Protein Packed Healthy Vanilla Bean Cake (GF, No added Sugar, No Grains)


I think I'm in food love and I just had to share it with everyone.  I just made the most moist delicious healthy cake ever.  Seriously, no joke this cake is soooooo good you'll find yourself dreaming of it.  But the best part is since it's healthy you won't feel guilty for falling in love and pigging out.  I'm not a fan of dry sheet cake that has overly sweet frosting.  This is the complete opposite!  It's super moist with almost a spongy structure to it (versus a crumbly texture), with a strong chocolate flavored ganache (the stuff in the middle of a truffle) frosting (that's crazy easy to make by the way).  I know everyone has a different ideal of what healthy really is.  So why do I call this recipe healthy?  Well it's mostly comprised of just beans (packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, eggs (complete protein and vitamins), and coconut oil (a healthy oil that your body burns faster).  That's it, seriously.  It does have sugar, but is really low in it (only 1/3 cup of honey plus the sugar in the 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips ) and the fiber and oil in the cake should help keep your blood sugar stable and make this cake GI (Glycemic Index) friendly.


Making this cake reminds me of the scene in the TV show Sex and the City where Miranda makes herself a homemade chocolate cake, because it's so addicting only you won't have the guilt Miranda had.   In the scene she starts off by eating one thin sliver of the cake and then walks away, then walks back into the kitchen just seconds later and help herself to another piece of the sinful treat. After she leaves the shot she is once again back within seconds and cuts herself a third helping.  After her third tasting she covers the cake in aluminum foil trying to make it less accessible. The tin foil wasn't strong enough to keep her out. After a short while she returns to the kitchen and has another piece. This time she covers it with foil and places it in the fridge. Time elapses and she is back once more. She eats another piece; visibly frustrated with her lack of self control she throws the cake in the trash. Miranda thinks this will deter her from ever eating the cake again. In one last desperate scene, she heads over to the sink, grabs the dish soap and pours it all over the cake making it inedible to her  (this is a shortened version of Elizabeth's Edible Experiences description of the scene).

 I believe on of the points of this scene was to illustrate the fact that most people don't make a whole cake when they're single because it's way too tempting to eat the whole thing in one night.  While I might not be single, my husband and I don't have children so a whole big cake with two people is still too tempting and therefore I never make cakes.   This cake recipe is great because it only makes like half a cake, and is super healthy.  Yea I can have guilt free cake as much as I want now!   If you want to watch the scene check out the video below. 

                                       Sex and the City clip: Betty Crocker Clinic (about 1 min)

How I Developed this Recipe
This recipe is derived from The Spunky Coconut, who has tons of fantastic recipes that are gluten, casein, and sugar free recipes.  On my quest for healthy desserts I've experimented with using beans for brownies and cookies but never thought of using them in cakes or breads.  According to The Spunky Coconut back in the day in Europe when wheat was scarce they used boiled beans to help stretch out there wheat supplies.  But eventually wheat was no longer scarce and they thought of using beans in baking was lost.   They have a cookbook out The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts: Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, and Often Egg-Free that they said has lots of recipes with beans in it.  I can't wait to check it out.

I didn't change a lot from the original recipe, but I changed a little. I've made this twice now and experimented with slight changes.  The first time I made this recipe, I altered the sweeteners, because I wanted to use less honey (to have less fructose in the recipe) from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup, and I had powdered stevia instead of liquid stevia so I used 1 tablespoon to compensate for the lower amount of honey (she used 3/4 tsp liquid stevia).  While the cake had good texture and moisture, it lacked sweetness and depth of flavor to me.  To help with this the second time I made this recipe I kept the 1 tablespoon of stevia and the 1/3 cup of honey in the original recipe.  I also doubled the vanilla extract (from 1 tsp to 2 tsps) and added 1/4 tsp of almond extract.  This helped so much with the flavor!  Next comes the texture, while I actually liked the spongy texture of the cake I wanted to see if I could create a slight crumble to have a more similar normal cake texture.  To create this I increased the coconut flour from 1/3 cup (what I used the first time and was in the original recipe) to 1/2 cup (second time).  It worked and was still very moist!  Next time I would like to try to decrease the oil to see if it's still good.  I figure since it's so moist it might work, and if it does it would also reduce the calories.

For the frosting I didn't follow the original recipe at all, instead I opted for a simple chocolate ganache frosting.  I actually made this up on the fly and it turned out great.  All I did was melted dark chocolate chips and then mixed in plain yogurt and coconut milk until the desired consistency.  That's all.  See below for the full recipe. 



Vanilla Bean Cake

Add to food processor:
2 cups cooked white beans, room temperature, so they don't cook the eggs (I made mine myself by soaking 1 cup of dry white beans overnight. In the morning I rinsed them well, and cooked them.)
6 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey 
Puree well.

Add:
2 Tablespoon of stevia
1/4 cup coconut oil melted  (can sub walnut oil)
1/3 cup flax meal (can sub coconut flour, or almond flour)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp aluminum free baking powder

Puree well.

Pour into springform pan, lined with unbleached parchment paper on the bottom, and greased all around (or 8x8 baking pan).

Bake at 325 degrees for 35-45 minutes. The original recipe said for about 30 minutes but my experience was that it took 35-45 min.  (I like to check to see if it's done by inserting a knife into the middle. If it's comes out mostly clean, it's done.) Bake for about 22 minutes for cupcakes.

Frosting:
Ingredients
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips 
1/2 oz of 100% chocolate bar 
1  Tablespoon of plain organic yogurt (or 1 tsp coconut oil and 2 tsp coconut milk)
1 Tablespoon coconut or almond milk

Directions:
  1. Place 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips and 1/2 oz of 100% chocolate in a small glass bowl and cook on a low power (or melt button if you have one) just until it starts to melt, then stir, if it's not melted after stirring for a few seconds put in the microwave for a little bit longer. Basically you want to use the least heat possible to melt it.  If you don't have a microwave or want to use one you can use a double boiler on your stove or create one buy putting some water in a sauce pan and placing a glass bowl on top of it and then placing the chocolate in it.  I usually avoid using my microwave for cooking but since it's such a small amount I felt using the microwave was much easier. 
  2. Once melted mix in  1  Tablespoon of plain organic yogurt (or 1 tsp coconut oil and 2 tsp coconut milk) and 1 Tablespoon of coconut or almond milk you can add more of either if you want a thinner frosting, keep in mind that it will thicken upon setting.
  3. When the cake has cooled fully, top the cake with the frosting allow the frosting to set before slicing and serving.
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