Flourless Chocolate “Hummus” Cake

Picture of chocolate cake

While many flourless chocolate cakes have a dense and fudgey texture, this one is more akin to a typical cake crumb texture. The secret? A can for garbanzo beans! Unless they were told so, most people eating this cake will never know the secret ingredient.

Garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) are high in starch content. So much so, they are often part of gluten-free flour blends such as Garfava flour which is a combination of garbanzo beans and fava beans.

When I was teaching classes at the Disney Institute at Walt Disney World, we had a healthy cooking class that featured a lemon version of this cake that we served with fresh strawberries. While it was a pretty good cake, I always felt there was a faint undertone of “bean” in the flavor. I took that recipe and reworked it into this version which has a more cake-like crumb contributed by the combination of cornstarch and cocoa powder.

The benefits of this cake are many:

  • 1) Gluten-free for those on special diets.
  • 2) Higher in protein and fiber than a standard chocolate cake.
  • 3) No mixer needed …just a food processor or blender.
  • 4) It goes together quickly with pantry ingredients.

Flourless Chocolate Hummus Cake

Yield: 1 9-inch cake (12 servings)

1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained

4 whole eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Powdered sugar for dusting, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 convection).  Spray the inside of a 9-inch round cake pan with vegetable spray.  Cut a parchment paper circle large enough to cover bottom of pan.  Place parchment circle in pan and spray paper with vegetable spray.  Set pan aside.

Place garbanzo beans, eggs, and vanilla extract in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel chopping blade.  Process until blended and beans are finely pureed.

In a medium-size bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined and cocoa is well blended with sugar.  Be sure that no lumps of cocoa or other ingredients remain.  Add dry ingredients to the food processor and process for about 1 minute, or until completely blended and pureed.

Pour cake batter into sprayed and lined cake pan and bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with only one or two little crumbs, about 45-50 minutes (about 40 minutes convection).  Remove from oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.  Carefully remove paper from top of cake and allow the cake to cool completely.   Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Fresh strawberries are a great accompaniment in the spring and summer. For cooler months, you might consider trying the following compote:

Compote of Cherries & Cranberries

1 cup port wine

1 cup black cherry or cranberry juice

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup dried cherries

1 cup dried cranberries

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place port wine, juice, and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved.  When sugar is dissolved, add the dried fruit and simmer gently until fruit is plump and soft.  If a thicker consistency of sauce is desired, thicken with cornstarch mixed with a little bit of cold water.  Add enough black pepper to provide a bit of bite in the back of the throat when tasting it.  Cool and serve over ice cream, cake or as an accompaniment ot cheesecake.

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