Whenever I eat this Cannellini Cake with Apricots, I find it hard to believe it started out as a can of beans. This nutritious, flourless confection is a great way to satisfy the craving... for sweets, which are sometimes necessary to combat chemo fatigue. Since it’s made from beans and walnuts, this cake is packed with protein. It’s also low on refined sugar, getting its sweetness from dried apricots and a little honey. Sweet as it tastes, the nutrition boost that comes from the beans and the nuts makes these dessert calories far from empty. Nonetheless, I don’t recommend eating the entire cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring-form pan.
Put walnuts into a food processor and process until finely ground. Set aside. (see Ann''s Tips)
In the same food processor, blend the beans until smooth. Set aside.
In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add half of the sugar, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Gradually add in the puréed beans and honey. Then mix in the ground walnuts until well blended. With a spatula, gently fold in the dried apricot and egg whites in 3 batches. The batter should be a little streaky.
Gently pour into the prepared spring-form pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake has shrunk from the edges and is well browned. Your cake will be puffy when it comes out of the oven, but will deflate as it cools.For more cake or dessert ideas see our Holiday Cookies and Cakes Slideshow.
To stop the walnuts turning into a paste, process with 1 tablespoon of the sugar sprinkled over them.
Eat all sweet, sugary treats in moderation. A little bit of what you like does you good, but don’t overdo it!