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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Simple Chocolate Cake

It is a serious dis-service that I did not take a "before" photo of the inside of my oven. A few months ago, I thought to myself "Hey, I needed to clean the oven", and then a few more weeks went by and I knew I really needed to clean the oven, and then last week we had friends over for dinner. And I had to apologize for the oven smoke as dinner was finishing up cooking. Yikes, right? Good thing they are true friends, most people would've run the other way! Anyhow, dinner was delicious. But the oven was...well, disgusting. So my husband set to cleaning it for me, which was a big project in and of itself. And here it is now.....

It actually sings when you open it, you know the lovely angelic monotone "laaaaaa". It glistens with light because it is so clean. Thanks babe.

I made this delectable chocolate cake to celebrate. It is very moist, and can be made with pantry staples. It can be eaten with or without frosting, with fresh berries, or with homemade whipped cream. This recipe calls for vinegar which gives the cake nice volume, keeps it soft and makes it vegan. I like it with chocolate frosting to cover up the vinegar taste, to me it is hardly noticeable.

Simple Chocolate Cake - adapted from a recipe my girlfriend Paula gave me, but I *hacked it. 'Cause hacking recipes is what I do!

Mix liquid ingredients in large bowl:
1/3 cup canola oil (you could use grapeseed or coconut)
1 cup brewed (cooled to room temperature) coffee OR 1 cup herbal spiced tea or chai tea
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons cacao powder or cocoa powder

Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not overmix.
Pour into 8X8 greased glass pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Over low heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter or earth balance, add in 4 oz unsweetened baking 60% + cacao bar. Remove from heat and with electric hand mixer, beat in tablespoons of powdered sugar until the frosting reaches a thickness you like. Taste it as you go. If needed, add more liquid 1 teaspoon (milk or milk substitute) at a time to smooth it out. Let cake cool completely, then frost.

*Hacking is the new lingo for taking a recipe and changing it to make it your own.

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