I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

December 11, 2011

Secret Ingredient Cake

I admit to hiding the odd vegetable in my cooking.

My BigJ is not a fan of the humble veggie, sticking to a few firm favourites and surreptitiously slipping me his veggies under the table when we eat out. I don't mind, I love veggies, but I do draw the line when he tries to snaffle all the meat when we eat Asian, leaving me just the half cooked onion wedges and capsicum at the bottom of the dish.

I feel a perverse style of pleasure therefore, in feeding him as many vegetables as I can without him knowing. My excuse is that it's for his own good, but really, it's just so I win.

Don't judge me.

Recently on holiday, my wonderful mother bought out a fantastic chocolate cake she had made, wisely allowing us to enjoy it's light, moist texture and washing it down with cups of tea, before informing us that it was made with Beans. Kidney Beans to be exact.

I was very happy.

Even BigJ had admitted how much he had enjoyed his morning tea, so he couldn't take it back. But he examined every bite carefully for the rest of our holiday :)

This recipe comes from a Cooking Club my mother belongs to in Queensland. Despite the hidden beans, this is certainly not a health food, containing more than it's own fair share of fat and sugar- of course this means plenty of flavour too.

1 tin of Kidney Beans- rinsed well and drained
5 Eggs
180g Brown Sugar
125g Butter
70g Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Coffee Powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Bicarb Soda

Puree the beans with the coffee, vanilla, and 2 of the eggs

Cream the butter and sugar

Add in the eggs and beat well

Put into the mix the bean puree, cocoa, baking powder and soda
Mix until smooth and well combined

Put into a prepared cake tin- a loaf tin would be the best, as you will see mine turned out a bit flat- and bake in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes.

Cool in the pan to keep moist

This was my solution to the flat big cake- making cute smaller cakes that are more in proportion.

Looky looky what I found at the supermarket:

Yes it's gluten free and appears to dairy free as well! I know it's cheating, but sometimes we're in a hurry, aren't we? I decided to give it a go.

To be perfectly honest, the cake doesn't need frosting at all. It's just s moist and perfect the way it is- almost mud cake moist, but still light enough to eat a whole slice (or two) at once.

I snuck this cake in as a dessert for my last dinner party, never letting on the secret ingredient until after it was eaten. It was a complete success, with the secret ingredient a real talking point as well. Just what you want for mingling!

So Dear Reader, do you hide vegetables in your cooking, or do your family love them enough on their own merits?



  1. Love the image about the "secret ingredient"! Beans are awesome... I make a simple cake with a can of chickpeas and lemons -it comes out with a very cheesecake-like texture, but not unlike your kidney bean recipe also quite flat. I sprinkle the top of it with icing sugar... and then serve really big (flat) servings. I'll admit to having eaten this in place of dinner - telling myself that beans and lemons are hardly dessert material!

  2. I happen to be one of the recipients who got to taste test this cake. To my amazement and my unawareness of the secret ingredient at the time, the cake tasted amazing. Then I was told what went into to (kidney beans). I must say it really does mess with your head a little. This cake however was the moisted, sweetest yummiest cake. I am glad I was none the wiser when I tasted it because I almost certainly would have borked at the mere thought of it tasting odd with the secret ingredient. 5/5 YUM......

  3. My family (well, Ben), is good with veggies :) I love the idea of beans in a cake. Crafty Cooking Club ;)
    Heidi xo

  4. I really love the idea of this cake!! Must give it a go sometime soon!

  5. This cake looks great, I find gluten free cake a little dry, it may be me. But this is really moist perfect for my gluten intolerant mum for Christmas Day. GG

  6. Haha sneaky! They look so moist and delicious :)

  7. I adore cakes made with vegetables! They're always so moist -you can see that from the texture! :)

  8. MMMMMMM,..These 3 smaller cakes look utterly tasty & apart! Beautiful decorated too! :)

    I, alos used beans in my desserts before & loved the taste!
    My husband & I love a lot of veggies in our cooking so I don't have to hide them!

  9. Love your work :-) Beans + choc are awesome xx

  10. Absolutely stunning! I love sneaking in veggies too - beetroot in chocolate cake is also a goody. Have bookmarked this and excited to try it :)

  11. I've hidden apples, courgette, and beets in my chocolate cake before, but never beans... Looking forward to trying it out!

    (the beetroot cake was REALLY good by the way - I've got a recipe link here: http://www.thespringblog.com/2011/08/chocolate-beetroot-cake/

    - Catherine @ The Spring (in Brisbane)

  12. I love that first retro photo. She looks like a character out of Mad Men.

  13. i love secret ingredients!!!! have to try it out on my friends. I made sweet potato cake for friends and their little girl loved it but refused to believe it contained vegetable!

