Mocha & Black Bean Mousse Cake

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It’s Wednesday lunch as I’m writing this text and I am fully aware that this probably is an exceptionally badly timed blog post. Being right in the middle of the week, you probably have your work jive going strong and a chocolate cake in your web browser stands the risk of messing all that up. So, instead of scrolling down to see the rest of the images and read this interesting little recipe, we simply suggest that you stop reading right away and close this window. Because if you continue, we plan to tell you that the filling is made from black beans and that might really get you out of focus. There is a risk that you will start thinking about what the beans does to the texture and how they affect the flavour.

Well, since you obviously already are thinking about it: The texture is very smooth and creamy, and you can’t really taste the flavour of the beans at all. Instead this cake tastes of coffee. As it turns out, coffee, black beans and chocolate is an unexpectedly terrific combo. The cake can be served frozen, like an ice cream cake. Or thawed, as a creamy mousse cake.  I prefer eating it while it’s quite firm but Luise likes it to be more creamy and have that lush mousse consistency.

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Come to think of it, this must be one of the easiest cakes in our repertoire. It’s entirely vegan and gluten free, the ingredient list is conveniently short and you can throw everything together in more or less 15 minutes. Although it needs about two hours in the freezer before it can be devoured.

Normally, I am the one making most of our desserts but this cake is entirely Luise’s creation. She didn’t even tell me about it at first, just went: “I’ve got a little cake in the freezer in case you want to take some photos of it”. So I did. And then we ate it. We got the inspiration for the drizzled chocolate decoration from one of Linda Lomelino’s beautiful cakes.

We have made this cake twice since that first time and I suspect that we will be making it a few times more this summer. You should really try it. It’s different and it’s damn delicious. And if you would like to trick your kids or partner to eat more legumes, this is probably your best chance ever.

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A few things to consider before trying this recipe:

• This recipe is perfect for an 8 inch / 20 cm springform pan, if yours is bigger we recommend increasing the measurements, or the cake will be too thin.

• As usual with our desserts, this is not overly sweet but more balanced in flavour. If you know that you have a sweet tooth, go ahead and add a few more dates to the filling.

• If you don’t like coffee, you can substitute it with 1/4 cup of plant milk. Or nut butter, which also could be an interesting flavouring idea for the filling, it would probably taste fantastic together with chocolate and black beans.

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Mocha & Black Bean Mousse Cake
Serves 8

Crust
1 cup / 125 g hazelnut
10 fresh and soft dates (100 g / 3,5 oz), pitted
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 pinch sea salt

Filling
1 1/2 cups / 200 g cooked black beans (equivalent to 1 can drained and rinsed beans)
5 dates, pitted
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 shots / 1/4 cup / 60 ml strong coffee
1/3 cup / 80 ml plant milk of choice (like rice, oat, soy or almond milk)
3,5 oz/ 100 g dark chocolate (70%)

Toppings
1/2 cup / 65 g toasted hazelnuts
50 g / 2 oz melted dark chocolate

Start by making the crust. Place hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse a few times until they have a pebbled texture. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is combined. Line the bottom of a 8 inch / 20 cm spring pan with parchment paper and pour the date and hazlenut mixture into it. Use your hands to firmly press down the mixture evenly. Place the spring pan in the freezer and continue on with the filling.

Add beans, dates, coconut oil and coffee to the food processor an pulse on high speed for about a minute. Place a small sauce pan on low/medium heat. Add the milk. Break up the chocolate into smaller pieces and add to the milk. Use a spatula to stir around and take the sauce pan off the heat just as the chocolate starts melting. Keep on stirring until you have a smooth and thick chocolate mixture. Add the melted chocolate to the food processor and mix until you have a smooth chocolate filling. Pour the filling into the spring pan on top of the crust and place it back in the freezer for 2-3 hours. You can also leave it in the freezer for weeks, just make sure to thaw the cake for at least 30 mins if it is deep-frozen.

Decorate the cake before serving. You can either just use a lot of berries, or as we have done here, drizzle with melted chocolate and toasted hazelnuts. You can store the cake in the fridge for a few hours if you prefer it to be creamier, just remember to remove the sides of the springform pan while it is still frozen. Enjoy!

