Celebrating 100: Chocolate and Chickpea (garbanzo beans) Torte with Rum Cream

Chocolate and Chickpea Torte

It’s not often that the main ingredient in a chocolate cake is chickpeas (garbanzo beans), so when I saw this recipe I was absolutely intrigued. But in case that’s not enough to tempt you, I’ll also point out that it’s not difficult to make, has a wonderfully moist texture, and – perhaps most importantly – tastes great. Plus, if you’re making it to share with friends, then you’ve got the added bonus of challenging them to guess what the secret ingredient might be. (It’s unlikely that they’ll get it). And the icing on the cake? It’s also gluten-free.

But what makes this cake particularly special (at least to me) is that it was made (at least in part) to celebrate my 100th blog post…

It definitely feels like a milestone. To some extent that’s because it has taken me longer to get here than I thought it might. (Given my initial trajectory, I should have reached this point almost a year ago). But I find that life is rarely predictable. Some months have been more prolific than others – ranging from 0 posts in March 2014 to 19 in November 2012 – a fact that clearly reflects what has been an interesting, sometimes challenging, often very busy, but ultimately rewarding period in my life.

It has been encouraging to gain followers and receive comments (any comments, actually, but especially those that recognise a post I’m particularly pleased with), and gratifying to hear that people have tried – and enjoyed – my writing and recipes. But it works both ways, and I also appreciate the intelligent, creative, humorous and thoughtful posts that I see on a regular basis. The ones I enjoy most include so much more than recipes, sharing tantalizing glimpses into the lives, families, cultures and kitchens of their authors. And then there is the cavalcade of carefully-constructed, mouth-watering photographs that frequently accompany them… I often wonder how many of us get to eat a hot meal anymore (or perhaps that’s just me)?

But what has surprised me most is the extent to which I’ve become part of a (virtual) community. I don’t want to get sentimental about it, but I could never have anticipated or predicted the sense of friendship and personal connectedness that has resulted from this particular venture. It really is an astonishing – often very generous and supportive – network of people that we’re continually creating out there in cyberspace. Anyway (as I’ve already mentioned), I really don’t want to get sentimental. But you know what? I’m grateful. And to celebrate, I’ve made you all a cake…

Before we get to the recipe itself, I offer you (almost without apology), the really, truly self-indulgent part of this post… the part where my alter-ego – The Fresh Princess of Bel Air – gets to share a few personal highlights from the 99 posts that have preceded this one:

Favourite post: Pea and mint ice-cream

Favourite savoury recipe: Lamb ragoût with olives and flageolet beans

Favourite sweet recipe: Beetroot cake with mascarpone and raspberries

Favourite photographs: Home-made “pot noodle”

Chocolate and Chickpea Torte

Recipe: Chocolate and Chickpea Torte with Rum Cream

Ingredients

For the torte:
200g plain, dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) broken into squares
150g icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
150g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
400g tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
3 medium eggs, separated
Cocoa powder, sifted, for dusting
For the cream:
3 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
3 tbsp dark rum
400ml double cream
 Serves 8-10

Method

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove from the heat, take the bowl carefully out of the water and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for 20 minutes. If the chocolate is too hot, it will melt the butter when added to the cake batter.

Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F / gas mark 5.

Grease a 23cm springform cake tin with a little butter and line the base with baking paper. Put the icing sugar, butter and chickpeas in a food processor, then blend together until creamy and smooth. Add the egg yolks and blend well.

Next, add the cooled, melted chocolate in a steady stream with the motor running. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff (but not dry). Gently, but thoroughly, fold in to the chocolate and chickpea mixture.

Spoon the mix into the prepared cake tin and spread to the sides. Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes or until the cake has risen, is firm to the touch and just beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes in the tin.

To make the whipped cream, mix the sugar and rum until it dissolves, then whisk with the cream until soft peaks form. Serve with the warm torte cut into slender wedges and lightly dusted with cocoa powder.

From: Freeze, by Justine Pattison (reprinted in the Guardian Weekend)
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About Georgina

Originally from the South of England, I've also had homes in Australia (Canberra) and the US (Los Angeles). I've been based in the UK city of Sheffield for a couple of years now. My blog is about adventures with food - markets, ingredients, books, recipes, places I've eaten and other related experiences. It focuses on stories from Sheffield, South Yorkshire and nearby Derbyshire, as well as places farther afield.
This entry was posted in Food, Recipes, Sweet things and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Celebrating 100: Chocolate and Chickpea (garbanzo beans) Torte with Rum Cream

  1. Congratulations on your 100th post (and the intriguing recipe)!

  2. antje ronneberger says:

    Hi George,
    Congratulations to your 100 and thanks for the first blog and a mouthwatering one it is. Just had dinner and would love to start straight away! But I have to restrain myself and do it when we are back from our week sailing, Great it is gluten free as well, might try It when Rebecca and Barry are coming with George and Katie. Chocolate is always a winner! Just need to use a Gluten Free one. Keep them coming!!

    • Georgina says:

      Hi Antje, Thanks! And it’s great that you’re following my blog now. I’m glad that you like the idea of this recipe, and yes, it’s good to have a few gluten free ideas to hand. I hope that you have a great week sailing. Gx

  3. Liz says:

    my but that looks intriguing! I’ve been non-plussed by recipes that hide legumes before, but this one looks like a winner. And rum cream!!!

    Hearing you on the blogging community. Never saw that coming myself. But what fun to connect with other like-minded souls. Congratulations to you 🙂

    • Georgina says:

      Thanks Liz. You wouldn’t know that it had chickpeas in it at all, and it has a really lovely, moist texture as well as a great taste.

      Absolutely. The blogging community really did take me by surprise – but what an added bonus!

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    Sharing 100 posts is a milestone and you have every reason to celebrate. Congratulations! When I began my blog, I really didn’t have any idea of what to expect. Discovering and becoming a part of a community was a bit of a surprise for me, too. Blogging is enjoyable on so many levels. One thing’s for certain. My diet has changed greatly. If not for blogging, how ever would I have found out about using chick peas to make a delicious chocolate torte? It really does sound good. 🙂

    • Georgina says:

      Many thanks, John. Blogging has certainly been an interesting and enjoyable journey so far. You’re right about it teaching us new things, and it continually encourages me to extend my repertoire – to try different flavours and recipes, as well as undertake new challenges. Making my own pasta is something that remains on my “to do” list though… I really should give it a go! I hope that your travels are going well? Georgina

  5. dinnerbysusan says:

    Congratulations on 100 posts! (And on a wonderful blog!!)

  6. Karen says:

    A 100 posts is a nice milestone to celebrate and you have given us a dessert that will be a fun one to try. Well done.

    • Georgina says:

      Thanks Karen. It’s certainly a milestone that I’m pleased to be celebrating – and was just the excuse I needed to make this interesting “cake”.

  7. Hello Georgina. Just saw you stopped in for a visit this morning. What a fantastic torte you have here. I love the idea of using different flours other than wheat in cakes. I happen to have chickpea flour on hand and will try your cake, it’s lovely. Thank you for introducing yourself and happy 100th post!

    • Georgina says:

      Thanks for stopping by, and for the comment. I used a tin of chickpeas for this, and am not sure what the equivalent in flour would be. I’d love to hear how you get on though.

  8. garethhevans says:

    Here’s to next 100! Congratulations.

  9. Congratulations and happy 100th!

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