Soft vegan gingerbread loaf (with a whole can of chickpeas) #veganchristmas

I have to admit that there is something I enjoy even more than all those funny-shaped Christmas gingerbread cookies. I am always more tempted by the fluffy, moist gingerbread loaf. It can be extremely delicious with some chocolate coating and a bit of plum jam. My version of this cake is enriched with some chickpeas – thanks to this addition, we get a much more nutritious dessert with an additional portion of protein. Chickpeas are not palpable here, and it really comes in handy: giving the cake the necessary weight and moisture. And I am not joking when I say in the title “with a whole can of chickpeas”: I use everything: the chickpeas & the water from the can, called aquafaba, which you can beat into a white, fluffy foam.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: about 40 minutes

Ingredients for a 25cm long loaf (the gingerbread can be also prepared in a round baking tin)

Soft vegan gingerbread loaf (with a whole can of chickpeas)

  • 100ml (less than half cup) of any red wine, apple juice, or orange juice, but it can be also water
  • 3 tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
  • a pinch of ground allspice
  • Extras (not necessary, but it’s good to add these): five cloves, star anise, a large pinch of ground coriander or a few seeds of it)
  • 1 can of chickpeas (400ml)
  • 100ml of oil
  • 2 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 2 cups of wheat or spelt flour
  • 150g of sugar (about 3/4 cup)
  • a good pinch of salt
  • a handful of walnuts or hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • Optionally: plum jam for spreading and half of a dark chocolate bar to dissolve into the glaze

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a small pot, mix red wine (or juice/water) with all the spices. Bring to a boil and let it brew for a few minutes.

2. Separate the chickpeas from the aquafaba using the strainer. Transfer aquafaba to a large bowl and using a mixer, beat the white foam for 2-3 minutes. It doesn’t have to be stiff.

3. Place the chickpeas in another large bowl. Blend it thoroughly with oil, cocoa, sugar and a pinch of salt.

4. Add flour, a handful of walnuts and baking soda to the blended chickpeas. Stir, adding the aromatic “mulled wine” (if you have added larger pieces of spices, remember to take them out now!). Then combine the cake batter with the aquafaba and at the end add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and mix everything gently.

5. Transfer the batter to a baking tin lined with paper and bake for around 45 minutes, testing it with a “dry” stick (the cake should remain slightly moist).

It tastes best when it’s fresh & covered with good plum jam.

If you want to prepare the glaze, you can use the same pot as you used before for the spices. You can also dissolve the chocolate with a little wine or juice.