  14. Wow, chocolate really goes with ANYTHING! I love vegetables in cake, I'm just bout to make a chickpea and chocolate cakes but kidney beans had got to be a new one. Looks delicious though, how did it taste?

  15. Beans! That is a surprise content but then again, I've been fooled by a friend before with tomato soup in her chocolate cake. I haven't really done it myself before but I think I will from now on! It's a cute little surprise, especially when it's delicious :)

  16. Oh wooow... A choc cake recipe with KIDNEY beans?! Faaaaarrr ouuttttt.... I have to try this one day! Btw, I like how "sneaky" you are when it comes to feeding Mr J his veggies... You need to continue to share more of your methods, I'm sure lots of ppl will find them helpful! Haha...

  17. Im not so sure of this one as I really detest those asian red bean desserts.

  18. OMG! Kidney beans in a cake? A chocolate cake? Excellent hiding spot if I must say so myself!

  19. Hiding things in cakes or muffins is so much fun. Especially when you tell your unsuspecting taste testers. Haven't done the kidney beans only white beans. I am going to have to give this a go for sure.

  20. All cake is good and most don't need frosting, but why would you go without it if you don't need to, I ask???

  21. Vegetables are worth their own spot in the meal, but hey, but if carrots can be in cake, why not beans?

  22. We love our veggies, but I have a great chocolate cake recipe that has zucchini in it... our zucchini are growing like crazy... so ANYTHING that uses them up is good right now :-)
    But, I agree that chocolate makes anything better.
    How are your arms? XO

  23. Dear InTolerant Chef,

    Being a meatlover, I used to dislike veges but it seems I am a lot more open now because I have seen how fresh seasonal veges can be and they taste delicious too!

  24. get out of town! Beans? Love it.
    Anything healthy snuck in, and I'm up for it. Sneaky vegetables in a dish that get devoured in this household and I consider it to be a personal victory.

  25. Hello Lovelies!
    Sorry I've been scarce on your blogs lately, I do miss you, but I'm just taking one day at a time so please don't give up on me Sweeties!

    Glutenfreegift- I think that cake should definitely count as a main meal... almost hummous healthy in fact!

    Leonie- HaHa! Thanks for the glowing reference! Somethings should be kept a secret until it's too late to back out of, for sure! :)

    Heidi- Good man! But I love the concept too :)

    Lisa- Please do, let me know what you think!

    GG- No, it's not just you, most are pretty ordinary. I promise this one is better, but eat it in the first couple of days so it's at it's best. Let me know how she likes it for Christmas.

    Nic- Thankyou so much! Very yummy indeed!

    Lorraine- That's right! So lovely and tasty without being dry :)

    Sophie- They worked out much better than the big one for sure. Lucky you, and good man! Veggies are nothing to be afraid of are they :)

    Emma- Thanks! Chocolate makes EVERYTHING awesome!

    Christie- Thanks! I hope Poppy loves her veggies without having to hide them!

    Catherine- Beetroot is one of mine and littlej's favourites too! I'll give it a try when ours are ready to be picked from the garden.

    Hotlyspiced- You'd love Anne Tainter, she is so clever, sarcastic and hilarious!

    Muppy- Isn't that funny, maybe she didn't want to have to eat it at other times? I love baked sweet potatoes with sourcream and cinnamon, yumm...

    Thecuriousbaker- You'll have to share the recipe with the chickpeas, it sounds interesting. And the chocolate cake was delicious!

    Akika- That's a new one for mr too! Did it taste yummy still? I hope you do give it a try

    Winston- Yes, but most people need hints on how to feed veggies to their children, not husbands! :)

    Simcha- Don't worry, this is totally different. But I do happen to love red bean paste myself :)

    Msihua- Chocolate cake is a great hiding spot for all types of things, it's so yummy

    Sherilyn- It's such a nice self-righteous feeling isn't it? :)

    Amanda- Well that is a very sensible question indeed! :)

    Lucas- That's the right attitude Lucas!

    Janet- Oooh yumm! I love zucchini too, and EVERTHING'S better with chocolate! Slowly (ver slowly) but surely thanks Janet :)

    Chopin- Yes, fresh is always best isn't it?

    Cityhippyfarmgirl- Glad I'm noy the only one, it's a nice feeling isn't it!

  26. That is so awesome! I love beans and quirky cooking tips! I seriously would have thought that you would have been able to detect the beans in a chocolate cake. This is on the Summer to do list!

  27. I am new to your blog and am loving it! Just made this cake and was very impressed - yum!!