As I mentioned in my last post, Bill and I recently celebrated our third wedding anniversary. I have a lot of wonderful memories from our wedding day. Our wedding was a small, low-key affair with 40 of our closest friends and family members. We held the ceremony and the reception in the nature center at our favorite local park. The ceremony was short and sweet, and it was followed by an evening of great food, mingling, and dancing.
And did I mention that there was cake? We had a triple-layer almond cake with almond buttercream frosting. It was incredibly moist, decadent, and oh-so-delicious. Just look at the smiles on our faces!
I still have very fond memories of that cake. So what better way to celebrate our anniversary than by enjoying some almond wedding cake? Since our actual wedding cake is long-gone, I decided that it would be fun to see if I could create a healthier wedding cake recipe without refined sugar. The cake part was easy; I made a couple of miniature double-layer cakes using my trusty triple almond cake recipe. The frosting, however, was a bit more challenging -- how do you make a good buttercream frosting without butter or powdered sugar? But I always enjoy a good challenge, especially when the challenge involves cake.
Luckily, I was able to find some good inspiration from the blogosphere. A few months ago, Bill and I tried a chocolate chip cookie dough dip recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie (one of my favorite healthy food bloggers). The dip uses garbanzo beans as a base. Although this may sound a little unusual, the dip was wonderful, and it didn't taste like beans at all. So, why not try using beans as the base for frosting?
I got out the food processor and started experimenting. I decided to use great northern beans for this recipe. They have a very mild flavor, and they turned out to be the perfect consistency for a thick frosting. I added a generous dose of almond butter, and I also threw in some almond extract for a little bit of extra almond flavor. Finally, I sweetened the frosting with a combination of agave nectar and stevia.
The final product is rich, slightly sweet, and very almondy. And you would never guess that it contains beans. I confirmed this theory by letting Bill taste test the leftover frosting and asking him to guess the ingredients. He heartily approved of the frosting, and he wasn't able to guess that beans were one of the ingredients.
Bill and I had a great time eating our mini wedding cakes and reminiscing about our wedding day. I think this may become an annual tradition.
Almond buttercream frosting
Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan
Makes a little over 1 cup
1 cup canned great northern beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup almond butter
2 Tbsp. agave nectar
2 packets stevia
1 tsp. pure almond extract
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve with triple almond cake.
I'm sharing this recipe on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.