Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 26: Brownie Cupcake Time!

It's been a while, I know, but these last two weeks have been tres busy with finals, the end of my internship and graduation (which I'm not even attending). But I hope the wait will be worth it as this edition The Salubrious Palate will have extra recipes for you to enjoy! My sister has recently gotten me hooked on this TV show on one of the food channels called Cupcake Wars. Basically, contestants run a cupcake shop and compete to win the best cupcakes and a cash prize as well. They are judged on taste, decoration and presentation and it's highly entertaining. I'm honestly like a sports fan watching a game on TV, only with me yelling at the television screen to the contestants on what they should be doing to make their cupcakes better, or how I'D do it differently. For instance, every time a 'healthy baker' enters the competition, that person always falls short because of taste or texture. So, I thought I'd give it my own go with making healthier, guilt-free cupcakes made from red and black beans! I forgot to photograph the black bean sesame cupcakes, so there's only the photo of the red bean cupcakes. And I swear, you won't be able to tell that they're made with such a healthier flour substitute that really packs on the protein as well. So enjoy and make food, not war! ;)

Red Bean Brownie-Cupcakes With Tropical Chocolate Banana Saffron Frosting
Makes 16 cupcakes

8 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 cup unsalted margarine
2 cups red kidney beans, rinsed and drained well
1 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds, ground in a coffee grinder
1 tablespoon almond extract
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup applesauce
¼ cup agave nectar
1/3 cup  Sweet Leaf stevia/sugar blend

Tropical Chocolate Banana Saffron Frosting:
Make about 4 cups

2 cups chickpeas
½ cup light coconut milk
1 100-calorie dark choc. bar (Trader Joe’s brand which is sweetened with beet juice) OR 1/4 dark chocolate bar (at least 70%)
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional--you really have to blend the bejeezus out of the frosting to get rid of the coconut texture if you decide to add this--I'd actually suggest just sprinkling it on top)
3-4 threads saffron
1/2 cup banana-applesauce (they had a deal on these squeezable blends at Trader Joe's) OR just add 1/4 of a ripe banana with the applesauce
¼ cup agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Black Bean Sesame Brownie Cupcakes 
Makes about 16 cupcakes

1 bar 85% dark chocolate or at least 70% (I like Ghiradelli's or Godiva's brand, the darker the healthier and tastier in my opinion)
1 cup unsalted margarine, melted
2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained well
1/4 cup black sesame seeds, ground in a coffee grinder 
4 eggs or 4 egg replacements: 8 tbsp water + 4 tbsp olive oil + 8 tsp baking powder 
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 c. agave nectar
1/4 c. raw stevia powder

For Both Cupcakes: 
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
3) Pour the rinsed beans in a food processor and blend until smooth.
4) Add everything else except the dry ingredients (a.k.a. the cocoa powder and almond meal or garbanzo bean flour respectively as well as the ground sunflower seeds and sesame seeds)
5) Add the dry ingredients and the seeds to the processor and blend.
6) Spoon batter into the muffin cups and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
7) To make the frosting for the red bean cupcakes, clean the food processor and then blend the ingredients until smooth.
8) Once the cupcakes have cooled, spread some frosting on the red bean cakes and top with a chocolate almond or some coconut. Be creative! :)

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!
                                                 Red Bean Brownie Cupcakes!