Sunday, November 16, 2008

Recipe: Vegan Cake...that's good...really!

I have a song going though my head:
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on

Stacy, do you remember when I mowed your lawn?
Your mom came out with just a towel on
I could tell she liked me from the way she stared
And the way she said, "You missed a spot over there"
And I know that you think it's just a fantasy
But since your dad walked out, your mom could use a guy like me

Stacy's mom has got it goin' on

She's all I want, and I've waited so long

Stacy, can't you see you're just not the girl for me
I know it might be wrong,
but I'm in love with Stacy's mom

It's been going through my head for days, and as I worked in the kitchen this morning, sure enough, it popped onto the radio.

I was asked to bake a vegan birthday cake for this weekend. My experience with previous cakes is that they sucked. They were dry, pasty and generally not fit for shoving up a turtle's butt. But then I found a base recipe at recipezaar (#9390) and then I did some modifications, and now I have a cake that I'm not only proud of, I think it's great. The crumb is more like a box cake (loose and moist) than a genoise (tight and dry), but most people prefer box cakes anyway.

1 1/2 C. AP Flour
1/3 C. Natural Cocoa Powder (not Dutch processed)
1 t. Baking Soda
3/4 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Chopped Nuts of your choice

1/2 C. Vegetable or Canola Oil
1/2 C. Cold Almond Milk (or soy milk or rice milk)
1/2 C. Cold Blood Orange Juice (or regular orange juice)
1 t. Vanilla Extract
1 t. Orange Extract

2 T. O Olive Oil brand Yuzu Rice Vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)

Oven to 375 F
(Note I modified for altitude by dropping to 325 F, and using only 1/2 t. Baking Soda)

Sift all dry ingredients into a bowl. Take your 9" sprinform and lay a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom. Let the paper hang out the sides and close the wall onto the bottom securing the paper. In my test run I cut a paper circle and later realized that it wouldn't stay in place when the ingredients were mixed.

Sift the ingredients again into the springform. No need to butter the sides, by the way. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients. Combine the liquids in a separate bowl, EXCEPT the vinegar. Whisk thoroughly. Using your widest wire whisk or a fork, pour the wet into the dry and combine.

Now, without wasting anytime, add the vinegar to the batter and stir again until completely dawdling...the chemical reaction has just started! Throw that bad boy into the oven for 25-30 minutes (45 at my altitude) and bake until done. Here's what it looks like after I leveled it for layering.

You can see how moist it is. I then added some amazing Pakistani orange marmalade.

Put the second layer on. Coated the whole thing in a water-based ganache.

Really, a rather amazing dessert considering there is no butter, egg, cream, milk...all the good stuff. Just good chocolate and good ingredient choices with the vinegar. I see a multitude of options with this recipe including flavored oils, other flavors of vinegar, types of "milk" (I'd like to try an horchata or piñon milk), or playing around with the nuts. So if you believe there is no such thing as a good vegan cake...think again! And by the way, this cake was for Kimberley's Mom, not Stacy's ;)


Manggy said...

Thanks-- now I'll always associate vegan cake with Stacy's mom ;) Anyway, looks great. The water ganache also looks fantastic-- and great for when I won't have enough money to buy cream :) I'll have to look up the topic in the forums.

Gfron1 said...

Don't bother looking up the topic, its more confusing than helpful since it goes into a different topic. And, some of the more experienced posters talked about how hard and time consuming the process is, but in reality, its not. Estimate how much chocolate you need (chip, callet, etc) and put in a microwavable mixing bowl. Boil water and pour just enough to have it start to show through the chocolate. Microwave for 2 minutes. Whisk. You'll see the emulsification happen in 30 seconds or so. Add more water or chocolate as needed to get desired consistency. Zap in 30 second increments until you can get a full emulsification. I only had to do one 30 second zap and whisk less than 1 minute. No measuring, very simple.

JoolzGirl said...

Wow that's great! I've been looking for a vegan version for my neighbour for a while now! I used to do a vegan ganache using vegan yoghurt but the water based one is now on my list. YAY!