20 Nov 2011

spontaneous chocolate cake (baked)

When a few of my friends came over on the weekend, I suddenly had the intense urge to make a layered chocolate cake, with yummy chocolate ganache icing. I know, I know. Not raw or even particularly healthy at all. But I'm fine with that.

I used to be totally infatuated with baking, and actually got quite good at it! I was making puff pastry, eclairs, fondant-laden cakes, and other fancy things. I could whip up the perfect apple pie in a couple hours. Those days were lovely and fun, but of course those foods weren't vegan (sooo much butter), and not doing anything good for my body or anyone else's.

That being said, I still love to bake! I can't explain why... something about it is just so comforting, it's like a form of meditation for me. So I decided to make a cake for me and my friends to enjoy together.

I whipped the batter, laughing and dancing with my friends, to Eminem, N'Sync and LMFAO songs... yes, I am lame; and yes, it was fun. =)
It turned out deliciously. The cake was SO moist and the icing was off da hook. (I added peanut butter for good measure... was the right choice).


It's rustic, okay?

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Chocolate Ganache: serves 8-12, depending on how much you like cake 

2 cups cashew milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup cane sugar/brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cocoa/cacao 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix wet ingredients together, and let sit for 5 minutes. Sift in dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Taste it... yes. Orgasmic, probably because of the straight-up sugar. 
Pour evenly into two circular cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes, but check it yourself every few minutes after 20 minutes or so. 
When they look done, do the tooth-pick test to see if it comes out clean. Let them sit out in the pans for 10 minutes or so and then "naked" on a cooling rack for 5 minutes or so. 

While they're baking, make the ganache:
1 cup cashew milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup Earth Balance 
3/4 cup cocoa/cacoa 
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of cayenne, or however much you want
1 teaspoon salt

Melt earth balance and blend it into all the other ingredients until smooth... like icing. Refrigerate until the cakes are ready to be iced.
When the cakes are ready, spread 1/3 of the icing on to the top of the first layer. Put on the second layer and do the same. Then spread the rest all around the top and sides. Enjoy!