Friday, July 25, 2008

Garbanzo Cake (gluten free/dairy free)

In my quest for gluten-free baked goodies, I came across this recipe in a Mexican cookbook. It’s a great alternative to a sweet quick bread we almost never have anymore since we don’t like to torment Daddy with glutenous treats too often…unless it’s Spiced Pumpkin Bread that our kids usually beg me to make at least once a month--and more like once a week around the holidays. Each serving of this “cake” has 2.7 g. fiber and 9.2 g. protein! It's a very dense and moist quick bread-type cake. Our kids thought it was a big treat! They didn't realize it was a gluten-free bread...otherwise they may have been suspicious. With its sweet spiced flavor, you sure wouldn’t know it has a couple of cans of chickpeas stashed away in all its goodness—replacing the flour and adding additional moisture, fiber and protein! All the kids asked for more, but they’ll have to wait because this recipe only makes one loaf!

2 -10 oz cans Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
(Cans of chickpeas around here are 16 oz., so you can use the leftover chickpeas to make a half-ish recipe of Hummus. Why not? You'll already have your processor out, and it'll make just the right amount to snack on while you're waiting for your cake to finish baking!)
4 eggs, beaten (or 1 cup of egg beaters)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
If you're concerned about using cinnamon for any reason (like if your tongue goes numb like my friend's!), you could use a mixture of nutmeg, all spice, cloves, and ginger instead.

Grated rind and juice of 1 orange (since I didn't have an orange, I just threw in 1-1/2 TBSP frozen OJ concentrate and 1 tsp. of dried lemon peel)

Cinnamon sugar -- 1/4 cup sugar with 1 tsp ground cinnamon
(or make spiced sugar using alternate spices)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove any noticeable chickpea skins, and put the remaining peas in a food processor (or blender) and process until smooth. (You may need to process the chickpeas in a couple of batches.) This is what it looks like when you're done processing--kind of dry looking but holds together when you press it.

Spoon the processed chickpeas into a bowl and gently stir in the eggs, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, orange rind, and orange juice. Grease a 1-pound loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Pour the cake mixture into the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and leave to stand, in the pan, for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan, place on a wire rack, and leave to cool completely before serving. Or if you're like us, wait just another 10 minutes or so before diving in!) Serve with sliced fresh strawberries, pineapple or other fruit...or just sprinkle each piece with additional spiced sugar and enjoy.

(12 slices/servings)

The above recipe based on one from: The Complete Mexican, South American & Caribbean Cookbook

Lemony alternative:
Instead of using orange zest and juice, use the zest and juice of one juicy lemon. After the cake is done baking, squeeze more lemon juice over cake, and sprinkle generously with confectioners sugar.

Or try a chocolate version here.

Disclaimer: Please forgive me for the frozen berries in my photo. I went to grab some fresh strawberries from the fridge, and discovered that they mysteriously disappeared. If you know their whereabouts, please fill me in. Hey, what's that red stuff on your cheek, Jimmer? Oooh...and you too, Kathleen. Aha!