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136 Comments

  • Did this last night with adzuki beans. Maybe they're more potent because the batter tasted very beany. I threw in a banana and the remaining pulp from making the almond milk for the recipe [about 2-3 tbsps]. Reduced the beaniness quite a bit and once it was frozen the beaniness was pretty much gone and the pronounced banana flavor had reduced to a whisper. All in all pretty good! I used a blender to blend the ingredients though because my food processor [cuisinart 14 cup] was giving me quite a chunky batter and this was before the banana and almond pulp.
  • gina
    Made this but subbed Dandy Blend for the coffee. Went over EXTREMELY well. Thanks so much for the inspiration! I did a flax & chia seed meal crust and next time I'll do a hazelnut chia one. :)
  • audrey
    I tried this last night and its fantastic! I skipped the coffee, added some maple syrup and spread crumbled frozen raspberries over the base before pouring the mousse over it...absolutely stunningly delicious, total winner in our household! Thank you for an amazing recipe!
  • Hi Luise and David! I first want to thank you for inspiring me myself and so many other people all around the world to make food that is both super healthy and tastes delicious all the way through. Photographywise, I'm stunned by the amazing art you guys create out of food, and I have a little question regarding to that. What editing program are you using, because I really would like to take my photographing to the next level? :) Greetings from 15 year old from Norway!
  • Victoria Ballinger
    Re "black beans" in this recipe, are they known by another term, please? Love your photos and recipes. Superb!
    • Heather
      Black beans are sometimes called turtle beans, but more often just black beans!
  • Ash
    Made this today using dried dates, my medjool dates were quite dry so I soaked them, and I also subbed a few dried deglet dates that were super soft. It came out great, and the crust held together perfectly. I also subbed in cows milk for plant milk, and butter for coconut oil since I was out of the latter. This cake is delicious, thanks for a great recipe!
  • Alexandra
    Love this blog! Could you sun dried dates for the fresh ones?
    • Alexandra
      Could you SUB dried dates*
  • Its really nice cake I ever tasted. Most important the cake size and the formula to made it tasty. Thanks a lot to share this post for us. What happen if I don't added the cofee to made it?
  • Sarah
    Mmmm I made this today and it was delicious! Thank you very much for the wonderful recipe. I really like to incorporate black beans into sweet chocolate-flavoured dishes, it works so very well. My sister had to add some sugary ice-cream topping to make it more to her liking, but at least most of the pudding was healthy. I think it's important to take small steps to eating better foods, because it can be too much change for some people if they try to do a U-turn over night.
  • Taylor
    do you have an option that doesn't use coffee? I don't have coffee for religious reasons.
  • Alva
    Oh. My. God. This cake is outstanding! This cake is seriously my new all time favorite! I prefer it with a more mousse-like consistency and it is amazing with cherries. Thank you David and Luise - I admire you :)
  • I love this! I can't believe I have not thought of making a black bean mousse before-I can't wait to try it.
  • Man this looks so amazing! And it probably tastes a lot like Nutella because of the hazelnut chocolate combo. Match made in heaven! Gorgeous blog, gorgeous recipe. Way to go as always! xx Lane
  • Stephanie
    You guys! This is genius! Just made the cake! I pinned it last week, and couldn't stop thinking about it. I went with the peanut butter suggestion because I didn't have coffee on hand and it came out fabulous! I also added a tablespoon of maple syrup for extra sweetness. I am so surprised that the beans created such a mousse-like consistency. Will be making again and again. I'd also love to try a chocolate mint combination. I think that would be great. Well done! Your photographs are beautiful :)
    • I made this cake during the weekend: the mousse was so delicious that we ate it so much that I didn't have enough for the cake, so I had to make a 2nd batch :). I especially loved this cake 2 days later, so the next time I will prepare in advance. This mousse will also work great as an ice cream ;) Thank you!
  • Sara Carlin
    Hi, I really wanted to make thid cake, but I dont understand whst went wrong...It looks beautiful although much darker in the color than on your pictures. But the taste of the filling is awful. I cant eat it. It tsdtes chemical, a bit plastic, like thr smell of burned plastic. Difficult to describe, but had this happened to anyone else?
  • Astrid
    I just made your cake and I have to say it's totally mindblowingly delicious!!! It is by far not the only recipe I have tried at home - I loved every single one of them and my husband, who is not very much into healthy food, loved them as well! Keep up the great work and thank you for the inspiration!
  • The pictures of the cake are amazing. they look like a great work of art. will try thin in the hop the results will be as great.
  • mariam
    I have some cooked white beans in the fridge and I was thinking about doing a different version of this. If I sub in the white beans for the black ones, what do you think I could sub the chocolate for?
  • Cait
    I made this cake over the weekend and it turned out amazing! I love that it freezes and can be kept as a sweet treat for a week or two (must put in fridge first to defrost a bit before cutting into). Thank you for sharing this special creation!
  • Ena
    Hi, I am most definitely making this cake! Today's a holiday in Germany, and I have all the ingredients - except the black beans. Do you think white beans will work as well or do they have a different taste? Thanks and keep up the lovely posts, you're such an inspiration!
  • I couldn't stop thinking about this cake so i'm commenting again to tell you that i made it and it was bloody fantastic. My sceptical mother, brother and step father tried it and loved it! I am now about to praise the heck out you guys and share the recipe on my blog. Fantastic!!!
  • Oh my gosh - this sounds so amazing! I can't even imagine what mocha and black bean taste like together in a frozen cake, but now I'm avoiding all other responsibilities to preoccupy myself with these thoughts. This cake is dreamworthy!
  • Prajakta
    How on the earth u plate so nicely and have those stunning clicks..its just a form of art.. god bless and keep posting
  • Eva
    This cake is fantastic. I swrved it instead of a classic birthdaycake for my 14 year old doughter. Very sceptic husband and mother in law took a small piece each. Then another big piece each. And my doughter loved it. They all did! We still have a piece in the freezer. Can't wait. Your recepiec are graet!
  • Oh wow, this looks like it's at the perfect intersection of tasty, beautiful, and do-able. Thanks, I'll be saving this for when my sweet tooth strikes (which will probably be soon!)
  • That looks absolutely incredible, and I'm not even a fan of coffee! Might have to buy a double espresso next door just to try this haha! The food photography is stunning, as always. X
  • Oh wow! I am not Vegan but seriously, this looks way to good! Found this through What'd You Do This Weekend link-up!
  • MATHILDA
    Hi! Is there any particular reason you chose black beans? Do you think large white beans would work? I figured that maybe they have a milder taste. Your cake looks absolutely delicious!!
  • Dora
    Just served this at a birthday party and everybody was gobsmacked about the 'mystery ingredient' that was revealed at the end! This is officially the best 'unbaked' cake I've ever made.

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