Red kidney bean chocolate cake

SURPRISINGLY TASTY: Magic bean cake.
Steve Shanahan
SURPRISINGLY TASTY: Magic bean cake.

My memory of the 1970s is crammed with images of noisy shared houses furnished from Vinnies, with the compulsory turntable, massive speakers and walls lined with LPs in scavenged milk crates. Fashion crimes were abundant and often involved Indian toe thongs and wraparound maxi skirts. In the background of this joyous chaos was a large pot of red kidney beans and vegetables atop the faded green Early Kooka.

But if you would like to do something a little more exotic with that tin of kidney beans lurking in the back of the pantry, try this genius recipe.

Kidney beans are high in iron, fibre and vitamins and claim to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack.

The bean cake comes from a Thermomix recipe converted to a conventional method. You need a food processor. or a blender and an electric mixer.

Although this dense, silky cake is far from conventional, it is equally at home as a kids' birthday cake or a dinner-party dessert. It's also low in sugar and gluten free. It's best served with creme fraiche.

420g can of kidney beans, drained
1 tbsp black coffee
1 tbsp vanilla paste
5 eggs, at room temperature
125g softened butter
160g sugar
70g Dutch cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder (can be substituted for other baking powder)
1/2 tsp baking soda
icing sugar and creme fraiche or yoghurt, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. In a food processor, puree the kidney beans, coffee, vanilla and one egg until smooth. Set aside.

3. Using the same bowl, combine the butter and sugar, processing until pale.

4. Add the remaining eggs to the butter and sugar one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the bean mixture, then the sifted cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda to the mixture, processing until mixed through and smooth.

5. Pour the batter into a 22-centimetre greased round cake tin or a silicone loaf tin. Bake for about 35minutes.

6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin before turning out. Dust with icing sugar and a dollop of creme fraiche or yoghurt, or topped with cream-cheese icing.

- Good Food