Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day: Healthy Black Bean Chocolate Cupcakes

When I first thought of Valentine's Day (albeit only 3 days ago), I had visions of making my kids heart-shaped pink pancakes for breakfast accompanied by skewers of various heart shaped fruits... 
of a wonderful, romantic, homemade dinner for my husband and I... and of delicious cupcakes for dessert, topped with heart-shaped fondant toppers.

And then reality hit.  My life is way too busy for all of this crap!

The thing is that this is what I LOVE to do.  In an ideal world, this is part of how we would have celebrated Valentine's Day today.  But my kids were none the wiser this morning, as they happily sipped their smoothies before leaving for daycare. 

There will be other years for this kind of craziness when my life isn't quite so crazy in and of itself ;)

The only thing from my above list that I managed to accomplish (sort of) was the cupcakes - without the fondant toppers. I ended up settling on some heart shaped candies that we happened to have here, instead.   

I found the recipe for this chocolate cake on youtube.  It is naturally gluten and dairy free and I loved the idea of sneaking some black beans into chocolate cake for my kids for some hidden protein and fiber.  Now, you're probably thinking that black beans in chocolate cake sounds disgusting.  I swear, you can't even taste them!!

This recipe is overall quite healthy.  It won't win any awards for being the absolute best chocolate cake you've ever tasted in your life.  It's not quite on part with the rich chocolate sour cream bundt cake that Katie made us for dessert on Valentine's Day last year.  However, this is healthy enough that it could be a regular indulgence. It is not very sweet tasting in and of itself.  But I found that after adding the icing, it had just the perfect sweetness.  Not that super sweet taste that many cakes have.

I got the recipe for the buttercream icing here To make it dairy (but not soy) free, I used Earth balance instead of butter.  However, I found that I had to add a ton more icing sugar than the recipe called for to get it stiff enough to pipe.  Maybe it is because the Earth balance has a different texture than real butter??  I also used some of the real vanilla we bought in Tahiti instead of the vanilla extract. Yum!

Healthy Black Bean Chocolate Cupcakes

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 egg

Blend in food processor or blender until smooth.

Mix in:

1/2 C sugar (I used coconut sugar, but regular sugar would be just fine too)
6 tbsp. olive oil or butter

Place 4 eggs in a mixing bowl

and beat for 3-4 minutes on high until they are fluffy.

Add the following to the beaten eggs, along with the black bean mixture and stir only until mixed:

6 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Pour batter into muffin tins.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes at 300 degrees Farenheit

I have superstar aim with my batter pouring ;)

Frost with buttercream icing and dust with coloured sugar.  Decorate with candies, if desired.

Enjoy!  Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

What Valentine's Day treats did you indulge in today?  Do you have any Valentine's traditions that you enjoy as a family?

Difficulty level: easy-moderate

Makes approximately 18 cupcakes.

Note: because of the black beans in the recipe, these tend to dry out quickly, so keep them in a tightly sealed container.  If you don't frost yours (and you will regret it!), place plastic seal directly on the surface of the cupcakes to help keep them fresh longer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, yummy! I was hoping to make some black bean cake for today. But, I did send some heart shaped carrots and strawberries in Maddy's lunch today :) Happy Valentine's Day!