I had a little viewing party in honor of my television debut and did a variation on the black bean cake I made on the show. This one is vegan and in cupcake form. Black beans lend a really nice moisture and crumb to cakes. The earthy undertones accent the smoked paprika, cayenne and orange components really well. On top, I added a chocolate ganache, reduced raspberry syrup and roasted almonds with agave and sea salt.
2/3 cup canola oil
2 ½ cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 T grated orange zest
2 T orange juice
2 15 oz cans black beans (drained, rinsed and pureed)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ cup water (or more if batter appears dry)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners.
Blend black beans in a food processor with the oil, sugar, vanilla extract, orange juice and zest, until smooth. In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder until mixed. Fold wet mixture into the dry until incorporated. Fill cupcake tins two-thirds full. Bake 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove, and cool on rack.
Roast a ½ cup of almonds, slathered in agave, in oven at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, put a ¼ cup of frozen raspberries and 2 tablespoons of agave in a saucepan and reduce for about 10 minutes, or until syrupy. Finally, melt any dark chocolate bar in a double boiler. To assemble: dip cooled cupcakes in melted chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and raspberry reduction