My husband doesn’t really have a sweet tooth. He’s the kind of guy who would rather have another serving of dinner and skip the dessert (I can’t relate, for the record). Despite this, he has a real soft spot for Black Forest cake. Therefore, once a year I indulge him for his birthday and make a towering cake piled high with layers of soft, moist chocolate cake, fluffy whipped cream, shaved chocolate and rum-laden cherries.
I wanted to do something different this year (playing with fire, I know), and figured I would try my hand at a black bean brownie version. I mean, we’ve been married for nine years, isn’t it time we mix things up? Maybe the cake wasn’t the place to start…
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Nevertheless, my risk paid off. While it wasn’t the SAME as the real deal, this black bean brownie version of a Black Forest cake was an absolute hit. Rich, dense and still oozing with rum-laden cherries, it passed the husband test, especially when topped with a heavy spoonful of coconut whip topping or ice cream (we tried both, equally delicious). And since the cake is literally made in a blender in one step, I saved myself many painstaking hours baking a fancy cake. Happy Birthday to me?
Of course let’s not forget that the cake is much healthier than the original version, made with black beans and free from dairy and gluten in case you’re avoiding both or either. Not that you will know, this cake is to DIE for!
Now let’s talk about cherries. We live in the heart of cherry country, and the Okanagan has the best in the world (I’m not biased at all…). Some of my fondest memories include sitting in my grandma’s cherry tree on that one perfect branch and eating fruit until my tummy hurt. I feel SO lucky that I get to partner with BC Tree Fruits to create recipes out of fruit that’s grown by the hard-working farmers in my back yard! Buying local when possible feels (and tastes) so good! Make sure that you keep fresh cherries chilled to keep them from spoiling and freeze any extras (if you are lucky enough to have a surplus!) to use instead of ice cubes in a glass of sparkling water!
You can easily skip the rum in the cherries if you don’t want to add it, and you could add a couple of drops of almond extract in its place should you want to jazz it up without the alcohol! I decided to make mini brownies using a small biscuit cutter (just cut them out of the cooked brownie once cooled…no scraps were wasted of course), they were super cute (pictured below).
Rum Cherries (makes approximately 2 cups of sauce)
- 5 c. fresh pitted BC Tree Fruits cherries
- 1/4 c. sugar
- ¼ c. water
- 1/3 c. rum
- 1 Tbsp. corn starch
- 5 Tbsp. water
- In a medium saucepan combine the cherries, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over medium heat until the cherries soften and the sugar dissolves, approximately 10-15 minutes. Add the rum and stir.
- In a cup, stir together the corn starch and water until the corn starch is dissolved and smooth. Slowly drizzle it into the cherries while stirring. Continue to cook on medium heat until the cherries thicken and look clear not cloudy, approximately 2 minutes. Set aside.
Black Bean Brownies
- 1-19oz (540ml) can black beans, rinsed
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- ½ c. cocoa
- 2 Tbsp. almond milk (or any other milk)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ c. melted coconut oil
- ½ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9×9 square or round baking pan, lining with parchment paper.
- Place all of the ingredients for the brownies except for the chocolate chips/chunks and blend on medium speed in a blender until completely smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Taking 3/4 cup of the rum cherries, drop the cherry mixture in spoonfuls over top of the brownie mixture, gently swirling at the surface (you don’t want to mix it too much). Sprinkle the chocolate chips/chunks over the top and bake for approximately 1 hour (it will pull away from the pan at the edges and be set in the middle)
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- Serve with the extra rum cherries and coconut whip topping or vanilla ice cream or ‘nice’ cream.
Thank you BC Tree Fruits for sponsoring this recipe!