My friend Lionel has a rapier wit, so when he said he was going to send me a cake recipe containing butter beans, I waited for the punchline. I tried the recipe yesterday and it delicious beyond a joke; more pudding than cake, I could believe how quickly it was eaten. (This is my contribution to Tandy’s current challenge to cook something sweet using spices.)

Lionel’s Super rich Butter bean and chocolate cake

5 eggs separated
1 x 90g slab dark chocolate
1 cup castor sugar + 1/3 cup caramel sugar
1/3 cup ground almonds
100g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon whisky/brandy
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 heaped tablespoon cocoa
1 small tin butterbeans
Preheat oven to 180 C

Melt butter and chocolate in bowl over boiling water with tsp coffee
Beat egg yolks and all the sugar till white and creamy
Blend butterbeans straight from tin with the brine they’re in
Pour into egg mixture
And add cocoa, spices, vanilla essence, whisky and melted butter and chocolate
Add almonds
Whip egg whites till they peak and fold into mix
Pour into cake tin lined with greaseproof paper
Bake for 45 mins or till skewer comes out clean
It’s quite wobbly as it’s super moist, so remove with care once it’s cooled down a little.
Dust with icing sugar
Serve with whipped cream.

Photograph: Milan

LIONEL BASTOS is a multiple SAMA and international award-nominated and SAMA award winning artist/singer/songwriter and producer who has written songs and produced albums for some of the top artists in South Africa and Europe including Vicky Sampson, Wendy Oldfield, Coleske, Ed Jordan, Little Sister, Andre Schwartz, Yvonne Chaka-Chaka , David Abatte, Clout, Bernie Williams, Garth Taylor, Jimmy Wagner ( Luxemburg ) , Leigh Matty of Romeo’s Daughter ( UK), Trio Rio and The Reespect ( Germany ), James Stewart , Karin Nortje ( South African IDOLS winner ) , Emmanuel Castis, ,the official 1998 SAFA FIFA World Cup CD and DSTV’s year long ad “More” to name a few.
He is recognised as one of South Africa’s most versatile and covered songwriters.
He has released four acoustic/alternative /rock CD’s as the front person of Be like water ”um…”
“Rising above the madness”
He has just released his 5th album, “hmmm…”
….but is currently very busy merely going mad.

To take a listen to Lionel, click here:



61 thoughts on “BEANS? SERIOUSLY!

  1. Enjoyed Lionel’s music videos (I checked out a few). Thanks for the link.

    The cake looks grand. I love the idea of adding beans to sweet treats . . . extra protein and fiber with less fat. 😀

  2. I am so going to try baking this cake! I however refuse to use vanilla essence, will go for vanilla paste instead :0)

  3. P.s Can I use demarara sugar instead of caramel? And maybe only use 3/4 of the amount then as demarara is really sweet and treacly once cooked?

  4. Sounds a bit ‘heavy’ for now… I’d take some convincing about butter beans – at school I hated them so much I swallowed them whole and once one got stuck for a while. It hurt and I panicked!

    Still, I’m a grown up now 🙂 and I’ll file this one for cooler days.

  5. I’ll have to take your word for it; I’m not brave enough to try it. My latest attempt at what my recipe book laughingly calls ‘Easy Cake’ was heavy and soggy and only the Hub was brave enough to eat it.

    On my way to check out Lionel now.

  6. Butter beans?! In a tin with brine? In a cake?! I really don’t know what to make of it. Sounds like the perfect food for me. I have never heard of the beans in a tin with brine. I wonder if our butter beans in America are different? Or would work just as well.

  7. A butterbean cake? Now I’ve heard all. Well, I do like butterbeans, and we know I love chocolate….hmmm…..I know you’d never lead me astray so I guess I must try it!

  8. Oh WOW, Cindy, what an awesome man! Love his music, and OMG on top of all that ART, he also knows how to make a pudding with beans! BTW, I couldn’t resist dashing over here when I read your post title via comment luv…you had me instantly 😀

  9. Butter beans in chocolate cake? Why not? Zucchini is good in chocolate cake, too. Chocolate makes anything taste good. Well, now I’ve said too much for chocolate. The cake looks delicious! I’m sure it is. Blessings to you…

  10. If it was not Jamie Oliver it was Nigella who mashed butter beans with mashed potatoes, I tried it and it was nice. My sister doesn’t like it though.

  11. I think this must have been some mother’s idea of being able to get veggies into her kids. I can’t possibly imagine who else would even try something like it……maybe a pregnant fairy.
    I just couldn’t bring myself to try.

  12. Oooo, la la, me listening and me likes (what a lovely friend to know, too, lucky you!)
    As for the butter beans, I’ve come across quite a few vegan recipes making black bean brownies, never tried, but hear they are terribly dense and yummy!

  13. Pingback: Ingredient Challenge « Lavender and Lime

  14. The cake sounds great. Will have to try.

    By the way, we did the sweet potatoes in rubios tea and loved it. We are going to try the same technique now for making sweet potato pie with an almond crust (no wheat!). So, thanks for that.

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