Thursday, December 19, 2013

a birthday cake


I make the following cake for Little Debbie every year for her birthday, and though it's a little sweet for my taste it's always a great success. Nurse Patty asked me for the recipe and I'm finally setting it down for her--I hope it's not too late! It's adapted from a recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance. Note for non-vegans: if you don't want to get special milks and creams just for this cake, I'm sure it would work just as well with regular milk, and half and half and butter for the frosting. I always make it with spelt flour, because Deb doesn't eat wheat, but all-purpose would work fine. If you want to make a smaller version, multiply the recipe by 2/3 and bake it for a little less time in a 9"9" pan.

Li'l Deb's Chocolate Cherry Cake
makes one fat, fudgey 9"x13" cake
300g (2 1/2C) white spelt flour
70g (1C) Dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2t baking powder
1 1/2t baking soda
2/3t salt
600ml (2 1/2C) soy or almond milk
200ml (1 scant cup) canola oil
12oz jar cherry jam, divided
canned unsweetened or barely sweetened cherries (I use Trader Joe's morellos), about 1C, drained
1T vanilla extract
350g (2C) sugar

for the frosting:
1C soy creamer or thick, homemade almond milk
1/3C Earth Balance or other tasty margarine
16oz chocolate chips

Heat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9"x13" baking pan.

Sift the dry ingredients together into a big bowl. Mix the milk, oil, 1/2C of the jam, and the sugar together in another bowl till the jam's mostly broken up, then mix it all into the dry ingredients. Stir in the drained canned cherries and pour into your prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Bring the creamer and margarine to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips till they're melted and it's all nice and smooth. Let cool while the cake bakes.

When the cake's cooled to barely warm, spread the rest of the jam over it (this might be easier if you put the jam in a little bowl and break it up with a fork first). Pour the frosting over it all, then let it cool really thoroughly--it should set into a nice, fudgey ganache.