Vegan German chocolate cake

Sometimes the tastiest things aren’t the most beautiful.  Case in point: this cake.  I had visions of the most perfectly constructed mini layer cake with flushly aligned edges over which I would spread thick, sweet ganache, enrobing the cake in a smooth chocolatey blanket.  Instead I ended up with a cake that looked eerily similar to Gloppy, resident of Candyland.

After some time in the freezer, the ganache firmed up and I was able to make the cake look presentable.

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

(recipes printed below)

  • Chocolate cake
  • Coconut frosting
  • Chocolate ganache

1.  Once all three elements are prepared and properly cooled, begin assembly

2. Slice cake according to desired layers/shape.  I baked this in a loaf pan, cutting the cake in half widthwise and then slicing each half into two layers

3.  Spread coconut frosting on top of each layer before stacking the next.  Do not spread on top layer

4. Cover entire cake in ganache.  If ganache is too runny, let sit in freezer for 20 minutes.

Chocolate cake

I adapted the cake recipe found here, reducing the amount of sugar and oil in anticipation of the two rich frostings that would envelop the cake. I also used coconut oil rather than canola

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 -3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease your baking pan (I used a loaf pan so that I could make a mini layer cake.  You could also use a 9″ circular cake pan or make cupcakes)

2.  Sift dry ingredients (first five listed) together

3. Add in coconut oil, vanilla, vinegar, milk, and water.  Mix until smooth, adding a bit more milk as needed.

4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Adjust baking time for type of pan you’re using.

Coconut (pecan) frosting

I used this recipe as a base, but decreased the amount of frosting made.

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut milk (light or otherwise)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used half brown and half white)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1.5 tablespoons water until smooth
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans are traditional, but I only had walnuts on hand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring milks, sugar, and vanilla almost to a boil.  Add in cornstarch mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until thickened.  Remove from heat and add coconut, nuts, and salt.  Cool before frosting cake.

Chocolate ganache

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk or creamer

1. Heat chocolate chips and milk over medium high heat, stirring until completely smooth.  Cool before frosting cake.

Vegan Triple Almond Scones

I used to bake all the time, but was more inspired when decorating cupcakes than trying to develop a recipe for a delicious treat.

Exhibit A:

It was fun and all, but who really wants to eat cupcakes that look like a Swanson dinner? No one in my household, that’s who.  Those sat on the counter to be looked at for a good four days, as if they were on display in the Museum of Edible Things That Look Like Other Edible Things That No One Really Wants to Eat (That’s a legit museum, right?).  After a while that got really boring and cooking replaced baking as my hobby of choice.  I’ve fallen back in love with baking, but in a whole new way.  Now, I’m much more concerned with what’s going flavor-wise and am, obviously, getting into vegan baking.

For the base recipe, I adapted these.  I love anything and everything almond flavored or scented, but baked goods with little pillows of almond paste in them are my absolute heaven.  So, I picked up a log of almond paste to supplement the almond extract and sliced almonds waiting in my pantry for a full-on almond-packed bakefest.

VEGAN TRIPLE ALMOND SCONES

For Scones:

  • 1 + 3/4 cups flour (whole wheat or otherwise)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth balance or coconut oil (I usually use half of each)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (wait, does that make it Quadruple Almond Scones?)
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 6 Tbsp almond paste, cut into small chunks

For Glaze:

  • 1 c. organic powdered sugar
  • 3 T. almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Garnish

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

(step zero: preheat oven to 350 F; ignore the awful photos that make it blatantly apparent that I was baking at midnight)

1. Cut butter into small cubes and place in freezer for a few minutes

2. Combine flours, baking powder, and salt in mixing bowl

3. Add butter into flour mixture and mix together with (clean!) fingertips (my favorite mixing tool) until crumbly

4. Combine sugar, almond milk, and 1 tsp. almond extract in a bowl; stir until incorporated

5. Add chunks of almond paste to flour mixture until evenly distributed

6. Add sugar/milk mixture to flour/butter bowl and stir until dough forms

7. Roll dough out to about 1 inch and cut into equally sized triangles (I made two circles, each yielding 6 scones); Place scones on baking sheet

8. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until slightly golden; let cool

9. Mix powdered sugar, 3 T. milk, 1/2 tsp. extract, and pinch of sea salt.

10.  Drizzle glaze over cooled scones and sprinkle with almond slices! (or add slices almonds to the glaze and drizzle all at one to simplify.) If you’re feelin’ it, sprinkle a little more sea salt over the top of the glazed scones.



MMM Almond paste


I can’t post a picture of those cat oven mitts without referencing this: