food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

chocolate-black-bean-frostingIt is not very often that I go a bit crazy with my own cooking. Like most cooks and food bloggers I will make stuff, serve it, write about it, but gosh don’t I get embarrassed when people like it. Do you do that too?

It is not that we aren’t grateful for adulation – not at all, please don’t stop – but we can be a bit awkward and weirdly shy. My schtick is that I hem and haw and say something like “oh, it doesn’t have enough salt in it,” or “it was in the oven about five minutes too long” (that was yesterday’s rebuttal to the lemon polenta cake I brought to a class). To some this may smack of false modesty, but I am sure that the majority of the time most of us praise-rebuffers are not fishing for compliments: we genuinely don’t think our offering is worthy of special mention. We’ve made it, we hope it is edible. End of.

But for today and today only, I will retract my inner self-critic and say that I really quite like this frosting AND I will smile politely and say “thank you very much” to anyone who likes it too. I’m quite chuffed with it because, to my knowledge, it is original and, crucially, tastes pretty much like chocolate frosting should taste – creamy, chocolatey, lickable. And the whole food twist? Black beans. Yup, black beans.chocolate-black-bean-frosting

Some of you will have made avocado frosting – and that’s really tasty stuff – but recently while cooking some black beans up for a savoury dish I just thought, why not? Why not indeed. They are awesome in black bean brownies (I’ll post my own version soon), so why wouldn’t they be good in something else in the chocolate-cocoa canon?

I knew it would need a wee help with the texture – a bit ‘floury’ on its own – so I added a little peanut butter (although cashew would be even better as it is milder). Melted good quality chocolate in place of the nut butter would be divine, but I wanted to see how ‘pure’ I could get it. I was totally shocked that I didn’t have to immediately stick it in the bin (we have no dog). None of it made it into the bin. My very truthful family helped out with the ‘cleaning up’. If they hadn’t given their thumbs up – or rather fingers in – I would’ve gone no further with this cranky idea.

If you dare to make this up do have more patience than have I: blend the heck out of the frosting. I blended as best as my tiny attention span would allow, but dark flecks are visible. The bold among you could pass them off as chocolate chips (?). Maybe pushing the beans through a sieve or food mill would be even better. You would also be more patient with the spreading and decorating.

It IS a bit nutty, and I wouldn’t recommend whacking it on anything too healthy (date-sweetened oat & chia cookies need not apply), but I think it would be a fun frosting on homemade chocolate cake, fairy cakes, anything with a nut or coffee flavour in need of frosting, even a dip for fresh fruit (it was nice with banana slices). I frosted up chocolate and beetroot muffins for a few nutrition groups and no one guessed the surprise healthy ingredient. The closest anyone got was avocado. Good guess. My next go with this will be to add malt syrup for a Horlick’s/Ovaltine vibe. That might be pushing it…

What weird stuff have you concocted lately?

chocolate-black-bean-frostingChocolate-Black Bean Frosting

Last year: Spinach and Walnut Dip (Spinach Pkhali)

Two years ago: Kale-Berry Smoothie

Unusual? Yes. A pretty good doppelganger for the real thing? I think so. If you have had black bean brownies (my recipe soon) you will know that somehow this ingredient works with chocolate and cocoa. I’ve just taken it in a slightly different direction: on top.

This black bean frosting was taste-tested on over 30 people: all thought it was chocolate frosting. With ingredients mainly of the store cupboard variety I hope you try it and give your verdict. Spread it on a decadent cake for a kind of calorie and fat balancing act, or do what we do and use it on my beetroot chocolate cake/muffins.

The following is just a guide – start with these amounts, blend, taste and adjust as you like. Makes enough to spread on one small cake or 9 muffins.

60g (slightly heaped 1/3 cup) cooked and rinsed black beans or adzuki beans

1 ½ tbsp cocoa or cacao powder

1 very heaped tbsp smooth nut butter (cashew would be mildest but I used peanut butter with good results)

2 tbsp (+) runny acacia honey or maple syrup

Pinch of fine salt

¼ tsp vanilla powder or paste (extract is to strong here – you taste the alcohol)

Enough warm water to get a smooth frosting (I used about 1 teaspoon)

METHOD: Pop everything into a blender and blend like mad. Keeps for four days, refrigerated in a covered container.

I’ve given the recipe sharing a break for a couple of weeks but this week I would like to include this unusual sweet over at Mark of Javelin Warrior’s Cookin’ W/ Luv Made With Love Mondays, and to Heather for her Sweet Wednesday Link Party. Please go and visit their great sites for ideas and more.


