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The Best Damn Chocolate Cake (vegan)

March 4, 2017 Print this page

Do you have vegan friends? Do any of them have a birthday coming up? No need to fear, this vegan chocolate cake is here! Moist, unbelievably chocolaty and quite easy to prepare, this beauty is sure to impress your herbivorous and omnivorous friends alike. Feel free to double the recipe and increase the number of layers!

Adapted from Fran Costigan’s “The Chocolate Cake to Live For” 

Ingredients

Prep Time 1 hr 30 min
Cooking Time 30 min
Total Time 2 hr
Yield ~12 servings

FOR THE FROSTING:

1 1/2 cups of cocoa powder (please use the best stuff you can get your hands on!)

3/4 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

1 cup of boiling water

1 cup of maple syrup

2 tablespoons of vanilla extract

1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons of cornstarch or arrowroot, dissolved in 1/2 cup of water

FOR THE CAKE:

1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour + 1 cup of all-purpose flour, or sub gluten-free all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

3/4 cup of cocoa powder

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

1 cup of maple syrup

1 cup of unsweetened vanilla soy milk or almond milk

1 cup of water

2 teaspoons of vinegar

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Splash of almond extract

Directions

FOR THE FROSTING:

In a high-speed blender, blend the cocoa powder, sugar and salt until well-combined. With the blender running on medium-low speed, pour in the boiling water. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides, then add the maple syrup and vanilla. Blend to incorporate.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch or arrowroot with the water until dissolved. Set aside.

Pour the chocolate sauce into a small saucepan. Heat over medium until the mixture comes to a boil. Once bubbling, slowly pour in the cornstarch/arrowroot, whisking constantly to prevent clumps from forming. Continue boiling for another 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. Keep whisking until thickened. Pour into a heat-proof container or boil and let cool in the fridge for at least two hours.

FOR THE CAKE:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9-inch circular pans with parchment paper and grease well. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cocoa powder and sugar). Add the wet ingredients (vegetable oil, maple syrup, milk, water, vinegar and extracts). Whisk to combine.

Evenly distribute the batter between the two circular pans. Tap gently to spread the batter out.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick comes out just barely clean, about 25 minutes. Be mindful: it could be closer to 20 if your oven runs hot, or closer to 30 if your oven runs cool.

Once the cakes come out of the oven, let them cool in their pans for half an hour, then transfer to cooling racks and let come to room temperature before frosting.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Take a piece of wax paper and lay it on top of a cutting board. Gently place one of the cakes on top of it. Using an inverted spatula, take a generous dollop of frosting and spread it all around the cake. Once sufficiently frosted, place the other cake directly on top of the first one. Use the rest of the frosting to cover the cake completely in chocolaty goodness. Eat what you don’t use.

Put the cake in the fridge for an hour before slicing and serving.


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Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

August 17, 2016 Print this page

Is it a breakfast food? Is it a dessert food? That decision is up to you. Sweet and earthy, these cupcakes are perfect for any time of year. Feel free to leave off the frosting for a tasty muffin.

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

Prep Time 35 min
Cooking Time 25 min
Total Time 1 hr
Yield 12-15 cupcakes (or muffins)

4 eggs

3/4 cup of vegetable oil or coconut oil, melted

1 cup of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves

Pinch of ground nutmeg

4 large carrots, grated

1 cup of pecans, chopped

1/2 cup – 1 cup of raisins (depending on how much you like raisins!)

Coconut frosting, doubled if you like a generous dollop of frosting

Toasted coconut flakes, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with parchment liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly, then add the oil, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat well to thoroughly combine.

In a small bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, excluding the carrots, pecans and raisins. Stir to combine and then, 1/2 cup of a time, incorporate into the wet ingredients with a spatula.

Once all of the dry ingredients are added, pour in the carrots, pecans and raisins. Fold gently with a spatula combine and stop just when well-mixed. Don’t overdo!

Using an ice cream scoop or two large spoons, distribute the batter between the prepared muffin tins, stopping about 2/3 of the way up. (If you run out of space, no worries — just prepare another muffin pan or wait until your first batch is done.)

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes depending on how hot or cold your oven runs.

Once fully cooked, let cool in the muffin tin for half an hour, then transfer to a cooking rack to come to room temperature.

Meanwhile, prepare the coconut frosting, if desired. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost them and decorate with toasted coconut flakes.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days — but best when eaten right away!


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Smores Cupcakes

November 14, 2015 Print this page

Making cupcakes is fun, but you know what’s even more fun? Burning cupcakes, on purpose, for ART! No, I’m not a pyromaniac, just a girl who likes making cupcakes extra pretty.

Ingredients

Prep Time 1 hr
Cooking Time 20 min
Total Time 1 hr 30 min
Yield 10-12 cupcakes

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

1 large egg, at room temperature

2/3 cup unrefined cane sugar or coconut sugar

1/4 cup of molasses

1 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of vegetable oil or melted coconut oil

2 tablespoons of coconut cream (the thick stuff at the top of the can)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

4 ounces of dark chocolate, chips or chopped finely

1/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk

FOR THE MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE:

3 egg whites

3/4 cup of unrefined cane sugar

3/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with parchment liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, molasses, almond milk/vinegar mixture, oil, coconut cream, and vanilla extract until well-combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together with a fork and fold into the wet ingredients, 1 cup at a time, until no clumps of flour remain. DO NOT over-mix.

