Monday, May 10, 2010
Will Bake Vegan Chocolate Cake for Furniture
Rachel here: John and I have needed a bureau for umm...way too long. When we moved (back in the early days of this blog), we were quick to unpack our kitchen and other essentials (like the Xbox and books). Everything else has been unpacked as we've encountered a need for various items.
Way at the bottom of the endless to-do list has been "find a bureau." This is because we initially put our bedroom in a room filled with built-ins and figured that would work for a while. It did, until our bed frame broke last week. We were both interested in moving our bedroom to a sunnier room of the house (waking up to the sunshine just can't be beat) and so we figured this was as good a time as any to make the switch. We left our clothes in the old room (now the dining room) and figured we'd probably get on that whole bureau project sooner rather than later, but certainly not until I was done with school (I'm in the thick of finals right now, so if I stop making sense and start quoting Melville, forgive me). In one of those beautifully serendipitous moments in life, the morning after we moved our bedroom I was contacted by my friend H (that's what I'll call her here, anyway) who said that she had a fabulous bureau she needed to get rid of that day because she was moving. We offered money, she refused. Instead, H and I decided that I would bake her whatever her little heart desired.
Oh, H. You are really awesome.
So, H is one of those rare sorts who is both lactose intolerant and a vegetarian. For all intents and purposes (absent, of course, certain ideological convictions), this renders her a vegan. In some bizarre twist, I have two friends who suffer the same dietary plight (I guess vegetarianism isn't really a plight, but rather a choice...just, you know, not a choice I'm making). Anyway, what H requested was a vegan chocolate cake. My stomach knotted a bit because I had never undertaken vegan baking successfully before. My only prior experience was with cupcakes several years ago that were, umm....gross. Anyway, I got on the internet and started reading recipes, looking for one that sounded the most like cake as I know and love it. What I found was a phenomenally simple recipe on allrecipes.com. I baked a practice cake to make sure everything came together well (I didn't want to give H a tasteless brick in exchange for her sleek mid-century modern bureau...*swoon*) and, after John and I devoured it, I made another one for H, confident that it would be yummy.
So, here's the deal. This recipe should be added to your arsenal. You should bake it when you forget to bake a cake or some other dessert, be it for a dinner party or somebody's birthday. It takes mere minutes to throw together and you can have the entire thing ready to go in an hour (tops). Also, because it's vegan, you can bake it as thoroughly as you'd like. If you like a little bit of gooey chocolate in the top center of your cake, go for it. It is sort of like having a little frosting tucked in there. Vegans always tell you that vegan desserts are the best. I am here today to say that, while I can't speak for all of them, this one is seriously, seriously good.
Janet here: There's seems a certain irony to have the carnivore part of this blogging duo be the one to make the first official vegan entry. Sort of like the world order is little off kilter, in a Lost kind of way. (And there will be LOT more coming here on Lost because we are both officially addicts and already beginning to mourn the end of the series, which is in a mere couple of weeks and for which we are going to, in the geekiest of fashions, create a menu for the Lost finale evening ala what other, much cooler people do for, say, a home Oscar party or something.)
Anyway, I have never made a vegan cake and until Rachel began raving about this one, really never intended to. Now, this one is on my radar. I'll let you know how I do. On to the recipe, which looks mighty yummy.
Vegan Chocolate Cake (with Almonds)
serves 1 to 8, depending on portion size and your interest in sharing
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. white sugar (Not all brands are vegan, so if this matters, just google your brand and its sifting process. Non-vegan sugars are sifted through bone meal. Yuck.)
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 tspn. baking soda
1/2 tspn. salt
1 c. almonds, sliced or chopped (totally optional)
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 tspn. vanilla extract
1 tspn. distilled white vinegar
1 c. water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, sift and whisk together all of your dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour into loaf pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes. Seriously, seriously enjoy.
*To serve, I cut the cake into slices, topped with slivers of strawberries and sprinkled powdered sugar over the whole thing. The cake doesn't need this extra love, though, to be scrumptious.