57 thoughts on “Chocolate Frosting with a Whole Food Twist

  1. Oh hell yes!

  2. I need this in my life! 🙂

  3. blairanswers says:

    i want this!
    i so get what you are saying about loving your own cooking! i am a baker myself and half the stuff i bake, goes right into my mouth!
    love chocolate!

  4. Ooh Kellie, I love this! And I hear what you’re saying about the self-critic bit. 😉 Hmm, as far as weird creations as of late…I unintentionally baked off some spaghetti squash as if it were Delicata. Had the same green stripes as Delicata – who knew!

  5. riadlinda says:

    Wow Kellie, what a great combination, looks so good

  6. What a great idea!

  7. Ooooo…..frosting! One of the only things I can’t keep in the house, because I can’t stop from eating it! I am so curious about this frosting with beans and with so many raving reviews I am game to give it a try! I hold you 100% responsible if I eat too much and get a tummy ache 🙂

  8. Reblogged this on Life, Love & Lima Beans and commented:
    Sounds delicious!

  9. casualliving says:

    I can’t wait to try this, that is so smart! Thanks for sharing I love trying new adventurous ways to make healthier versions of sweets.

  10. I’m in love 🙂

  11. lushly says:

    What a fantastic idea! Great recipe. I empathize with the self critic. It is a little embarrassing. I still haven’t shared my blog with close friends!

    1. I know what you mean. It is easier to share ‘anonymously’ (I mean, no one even has to know your name!) to the world, but it is pretty scary letting friends and family in on your passion and writing. Just like it is easier to give a speech in front of strangers than in front of a crowd of friends (well, I think so). It will be a relief when you do though ;D And I know they will love it

      1. I’m so glad you mentioned the speech in front of strangers piece because I feel that way too but haven’t always had that feeling reciprocated when expressed to others. And I thought I was alone in feeling it a bit scary sharing such a passion with people I’m close to, Whew! I guess it’s the vulnerability in letting people see your true colors (esp if you’re a private person to begin with). But it is quite liberating when it is shared. Thanks for your honesty Kellie!

      2. I have always felt that way, Katie. I think we must be hard-wired that way. You are so right about the vulnerability. It is scary opening yourself up for judgement with people you already know and respect, rather than to those who you don’t know and are yet to form a relationship. I’m glad to know we are kindred spirits 😀

      3. lushly says:

        Oh goodness I can’t even give a speech to a crowd of strangers! But I know what you mean. I love your positive attitude and your lovely blog. Cheers -L

      4. Oh that’s terrifying too but less so 😉 I was never a debater or comfortable speaking in class as a kid. I’m happier expressing myself on paper/keyboard.

  12. Absolutely awesome! You had me at black beans!

  13. narf77 says:

    You have certainly outdone yourself this time…the possibilities! Rosewater and cinnamon…chilli and dried cherry chunks…sub out the honey and sub in date paste…forget using it as icing and why not use it as a dip? Why not add almond meal or other nut meal and form it into truffles? SO many delicious possibilities. I found a recipe for sweet potato über healthy truffles yesterday and was in 7th heaven…this recipe kicks it up to 8. Kudos ma’am…your creative sparks are firing on all fronts 🙂

    1. Love your embracing of this idea, Miss Fran! Your add-ins sound immense and will be adopted enthusiastically with the next batch (well, not all at the same time)

      1. narf77 says:

        Scrumptiousness to the MAX (especially the rosewater and cinnamon…I am going to make this ASAP 🙂 ) You could add tahini as well to take this to an ethereal level of delicosity (no…it isn’t a word…but it SHOULD be! 😉 )

  14. blancdelait says:

    Wow, I love your cooking!
    I’d me glad if you’d honnor me with your visit, i’m new!
    Have a really nice day !

  15. I have tried the avocado frosting (although not with chocolate) but I’ve never tried using black beans. I can see how it could work – especially with a little peanut butter and melted chocolate 🙂 I haven’t made anything to crazy recently – I seem to go in bursts of creativity :/

  16. foodbod says:

    That looks great and definitely worth trying, thank you 😊

  17. aryana0821 says:

    waw what great combination …great job 🙂

  18. I see something that can get frosted in my near future. Genius!

  19. Choclette says:

    Kellie, you are brilliant. I absolutely must give this a try. Now you’ve pointed it out, I can see how it might work. I’ve made black bean brownies and they were really good.

    I’ve been quite creative recently, but nothing much in the healthy line – pastry made with white chocolate and marmite brownies.

