carrot stick and not get bored, it’s just something about the combination of those favours that really gets me going.

But, sometimes I fancy something slightly different.

This quick and simple dip takes literally a couple of minutes to put together and is super cheap and healthy. Great as a basic dip or spread, but also as a sauce for pasta- it makes a great alternative to tomato based sauces!  If you do use it as a sauce be sure to thin it out slightly with some soy milk (or any other non dairy milk or water ) as it coats the pasta so much better and the texture is much nicer.  The first time I used it this way I didn’t thin it out and it just didn’t do it for me, the ‘sauce’ was too thick and lost the silky coating I was after.

I have included jalapeno peppers to add a bit of a kick as I like a bit of heat, but feel free to omit these or adjust the amount to taste.

Recipe: pea and black bean dip

Makes one small bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves (or 1tsp garlic paste)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas (thawed)
  • 1 cup cooked/canned black beans
  • A few green jalapeno pepper slices
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground garamasala spice (or ground cumin)
  • ½ red onion chopped
  • Small handful fresh coriander (dried if no fresh available)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth.

Store in the fridge. Best used within two days.


Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where you get blog post round ups plus other goodies (such as special offers, challenges and collaborations) right there in your inbox!

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

Instagram   -   Facebook   -   Twitter   -   Pinterest

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF