Red Bean Spice Cake

A number of the taste testers of the Red Bean and Carob Cake, most notably my partner, asked for a ”not quite so crunchy” and carob-free version of the cake.  As any cake with beans and dates as major components – it is denser than your average box of Betty Crocker, but it has crowd-pleasing flavours that work well with pretty much any palate.  Like the original version, it will leave you lastingly full and provide a sustained energy release.

Yield: a 9’’x13’’ pan

What you need:

  • 1-1/2 cups (250 g) chopped dates, soaked in orange juice until soft, in a 2 cup measuring glass (add juice up to the 2 cup mark)
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked kidney or adzuki beans (you’ll want to use pressure cooked beans as simmered ones usually retain a bit too much tooth to easily be processed to pulp. In a pinch, canned beans will do – they’ve certainly go the right texture for the job – use a 540 mL can and make sure to rinse them well)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup flax seed, ground
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder

What you do :

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9’’ x 13’’ glass or ceramic baking dish.
  2. In a food processor, whiz together the ground flax and water and let it sit for 10 minutes or so, so it begins to gel.
  3. Add the dates and their soaking juice, the beans, the oil, the syrup, salt, spices and process until smooth. It will take several minutes to get a really even pulp, stopping to scrape down the sides on a semi-regular basis.
  4. Add the baking powder and process again.
  5. Add the flour and mix by hand a couple of times around the work bowl before processing until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Even out the top as best you can, it will no doubt have a few peaks.
  7. Sprinkle the rolled oats over the top of the cake.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting into squares.

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