Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chili Flavored Chocolate Chickpea Cupcakes

Some of my readers may know that I'm currently not eating dairy, but that has made me crave chocolate (particularly in the form of brownies and the like) more than usual.  The good news is dark chocolate (at least true dark chocolate) by definition does not contain dairy.  The bad news is most good brownies use butter.  However in my obsession with looking at pictures of baked goods, I discovered a pretty cool concept: putting chickpeas into baked goods, sometimes instead of sometimes in addition to, flour.  This was a chocolate chickpea cake, which is gluten free and dairy free (as long as you grease the pan with oil rather than butter).  It's like a flourless chocolate cake, only the chickpeas serve as a flour like substance.

I once read a blog about an obsession with cumin that even beats mine and the author said she puts cumin with chocolate.  This intrigued me and I've been meaning to try it since, but haven't had a good opportunity (actually, I was thinking about making cumin truffles this year, but ended up making lavender instead).  I think that the chickpeas kind of encourage play with savory flavors, but I could see where some people might find these extremely weird.  They are kind of reminiscent of a chocolaty chili, more than a chocolate cake, especially since I used my magic bullet to "puree" the chickpeas and it missed a few.  But I made these to bring to a Superbowl party (go Pack go!) tomorrow and had to try one to make sure they were acceptable and not super weird to serve to other people.  I ended up eating 2.  Whoops!  I adapted a recipe from Serious Eats.  I'll let you know how they go over at the party tomorrow, they might not be as good cold.  However, I think they do a good job of incorporating Superbowl-y flavors, that is, chili, in a chocolate cake.  I had a picture that I deleted right after I sent it to my computer, but it apparently did not make it to my computer.  Maybe I'll add one tomorrow.  Maybe i should frost it with avocado buttercream (and maybe something gold?), but i think that may go to far.

  • 5 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 1 (19-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • dash cayenne pepper


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 12 muffin tins in your preferred method.  The recipe suggests butter and cocoa, I just used baking spray.
  2. 2
    In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate by microwaving in 15-second intervals, stirring with a rubber spatula each time until melted. Alternatively, heat, stirring constantly, over double boiler until melted.
  3. 3
    Puree beans, eggs and vanilla in a food processor (or using an immersion blender) until smooth, about 1 minute. Add sugar, baking powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt and blend to combine, about 20 seconds.
  4. 4
    Add melted chocolate and blend to combine, scraping down sides of bowl well as necessary. Batter will have a thick, pudding-like consistency. Transfer batter into prepared pan and bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  5. 5
    Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes on wire cooling rack before inverting onto serving platter. Cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar just before serving.

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