“Will you still bring us flourless chocolate cake?”

Friday was my last day in the department at Northwestern where I’ve spent the past year and a half. The Assistant Director asked me this in the joking way that she has. As we all know, though, every joke has a hint of truth.

I brought in a Chocolate Valentine Cake for Valentine’s day the week before. It’s a vaguely stupid holiday, although I’ll never turn down a reason to get dressed up and go out to dinner or eat chocolate. The recipe is from my mom’s early foray into the world of gluten-free eating. I remember the whole family being very skeptical about the cake; it’s primary ingredient is garbanzo beans. Mom served it with powdered sugar, fresh raspberries, and a warm raspberry sauce on the side. I’ve continued the tradition minus the raspberry sauce, even if it is my favorite part, because mine doesn’t taste as good as hers. Regardless, it’s a bloody good cake. Everyone raves over it, claiming it’s the best chocolate cake they’ve ever had. I enjoy the various iterations of happy indignation when folks find out the secret ingredient as well. The one I brought to work for Valentine’s day started out beautiful with cut-out heart shapes in the powdered sugar and sliced fresh strawberries. Unfortunately, the cake was not completely cool and, by morning, my berries in pure white snow looked more like rotten fruit scavenged from a grocery dumpster in the middle of Chicago winter. Alas….

Get thee

1 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips – I prefer dark chocolate
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 eggs or 1 cup egg substitute
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp powdered sugar

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Place chocolate in a small bowl. Melt in the microwave at 20-30 second intervals for a total of 2 minutes, stirring in between.
3) In blender or food processor, combine beans and eggs. Add sugar, chocolate, baking powder and process until smooth.
4) Pour batter into a a non-stick or well greased 9 inch round cake pan. Springform pans work really well for this recipe too since the cake can be difficult to gracefully dislodge.
5) Bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
6) Don’t be an impatient drunk. Wait until it cools to sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Raspberry Sexy Time Sauce
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 tsps fresh lemon juice
1 pint fresh raspberries

Heat jam in the microwave until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in juice and berries. Pour over anything and everything.