In Basilicata, chickpeas are everywhere! I got quite excited about how you can use them almost like chestnuts in baking, and this hybrid of a cake and a brownie is the result. I love its simplicity – it’s truly delicious.
40 MINUTES, PLUS COOLING
150g unsalted butter
extra virgin olive oil
350g golden caster sugar
150g dark chocolate (70 per cent)
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
3 large free-range eggs
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3 and line a baking tray (20cm x 30cm) with greaseproof paper. In a pan on a very low heat, melt the butter with 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 250g of the sugar until combined, stirring with a rubber spatula. Snap in the chocolate, turn off the heat, and stir gently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
2. Drain the chickpeas, blitz well in a food processor, then pour in the chocolate mixture and blitz again until smooth. With the processor still running, add the eggs one by one. Pulse in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of sea salt until just combined, then pour the mixture evenly into the tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until risen and springy to the touch.
3. Meanwhile, make your syrup. Use a speed-peeler to peel off strips of zest from both oranges into a small pan. Squeeze in all their juice, add the remaining 100g of sugar and simmer on a medium-low heat until you have a nice syrupy consistency – don’t be tempted to touch it! Leave to cool.
4. As soon as your cake comes out of the oven, poke holes in it with a cocktail stick or fine skewer, then spoon over most of the cooled syrup so it soaks into the sponge. Arrange the peel on top to decorate. Leave to cool completely, then slice and serve. I like mine with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the remaining syrup (plus a good cup of tea!).
NUTRITION PER SERVING
265 kcal; 13.2g fat (6.4g saturated); 3.6g protein; 35.2g carbs; 26.4g sugars; 0.3g salt; 0.8g fibre
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