happy birthday cooking class!

I feel like an official grown-up, having to work on my birthday and all… but the super delicious cakes in tonight’s cooking class totally make up for that fact! When I found that my cooking class night fell on my birthday, I decided to build the whole schedule around making cakes for tonight’s class! Next week we are back to savory foods, but tonight it was all about the dessert!

I made my favorite Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Ganache and an Apple Spice Cake with Carob-Caramel Frosting. The Apple Spice cake is a recipe I got from have cake, will travel, one of my favorite vegan bloggers.  Celine always posts incredible goodies, and this is no exception.  I made a few changes (as seen in the recipe below), and her original can be found here. The frosting was adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chanda Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  I swapped the soymilk powder for some carob and was *stunned* with this creative and fun frosting. The Chocolate Pumpkin Cake I wrote about last week, but seeing as how it was part of the cooking class and the insane deliciousness of it all, I will post it again here.  I don’t have any photos now, but there were people with cameras, so perhaps some will arrive soon.  I might have been wearing a birthday hat… and a fake flower lei; we will see if the evidence shows up … enjoy the cakes!

Apple Spice Cake with Carob-Caramel Frosting

1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup + 2 tbsp organic powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon Ener-g egg replacer powder
1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup apple juice

1.   Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 8-inch baking pan with a thin layer of oil.
2.   Sift the flour, salt, spices, sugar, baking powder and egg replacer powder in a large bowl.
3.   In another bowl, whisk applesauce, oil, and apple juice until combined.  Stir wet ingredients into dry, stirring gently until just combined. Do not overmix.
4.   Place into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
5.   Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely before topping with Carob-Caramel frosting.

Carob-Caramel Frosting

This frosting recipe is based on the penuche frosting from Veganomicon, but adapted to add more brown sugar goodness and a touch of carob to round it out.

½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1/3 cup soy milk (plus 2 tbsp to taste)
2 tbsp carob powder
pinch salt
3 tbsp Earth Balance vegan margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1.   Whisk together the sugar, molasses, 1/3 cup soy milk, carob powder and salt in a small bowl.  Add to a saucepan with the Earth Balance and warm over medium heat.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Allow the mixture to boil and foam for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
2.   When the mixture has mostly cooled, sift in half the powdered sugar, and beat with a fork until blended well.  Slowly beat in the rest of the sugar until a thick, smooth, fudge-like frosting forms. If necessary, add additional soymilk 1 tbsp at a time to create a smooth and creamy consistency.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Ganache Frosting

This is a decadent, amazingly flavorful cake… Perhaps the best chocolate cake ever, originally found at The Conscious Kitchen, which is sadly not online anymore. It can be made in a square 8×8 pan or a 9” round cake pan.

1 3.2 oz bar dark chocolate, chopped
¾ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup coffee
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
¼ cup liquid coconut oil + 1 tbsp for pan
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp each: nutmeg, allspice, cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

1.    Preheat oven to 350°.  Prepare your cake pan with parchment paper on the bottom and lightly oil the sides.
2.    Break chocolate into small pieces into a glass bowl, and place over a saucepan of boiling water to melt.  Stir the chocolate constantly and remove the bowl from atop the pan when just melted. Set aside.
3.    In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, coffee, vinegar, sugar, vanilla, oil, sea salt and spices.
4.    In another large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and baking powder.
5.    Pour liquid into dry mixture while whisking until combined in a smooth batter. Pour in melted chocolate and whisk well to combine. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6.    Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan and continue cooling on cooling racks.  Let cool completely before frosting.

Whipped Ganache Frosting

This recipe makes enough to frost two layers of cake; you can either double the cake recipe or just use the extra chocolate frosting on something else!

8 oz good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
¾ cup soymilk
½ cup Earth Balance margarine, room temperature
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla

1.   Place chopped chocolate in the bowl.
2.    In a small saucepan, heat milk until just boiling. Pour over the chocolate and let stand 1 minute, then begin to whisk slowly. When beginning to smooth out, add in the Earth Balance, agave and vanilla. Beat until smooth and thick, but still glossy and light.
3.    Let cool until the ganache thickens.  Spread a thin layer on the cake to just cover, then add a thicker layer to top the cake- using as much ganache as you like.
4.    Save the extra for nibbling straight out of the fridge!

5 thoughts on “happy birthday cooking class!

  1. Hi Andrea,

    Sorry you didn’t make it tonight. I took over your class and made a special pancake using a recipe I recently developed. Everyone loved it. You might want to try it.
    It’s so good it has pretty much replaced my usual breakfast of oatmeal with bananas, raisins, chopped dried apricots, tahini, etc. And it’s very simple.

    RECIPE FOR A SUPER PANCAKE (ingredient amounts approximate and flexible)

    6 HEAPING Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
    1 Tbsp powdered buttermilk (optional)
    1 egg (optional)
    1 large banana or 2 smaller apple bananas
    1/4 cup high-octane coconut milk (the 120 cal per serving type) or more if using a lighter version
    3/4 tsp baking powder
    1 Tbsp tahini
    Water as needed

    Mash the banana thoroughly and mix all ingredients well except the water. After mixing add water as needed to make a fairly thick batter — not as thick as bread dough, but thicker than the usual pancake batter.

    I use a nonstick rice cooker to keep it contained so the pancake will be almost an inch thick.

    Oil the pan. I use mac nut, canola or walnut oil.

    Preheat the pan.

    Pour the batter into the pan. Cover. The heat will switch to “warm” in a minute or so, but with it covered it will keep cooking slowly. After a few minutes push the lever down so the heat turns on again. If the glass cover is dripping (from the steam), take it off and let the excess water run off. Re-cover and keep it covered (think of it as an oven) until there are lots of bubbles on the surface.

    Turn the cake over when you can touch the top of the cake and the batter doesn’t stick to your finger. When it’s done like this you can lift the pan out and turn it over with your other hand ready to catch the cake. The pancake will drop onto your hand and you can flip it back into the pan with the cooked side up. Turn the heat on again. Keep it covered til done if you like a moist cake. Uncover if you like it dryer.

    It’s very good plain (no honey or syrup; the banana makes it sweet enough). But I also like to top it with yogurt and strawberries.


    Kurt (The Killer) Butler a.k.a Alicia Clemens

    Incidentally, Ken Bertoli had it coming!

  2. Pingback: blissful coconut ice cream cake « bakery manis

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