    1. I must check out the marmite brownies. Consider me suitably intrigued ;D

  20. jen says:

    I recently made avocado frosting. Unfortunately it caused an allergic reaction for my husband but it started a discussion of the alternatives. I don’t think anyone suggested black beans so I will have to try this!

  21. Kellie, lets just be honest…this is genius isn’t it. I wish you were in London xxx

    1. Ah thanks , love x

  22. I just recommit to going sugar-free, so this is a recipe I’ll have to try!!! 🙂

  23. jannabelle5 says:

    Wow, at first I thought there were bits of chocolate chips in it! Reading on I realized that those are black beans, mind blown! That is amazing! I can’t wait to try it! My husband hates beans of any kind so I’m not going to tell him the secret ingredient when I slather this recipe on my devils food cake!
    As for the issue of telling people what’s wrong with your dish, I do that too (I over baked my cinnamon rolls yesterday) I’ve made a point recently to graciously say thank you to every compliment. Though I do complain to my dear and very patient husband when things aren’t perfect. If people think it’s truly delicious why throw in something that undermines their compliment and your dish? Bask in the glory of every accomplishment, even if your creation is a little doughy, salty, dry.

    1. Oh, I wouldn’t immediately slather this all over a cake for someone who hates beans. It does not taste in any way, shape or form of beans, but it is a mind-bender. Try him on something small first perhaps? A muffin maybe?… I am trying with the taking compliments (in any sphere) thing but it is much easier on a blog than face to face, that’s for sure. I think I inherited the automatic self-criticism thing from my grandmother. Yes, I’ll blame her! ;D

  24. realappetite says:

    I love this idea! I tried a black bean brownie recipe and wasn’t a fan — I sure hope yours is better! Along the lines of wacky but delicious, tonight I blitzed some leftover tzatziki with an avocado. I couldn’t stop eating it! But it just gives further proof to my theory that avocado makes everything better.

    1. That DOES sound like a heavenly mash-up. Thanks for letting us in on that experiment 😀

  25. SugarDino says:

    What a great idea 🙂 I am always looking for ways to sneak something healthy into desserts and might just have to try this! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  26. Kids Plate says:

    Yum, cant wait for you black bean brownie recipe!,

  27. Wow! This sounds so intriguing- i bet it would be amazing on a roast sweet potato- weirdo right?! I think this has to be my next baking endeavour xx

  28. What a great idea. I will be adding that to my repertoire! Thanks for sharing.

  29. Ingenious! I knew there were black beans involved from the title’s hints and the picture. I’m glad the yellow liquid was not oil!

  30. I can’t wait to try this recipe … great to connect on WordPress!~

  31. I can taste this flavour in my head. It sounds great 🙂

  32. Sally says:

    Fantastic Kellie. The weirdest thing I made was beetroot muffins ….but you’ve already thought of that!

  33. laura_howtocook says:

    This must be tried, such a clever idea and I certainly know that if you think this frosting is good, it sure will be. I love the idea of black bean brownies too, Pulses for puds!

  34. Shannon says:

    Wow. Just WOW. Flecks and all.

  35. Gus says:

    As one of the lucky people who sampled this I can confirm it’s de-lish. Have black beans soaking even now, going to try frosting some banana muffins …

    1. Aw thanks so much, Gus! Lovely to hear from you and get your feedback on the frosting.

  36. What a great idea. I’ve always been a big fan of beans in my desserts (bring on the sesame balls), and this seems particularly decadent.

    1. I’ve not always been a fan, but I guess your travels in Japan and the Far East will have got you familiar with the idea. I am not too keen on the sweet bean steamed buns though. Probs the sticky rice dough though…

  37. Alyssa says:

    Just made this for a super food birthday cake for my sister tomorrow. The cake is still cooling so I will have to wait to frost, but the taste of it is sooo good. I always change recipes, so I tweaked this a bit. I didn’t really follows the amounts so it is thinner, but quite warm from my blending it really smooth (first plus!) I also added a bit of blackstrap molasses (second plus!) which added a tang and some depth. Then to finish it off, as I used orange sparkling water in the cake, I added a teaspoon or so of grated orange peel (third plus!) It is so tasty, so pretty and will be the perfect addition to the super food cake for my super awesome baby sister! <3 thank you so much!!

    1. all good tweaks, I’d say! I hope it set the cake off nicely. I love serving off-beat things that seem to work! And it sounds like you do too 😉 Thanks for letting me know it worked for you. 🙂

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