(yet it’s GF, dairy-free & sugar-free)
I can live the rest of my life only making this cake (if I manage to create it in other “saveurs” like lemon, vanilla…). It’s Every.Kind.Of.Awesome.
It’s a Honeycake and if you don’t like the taste of honey, enjoy the rest of your day (except maybe when I share Gram’s Mocha Frosting recipe below).
It’s Dairy-free, Gluten-Free and Sugar-Free (if you don’t count the frosting–it doesn’t need a frosting).
The cake, however, is a combination of Lily’s Bakery and skiving from gluten-free sites. I used to make plain Honeycakes but haven’t in awhile. I’m telling you: if you make this cake and present it to somebody (who likes the taste of honey), you needn’t tell them what went into it. They’ll NEVER KNOW that it’s practically healthy. That said, of course it’s not HEALTHY. It’s CAKE!
Lily’s Best-Ever Honeycake:
•15 oz cooked black beans (I used a tin, which had been salted–if you use unsalted, add salt to help “sweeten” — preferably, make your own beans but erm, I had these)
YES, I said black beans!
•5 eggs (3, then 2)
•6T coconut oil (if unfamiliar, it’s sold in a tub at better stores or online; I got mine at Whole Foods). It imparts a bit of flavor but also is Magic. Coconut oil has many healthy properties (especially for those of us with genetic predisposition to high cholesterol: hello HAPPY FATS!) but also it has a HIGH HEAT tolerance that makes it excellent.
.5C honey (again, I like to use “local” which to me means MO/ IL
•6T Dutched baking cocoa powder (plus some for dusting pan)
•1t baking powder
•.5t baking soda
As usual, mix dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl to the side.
Blend/ food process RINSED AND STRAINED black beans til completely smooth with 3 eggs and vanilla. You don’t want anybody finding a bean “skin.”
Mix/ cream (I use a stand mixer): coconut oil and honey, then add remaining eggs. When done, add blended bean-batter, again, til completely mixed. Gradually add in dry ingredients (in case you’ve never baked like this before, NEVER dump in dry ingredients: you will asphyxiate yourself and make an even bigger mess). Scrape down sides of mixing bowl (usually, there’s a ring of dry) and then beat on high til completely mixed. Batter will be WET.
This batter is VERY STICKY (hi, “honey!”). In addition to your usual greased/ dusted pan, you’re going to line and GREASE parchment paper ring at bottom. I used an Anchor Hocking glass 9″ casserole with handles (a helpful addition!). I used spray “Pam” oil to grease, then used quite a lot of CAROB POWDER (naturally, I didn’t measure). You may use your cocoa powder. Here’s why: you’re using cocoa/ carob rather than “flouring” your pan as this is a dark chocolate item. Flour will look like crap. Cocoa does the same but without unsightly “white.”
I used carob powder: a) truth be told, I had EXACTLY the right amount of cocoa for ONE cake and ONE bowl of frosting b) carob powder is lovely–if you like it; it’s low fat, high fibre BUT it’s higher in carbs/ natural sugars, so if dealing with low carb/ diabetic person, warm them or don’t use! c) carob powder CANNOT be used as an alternate; we can only substitute up to 1/4 in a recipe, in this case, I was only using it for “dusting.” No big whoop.
Pour into uber-prepped pan and smack down on counter several times to remove air bubbles. I only got a few, probably because I blended this sooooo well.
AWESOME Fudge Honeycake
Bake in preheated 325-350F oven (know your oven, mine runs “cold,” so I baked at 350F. I mention this because I’ve had issues with Honeycakes scorching a bit in other ovens at “too high” a heat. You may do better on the lower end. I need the higher end with this oven. My old oven, it would’ve been lower.
I baked this about on hour, which is normal for me and Honeycakes. It’s good to check it at 40-45 minutes. Mine was still “sloshy” at that point but it had risen and begun to crack around edge (good things–also mind that it’s not scorching! That honey’s a “bear”). Rather than the normal toothpick check, I used the grab-by-handles and check sloshiness plus lightly touch top of cake tests. You want no sloshing (this should be obvious) and “springiness” to touch (and no scortch–she keeps saying this, it must be Important).
Done! Sit on cooling rack for 10 or more minutes (to touch). In the past, I’ve used my hand (oy!) to turn out cake but this time, I used a plate, which deflated the “rise” a bit. It probably would’ve been fine to use my Old Lady Hand Skills but I’d never used BEANS in a cake before and didn’t want a trip to hospital. When you turn it out, immediately right it again on cooling rack OR plate you will later serve it on. I used a plate and sat that on the cooling rack.
Either allow to reach room temp (it’s SO moist, you can serve this as tea cake without frosting) and then wrap OR start making your frosting! Mine was so moist, I didn’t even WRAP it. I left it on the plate in the fridge (a known “dehydrator”) for 2 days. It’s still delectable.
Gram’s Mocha Frosting:
This frosting is a part of my soul. As a child, Gram raised me! She’d make “devil’s food cupcakes with mocha frosting.” I can still see her licking the spoon with one hand as she handed a cupcake down to me, clinging to her knees. She has been gone a long, long time. I miss her everyday. Even my father daren’t say squat about Gram’s frosting! (And it’s his deceased MIL!)
- “enough” SOFTENED Earthbalance Buttery Spread (or butter) to frost one cake. I used about what I thought would frost the cake — “about” because I’m going to add ingredients)
- 1t vanilla extract
- “enough” powdered sugar to perfectly “cream” above (a lot like the batter recipe, this is the sweetener and fat part of recipes)
- 1 shake salt
- 5-8T cocoa (start with 5, continue ferociously mixing into above)1-2T soy or almond milk (unsweetened is always best to use when cooking/ baking as the sweetened/ flavored versions go wonky when heated–although you’re not heating this…still. Just use unsweetened)
- instant espresso or coffee crystals to taste (I used 1t, which may be too strong for many–but I love it!)
SNIFF! Gram’s Mocha frosting in one of Gram’s bowls
Note: these last dry and wet ingredients are given as __-__ because it depends on how dry or wet your mixture is. If it’s too dry, add wet. If it’s too wet, add dry.* In a SMALL recipe like this, be delicate with amounts. “You can always add-to but you cannot take-away.” (I told you this is what I learned from Gram!)
Cream/ mix/ stir like mad til smooth, then frost your COOLED Honeycake (are cupcakes, whatever). If your cake still has a teensy bit of residual heat (like mine did) the frosting will “sink” and sort of melt in, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just not quite frosted. I so.didn’t.care. I’m all about taste over presentation. This is why I’ll forever be a “home” cook and never a famous one!
* Lily’s Theory of Doughs and Batters
“Tropical” (rather than chocolate) Honeycake:
•replace black beans with navy beans
•replace 1T of vanilla extract with 1T lemon, 1T orange & 1T coconut extracts (I realize this adds 2T of liquid)
•to batter, add 2T unsweetened coconut shreds and about 2T coconut flour
•as with mocha frosting, it’s SUGAR AND FAT! You cannot excuse this as a “healthy” cake, although it’s still healthier than the crap you get anywhere else! These cakes are extremely moist (honeycakes always are). You don’t need frosting but if you want it, make it as above but leave out chocolate and coffee. Instead, use coconut extract and a pinch of coconut shreds