Bean cake with bitter almond oil was used as a thrifty recipe during wartimes. Everyone could grow beans in their backyard and benzaldehyde(almond flavour) is easy to produce. My great-grandaunt made this cake once for me and I found the recipe in the cookery book of my grandmother. I upgraded the cake with decorative roses from carrot slices, keeping the thrifty nature alive.
Step 1: Ingredients
Step 2: Soaking the Beans
Take at least twice as much water to soak your beans overnight the day before you want to bake the cake. For the 500 grams white beans we need 1 liter of water.
Stir the beans a bit with your hand and sort out dirty ones to improve the taste as if you were making red bean paste. The water will first look dirty,
soon the beans will look yellowish and small air bubbles appear on the surface.
Then they are ready for usage.
Step 3: Cooking the Beans
Drain the beans in a colander and then cook them for 30 minutes in another batch of fresh water.
Step 4: Separating the Eggs
Meanwhile you can prepare the 5 eggs and separate from the yolks. If you don't have a separator for the eggs, catch the yolk with a half of the eggshell. Weigh 250 grams of sugar and while whisking the yolks, slowly trickle the sugar in.
Then add lemon cest, baking powder and 3 drops of bitter almond oil. Set aside.
Step 5: Grinding the Beans
Drain the beans after 30 minutes and then use either a mill, a food processor or a potato masher to turn the beans into a powder. If it's possible, try to sort out the skins of the beans, they can cause wind.
Step 6: Prepare the Springform
Place baking parchment in a springform tin, grease with butter and dust with breadcrumbs. Then beat the egg white until stiff, add some lemon juice or salt for improvement.
Step 7: Mix It All Together
Preheat the stove to 200°C (390°F). First mix the milled beans with the whisked egg yolks. Then fold the stiff egg white carefully into the dough.
Step 8: Baking the Cake
The cake needs 90 minutes at 200°C (390°F). Place the dough in the springform and even out the surface with a spoon. Check the cake after 45 minutes, if the top is already getting dark, cover the cake with parchment paper.
Step 9: Carrot Roses
Meanwhile clean the carrots and peel the skin. For big slices you can cut the carrots into halves and then cut slices from the inside. But then you need more carrots.
Mix 200grams (1 cup) sugar and 225grams (1 cup) water with 1/4 spoon of salt in a saucepan. Add the carrot slices and boil for a minute. Then take them out, twist and twirl them into a rose.
Step 10: Glazing
15 minutes before the cake is done, you can improve the surface if you mix 1 egg yolk with a spoon of milk and glaze the top with it.
Step 11: Frosting
Spread icing sugar over the cake to hide any cracks in the top.
Step 12: Placing the Roses
Divide the cake into 12 parts by placing 12 carrot roses evenly on the cake edge. Start with 3 dividing the cake into thirds, then place another 3 in the middle between and finally add 6 inbetween. Mix 1 drop of rose oil with 1 teaspoon of water and "inoculate" the carrot roses. If you want you can also use icing sugar for the roses.
The bean cake tastes really like an almond cake but is neither too sweet nor too wet. But it is full of proteins and flavour. Your guests will enjoy the fake almond cake / bean cake a lot.
Enjoy your cake! This is my entry in the baking contest, if you want to support me, click on the Vote! button in the top right corner.