Monday, 1 December 2014

Wait...What? .....A chocolate cake made with kidney beans?, and Family Games.

*warning may upset dedicated carnivores :)

I received the new Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall River Cottage Light and Easy book from my son for my birthday.  I haven't been a fan of JFW in the past as he was very much a *'me man, me eat meat' sort of person, so not much to interest me in his recipes.  He then concentrated on veg in his series and the accompanying book and came up with really lovely recipes, and this became one of my favourite recipe books.  He seemed to come around to the thinking that meals without fish and meat can be just as satisfying.  Now after a health scare with his cholesterol he is looking at using less dairy product as well as questioning our reliance on wheat products when there are so many other flours we can use.  He is not saying stop using them altogether, just why not try some alternatives.  I have seen comments from people after his Veg book and now this one saying I'll never buy his books again, which I don't understand, he has written plenty of other books that would cover their style of eating.  I guess some people just don't like change.  I think he has become a more 'rounded' and mature chef.

This book is not a vegetarian cookery book so has plenty of fish and meat recipes for those who eat it.   However all the recipes are wheat and dairy free.  I have been vegan in the past and am now gluten free (not by choice) so I am used to using different ingredients in my cooking, but it can take a bit of getting used to.  I have had a look through and marked a few recipes I would like to try soon and will share them with you.  The one that most intrigued me was a chocolate cake made with a tin of kidney beans.  I know, sound revolting but I thought I would give it a go.

Here's the recipe:

75 ml sunflower oil or melted coconut oil (raw or odourless )  I used raw as I love coconut. (plus extra for greasing)
400g tin of red kidney beans (or other tender tinned pulse such as cannelloni or butter beans) drained and rinsed.
100 g rice flour
50g cocoa powder ( I always think it is worth using a good quality powder)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
125 g soft light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to 180 c/Gas 4

Lightly oil a 20 cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment

Now simply put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz to a smooth batter, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out evenly.

Bake for 20 - 25 mins until it has risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean or almost clean.

Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin for about 10 mins, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting.

The bearded one and son can be a bit picky about food and if I had told them it was made with kidney beans probably would have given it a miss.  So I didn't tell them until after they had eaten it and said it was nice.  You really can't tell.  It is very chocolatey with a nice squidgy rich texture.  After I cut a piece and took a photo I decided it wasn't quite cooked so put it back in the oven, so not as 'torte' like as in the photo.  Of course serving it with Cornish clotted cream defeated the whole point of it being dairy free :)  If you give it a try let me know what you think.

I have been tidying up some cupboards today and dug out our haul of games.  One of the joys of getting the family together at Xmas are the games.  Boy can it get competitive!  Our favourite is whose in the bag, we usually write our own names to put in the bag so it can get very bizarre.  Do you have a family favourite?

Chickpea xx


  1. I could just eat your cake now , it looks so good and with a gurt big dollop, yum x

    I love the logo fun, I love family games.

  2. Well now there's a thought! I've had chocolate cake made with potatoes before - even made with beetroot - but this one's a completely new one on me. Tempted to give it a go though. I'll keep you posted! Jane x

  3. I seem to be using kidney beans all over. in baked beans, salad, veggie burgers. they seem to be really useful in a cupboard.

  4. Daughter was a vegan for many years but vegetarian in the world it is somewhat easier.
    She still cooks lots of wonderful vegan dishes. b
    But has started to add fish. We have always eaten lots of fish in our home.
    I have used applesauce and beans for replacements in cakes and brownies.
    I think it works well with chocolate.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. Oh wow, this looks amazing. I'm rubbish at baking cakes but this actually looks quite, dare I say, easy. I may have to give it a go. xx

  6. I forgot to add.
    Do you read Gluten-Free-Vegan-Girls ?
    I have not made any of her recipes but they look and sound fabulous. She is only 19 !

    cheers, parsnip

  7. I need to read my comments...

  8. Cake looks good and an extra health benefit with the beans. xx

  9. that sounds divine, and luckily I have just bought hubs that book for Christmas! result..

  10. I got this book out the library but although I love his veg book I really wasn't sure about it. I may borrow it again and try some more of the recipes, but I felt the way they were organized (a list of gluten free at the back) a bit infuriating....

  11. It sounds like a great cake and very easy to make indeed. I imagine that if it is a bit squishy inside that would mean it would be a great cake to serve as dessert!! xx

  12. I've heard about cakes made this way and I've always wanted to try one. I've made chocolate cake with canned pumpkin, which was surprising delicious. I think it was a recipe I got at Weight Watchers. Your cake looks very moist and chocolatey to me!

  13. Sweet red bean paste is common in East Asian cuisines, so this doesn't strike me as too off the wall.

  14. Thats Cornish cream, not your old Devon stuff mind Simple Living x

    I've been meaning to make one with beetroot for a while Jane :0

    I have loads of tins in my Zombie apocalypse stores Sol :)

    I have seen applesauce in a lot of American recipes parsnip, is it literally just apple sauce or is there more to it? Just checked out the blog, looks good :)

    Very easy Loo, give it a go :)

    Yes, SGL good way to get kids to eat beans perhaps?

    I hope he will being doing the cooking Knittynutter?

    I was wondering if some of the rye recipes could be made with something else to make them GF Driftwood, may give it a go. Don't think he could ever beat the Veg book for me :)

    Canned pumpkin cake sounds good Jennifer :)

    Well I learn something new everyday Big Bad, will check it out :)

  15. It looks absolutely delicious :) Very interesting - thanks for the recipe. I wonder how long it will last (providing it's not eaten first LOL) - I find that beans have a habit of turning quickly...?

  16. Sorry Dani we scoffed the lot so can't tell you :)

  17. Your chocolate cake sounds perfect for a pre-Christmas indulgence with friends. Merry Christmas Chickpea.x

  18. This looks quite straight forward, I must try it. I like that you put it all in the food processor all at once. Brilliant!
    Good to mix things up a bit with different ingredients. I wonder if children will notice the difference from other choc cakes.


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