love cakes and eggs


One of the most popular brunch spots in Atlanta is the Flying Biscuit. On the weekends, the line to get in is often an hour long, and most people are willing to wait. People wait, partly because going to the Flying Biscuit is an event unto itself, but also because the little street in Candler Park where the cafe is located is both picturesque and littered with funky shops that are ripe for the browsing. Once inside the cafe, you are treated to great food, an interesting menu, and a fun artsy atmosphere. Surprisingly, given the name, there are actually a lot of good gluten-free options on the menu, although in my pre-gluten free days I had a particular fondness for their pancakes with peach compote, and I still am tempted to ask for the apple-butter that normally accompanies the biscuit and just eat it with a spoon.

I first went to the Flying Biscuit with my friend Su, who recently moved back to California. We went together very early in our friendship, and over the years kept making our way back. Su almost always ordered the love cakes, although she preferred them accompanied by a salad, rather than eggs. So this week, since I’ve been missing her, I decided that I wanted love cakes as well. Luckily, the Flying Biscuit website provided a recipe. Maybe Su will whip some of these up too and even though we are on opposite sides of the coast we can eat love cakes together again. Make these today and share in the love.

Love Cakes (makes 8 small cakes, if you’re feeding a troop, double the recipe)

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin (I might increase to 1 teaspoon next time)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
dash of cayenne pepper (optional, but it will add a nice kick to the cakes)
2-4 tablespoons masa de harina (I used a mixture of fine cornmeal and cornstarch)

1. In a small pan, using half a tablespoon of oil, saute the onions, garlic, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper (if using), until the onions are translucent.

2. In a small bowl combine beans and onion mixture. Mash together. If you have a potato masher, you can mash them in the bowl, I used a food processor to get the right consistency.

3. Add masa until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands and can be formed into a ball (my dough was still a little sticky after 4 tablespoons, but the consistency was almost like playdough)

4. Divide dough into eight even balls. Flatten each ball into a cake (about 1/4 inch thick)

5. Fry in remaining tablespoon of oil, 3-5 minutes per side.

Serve with eggs or a salad. The bean cakes are particularly great with Mexican accompaniments. Try them with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.