It’s Wednesday lunch as I’m writing this text and I am fully aware that this probably is an exceptionally badly timed blog post. Being right in the middle of the week, you probably have your work jive going strong and a chocolate cake in your web browser stands the risk of messing all that up. So, instead of scrolling down to see the rest of the images and read this interesting little recipe, we simply suggest that you stop reading right away and close this window. Because if you continue, we plan to tell you that the filling is made from black beans and that might really get you out of focus. There is a risk that you will start thinking about what the beans does to the texture and how they affect the flavour.
Well, since you obviously already are thinking about it: The texture is very smooth and creamy, and you can’t really taste the flavour of the beans at all. Instead this cake tastes of coffee. As it turns out, coffee, black beans and chocolate is an unexpectedly terrific combo. The cake can be served frozen, like an ice cream cake. Or thawed, as a creamy mousse cake. I prefer eating it while it’s quite firm but Luise likes it to be more creamy and have that lush mousse consistency.
Come to think of it, this must be one of the easiest cakes in our repertoire. It’s entirely vegan and gluten free, the ingredient list is conveniently short and you can throw everything together in more or less 15 minutes. Although it needs about two hours in the freezer before it can be devoured.
Normally, I am the one making most of our desserts but this cake is entirely Luise’s creation. She didn’t even tell me about it at first, just went: “I’ve got a little cake in the freezer in case you want to take some photos of it”. So I did. And then we ate it. We got the inspiration for the drizzled chocolate decoration from one of Linda Lomelino’s beautiful cakes.
We have made this cake twice since that first time and I suspect that we will be making it a few times more this summer. You should really try it. It’s different and it’s damn delicious. And if you would like to trick your kids or partner to eat more legumes, this is probably your best chance ever.
A few things to consider before trying this recipe:
• This recipe is perfect for an 8 inch / 20 cm springform pan, if yours is bigger we recommend increasing the measurements, or the cake will be too thin.
• As usual with our desserts, this is not overly sweet but more balanced in flavour. If you know that you have a sweet tooth, go ahead and add a few more dates to the filling.
• If you don’t like coffee, you can substitute it with 1/4 cup of plant milk. Or nut butter, which also could be an interesting flavouring idea for the filling, it would probably taste fantastic together with chocolate and black beans.
Mocha & Black Bean Mousse Cake
1 cup / 125 g hazelnut
10 fresh and soft dates (100 g / 3,5 oz), pitted
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 pinch sea salt
1 1/2 cups / 200 g cooked black beans (equivalent to 1 can drained and rinsed beans)
5 dates, pitted
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 shots / 1/4 cup / 60 ml strong coffee
1/3 cup / 80 ml plant milk of choice (like rice, oat, soy or almond milk)
3,5 oz/ 100 g dark chocolate (70%)
1/2 cup / 65 g toasted hazelnuts
50 g / 2 oz melted dark chocolate
Start by making the crust. Place hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse a few times until they have a pebbled texture. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is combined. Line the bottom of a 8 inch / 20 cm spring pan with parchment paper and pour the date and hazlenut mixture into it. Use your hands to firmly press down the mixture evenly. Place the spring pan in the freezer and continue on with the filling.
Add beans, dates, coconut oil and coffee to the food processor an pulse on high speed for about a minute. Place a small sauce pan on low/medium heat. Add the milk. Break up the chocolate into smaller pieces and add to the milk. Use a spatula to stir around and take the sauce pan off the heat just as the chocolate starts melting. Keep on stirring until you have a smooth and thick chocolate mixture. Add the melted chocolate to the food processor and mix until you have a smooth chocolate filling. Pour the filling into the spring pan on top of the crust and place it back in the freezer for 2-3 hours. You can also leave it in the freezer for weeks, just make sure to thaw the cake for at least 30 mins if it is deep-frozen.
Decorate the cake before serving. You can either just use a lot of berries, or as we have done here, drizzle with melted chocolate and toasted hazelnuts. You can store the cake in the fridge for a few hours if you prefer it to be creamier, just remember to remove the sides of the springform pan while it is still frozen. Enjoy!