Last night, while the rest of Austin was glued to their television sets, watching the Longhorns win the Rose Bowl, I sat at home alone, surfing the web, reading, knitting, journaling, and craving chocolate. It was a great evening, except for the fact that I didn’t have any chocolate snacks around. I grabbed a few cookbooks, looking for something quick and easy, that used only what I had in the house, and that would be sufficiently chocolatey.
I present to you: the vegan chocolate cake. Perfect for when you’re out of eggs and it’s too late to visit the corner grocery.
I was pleasantly surprised by the height and moist crumb of this cake. Most of my attempts at homemade cakes result in a short, dense little dry things that are edible only with the addition of large amounts of frosting. This cake was pretty and delicious!
I decided on a peanut butter and chocolate frosting, since I had all the ingredients and didn’t feel like having a simple glaze. I love this frosting! It’s perfectly peanut buttery, without overpowering the chocolate flavor. It does harden up a bit, making a fondant-like frosting when it cools.
A couple of tips, though:
1. Do make the frosting right before you’re ready to slather it on the cake, as it hardens when the chocolate cools. Alternatively, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up before spreading.
2. Don’t frost the cake while it’s warm. Even if you really, really want to taste it. It gets all crumbly and messy. (It still tastes good, though.)
Deep Chocolate Vegan Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water or chiled brewed coffee (I used instant)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 375ËšF. Spray an 8-inch square or round baking pan with cooking spray, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, soda, salt, and sugar. Whisk until well combined. In another bowl, combine the oil, water or coffee, and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well blended and smooth.
Add the vinegar and stir briefly; the baking soda will begin to react with the vinegar right away, leaving pale swirls in the batter. Without wasting any time, pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve the cake right from the pan or, when it’s cool, transfer it to a plate.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 to 4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
In small heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate on medium heat. While it melts, beat together the peanut butter, water, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar and add the melted chocolate, mixing until blended (you may need to add a bit more water, a teaspoonful at a time, to make it smooth). Spread the frosting on the cooled cake.
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake.
Source: Moosewood Restaurant New Classics.