This is an astonishing recipe on many levels. It is really delicious and totally healthy — a great way to eat your beans! It’s dessert and its iDiet legal — a dessert that is high in fiber and protein. It’s also incredibly easy — as long as you own a blender it can be prepped by non-bakers in literally 5 minutes. You can make it in the oven or in the microwave in a mug. You can also freeze individual servings raw and then cook after defrosting on the counter. Oh yes, it’s also gluten free!
Makes 5 individual servings
1 ½ cups cooked drained cannellini beans or black beans (or one 14 oz can, drained and rinsed)
(Cannellini beans provide a more neutral flavor base, but if you only have black beans, they work great too.)
2 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (“Dutch process” or “alkalized” preferred)
2/3 cup fresh buttermilk*
2 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Optional: 1/8 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp salt (two pinches)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Splenda Granulated, or better still a mixture of different zero-calorie sweeteners of your choice, equivalent in sweetness to 1 cup of sugar**
1 tablespoon chocolate chips, divided
Ramekins or mugs for baking or microwaving
Preheat your oven, if baking them.
Put the beans, egg whites, cocoa, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extract and salt in a blender and blend until a completely smooth sauce (at least 2 minutes, or more as needed). The mixture should be a thick cream consistency, not stiff. If it does not flow and blend well, drizzle in more milk in small amounts just until it blends well.
Spray the inside of 5 ramekins (for baking) or mugs (for microwaving).
Then add in the sweetener and baking powder and blend again until fully combined. Different sweeteners will effect the final texture differently, so at this point, if the batter does not blend well, pour it out into a bowl and continue mixing by hand until evenly combined.
Immediately spoon the batter into the ramekins. There are two creative ways to do this:
If you plan to serve them warm:
Spoon half of the batter into the ramekins (about ½ cup mixture per serving). Divide half the mixture among the ramekins, then put a few chocolate chips in the center of each (less than 1 teaspoon per serving) and then spoon in the rest of the batter on top. This gives you a melted center effect.
If you plan to serve them after they have cooled:
Spoon all of the batter into the ramekins, then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of each as a decoration (less than 1 teaspoon per serving).
Bake ramekins at 350F for about 20 mins until just set and the edges barely start to pull away from the ramekins, or microwave in a mug for about 1 minute 15 seconds until set. They may appear wet when still warm, but as long as a toothpick emerges mostly clean and the edges are firm, they are ready. Overbaking will dry them out. Remember that things like cakes and muffins continue to bake from retained heat, so you need to factor that in.
You can freeze individual servings for later use by spooning individual servings into plastic cups and freezing them. You have to defrost and then transfer to ramekins to bake, but then you can enjoy your chocolate fudge mug any time (ideally defrost on the counter for a few hours – if you have to microwave to thaw them before baking, do 15 seconds, leave a few minutes and then do another 15 seconds so you don’t cook it at all). Silicone muffin tins are a great convenience for microwave-to-freezer-to-microwave cooking.
Nutrient composition per serving, assuming 5 servings:
99 calories, 7.7 grams protein, 1.8 grams fat, 17.8 grams carbohydrate and 6.3 grams fiber.
* If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by mixing 1 tsp of plain or apple cider vinegar into the milk before adding it to the batter.
** Tip: if you are using packets of sweetener, 24 packets is the equivalent sweetness to 1 cup of sugar. But you may find that 16-20 packets provides enough sweetness for you.