Using an ice cream scoop or two large spoons, scoop the batter into the parchment liners until each is 3/4 the way full. Bake in the oven until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 20 minutes.

Let cool in the muffin tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to come to room temperature.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Once completely melted, add in the coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir with a spatula. Let cool at room temperature or in the fridge until thickened but still very pliable.

Using an inverted spatula, spread a generous scoop of the ganache all over the top of each cupcake. Let the ganache harden a bit at room temperature while you make the marshmallow.

FOR THE MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE:

In a small saucepan, warm the egg whites and sugar over medium-low heat until the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the cream of tartar and salt, and beat on medium-high until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes longer.

Immediately fill pastry bags fitted with a fat French tip with the prepared marshmallow meringue. Decoratively pipe it all over the top of each prepared cupcake, making whatever patterns you desire.

TO FINISH:

Using a culinary blowtorch (or a candle, if you’re old-school), gently brulee the top of each cupcake until the meringue begins to brown. Try not to stay in one place too long: once you’ve achieved browning, move onto the next section.

Store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Best if consumed right away.


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Pumpkin Roulade Cake

October 31, 2015 Print this page

Want a healthy (yet beautiful) dessert that doesn’t have added oils and still tastes delicious? Look no further than this pumpkin roulade cake! Shh…don’t tell anyone…there’s tofu in the filling…

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients

Prep Time 3 hr
Cooking Time 15 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 1 cake (about 12 servings)

FOR THE CAKE:

3 eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup of unrefined cane sugar

1/3 brown sugar

1 cup of pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

Pinch each of nutmeg, clove, and allspice

1/2 teaspoon of salt

FOR THE FILLING:

12 ounces of silken tofu

1/2-3/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder or cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Directions

FOR THE CAKE:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan with wax paper and nonstick cooking spray then set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Fold in the sugars, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract with a spatula until well-incorporated, then gradually fold in the flour mixture (1/2 cup at a time) until everything is combined.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake springs back when touched, about 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, dust a tea towel with confectioner’s sugar and set aside.

Once the cake is fully cooked, let it cool in the pan for five minutes, then invert onto the prepared tea towel. Peel off the wax paper and roll up the cake like a log, rolling from the short side to the long side. Put the cake wrapped in the tea towel on a cooling rack and set aside.

FOR THE FILLING:

In a high-speed blender, process together all of the ingredients for the filling. Taste and add more confectioner’s sugar, if necessary.

Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over medium until bubbling. Next, reduce the heat to low and cook until thickened, about 5-10 minutes, whisking frequently to prevent clumps from forming. Once very thick, transfer the mixture to a bowl and put in the fridge to cool completely.

TO ASSEMBLE:

When both the cake and frosting are cool, unroll the cake onto a cutting board. Using an inverted spatula, spread the filling all over the cake, leaving about an inch around the border to make sure the filling doesn’t come gushing out.

Applying gentle pressure, roll up the cake with the filling inside the same way as you did before. Give it a squeeze to seal the seam and place the cake, seam side down, on a plate or the same cutting board you just used. Put it in the fridge for at least three hours and preferably overnight.

Let sit out for 5-10 minutes to come to room temperature before eating. Dust with confectioner’s sugar or unrefined cane sugar before serving, if desired.


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Double-Layer Coconut Cake

April 3, 2015 Print this page

Light, delicately sweet, and wonderfully textured, this coconut cake makes the perfect early spring dessert…or even breakfast! A layer of frosting and toasted coconut flakes on top make this cake truly something special.

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 1 hr
Yield 1 cake (about 10-12 servings)

3 1/2 cups of spelt flour

3 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons of baking powder

Zest of 2 lemons (about 3-4 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon of salt

2/3 cup of coconut nectar (or honey if you’re not vegan)

2 cups of full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Coconut frosting, double the recipe (or even triple it if you love frosting!)

1 1/2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9-inch cake pans with a circle of parchment paper and grease both well with coconut oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the spelt flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together to combine, then add the shredded coconut and lemon zest. Stir and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients, one half at a time. Use a spatula to fold everything together until JUST combined–too much and you’ll wind up with a tough cake.

Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, and bake until a toothpick comes out mostly clean in the center, about 35 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the coconut frosting. Toast the coconut flakes on a baking sheet in the 350 degree oven until golden-brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning. Set aside.

Once the cakes are cool, use a serrated knife to cut off the rounded top on one of the cakes. (You can eat this–shh–I won’t tell anyone!) With a spatula or preferably an inverted spatula, spread a thick layer of frosting on the now-flat cake top. Place the other cake on top, then use the rest of the frosting to cover up the outside of the entire cake.

Strategically dump all of the toasted coconut all over the cake. I know the phrase “strategically dump” is an oxymoron but basically just go with it in an attempt to make something pretty. It will taste good no matter what.


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