Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wacky Cake

How has it been almost a month since my last post? The veggie kitchen has actually been quite busy these days, but the taking pictures and typing up recipes piece of blogging hasn't been going as well. And since that's a key part in keeping a blog going, things have been slow. Hopefully one day soon I'll be able to tell you about the roasted potato gruyere tart we've made, or the brownies, or there was the lemon pasta Mike created...

But this was something I made just this past Friday. One of my mommy friends has a baby with a dairy/soy allergy. Needless to say this means she must pass on most baked goods that come out of my kitchen. Since it was her birthday last week, I decided to make something she could enjoy. And this cake sprang to mind. I made it once years ago, but remembered it as being tasty and EASY. The glaze posed a bit more of a problem for this particular situation. I subbed rice milk for the dairy milk, but was a bit stumped by the butter. My first thought was to buy vegan butter, but when I had it home I realized it contained soy which wouldn't do. As it turned out butter is okay for this friend, and so I did just use regular butter.

The cake was rich and chocolatey. Mike thought the texture was a bit different from a standard cake, however we both enjoyed the pieces I snuck home from the gathering. And the cake was quite a big hit at the social event to which it was taken. No one could believe that it was dairy free (mostly) and easy.

I think this cake's value lies in its versatility. Need an easy vegan cake for a vegan friend? This cake fits the bill. Need a chocolate fix readily filled by ingredients likely to be on hand? Again, this cake will definitely do. I was quite glad only a slice or two came home, as more would have been quite dangerous for Mike and I both! :)

Wacky Cake
From Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin

"Wacky" cake is so called because it has no eggs in it, and is mixed together in an unusual way. Because it only takes a few minutes to make this cake batter (you don't even have to butter the pan beforehand) you must turn on your oven at least 10 minutes before you begin so it has time to preheat.

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon distilled white or apple cider vinegar

The Chocolate Glaze
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or vegan butter)
2 tablespoons milk (I used rice milk for our situation, soy milk would also work)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using a glass baking dish, heat to 325. A good ten minutes later, begin to make the cake. Place flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in an 8x8 inch cake pan. Using a fork, stir the dry ingredients together until completely blended and uniform in color with no visible streaks.
2. Pour on the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar and immediately stir with the fork until completely blended. Using a spatula at this point is helpful for getting batter out of the corners.
3. Put cake in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours. This cake is meant to be served out of the pan, not unmolded.
4. To make glaze, combine sugar, butter, milk, and cocoa in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove pan from the heat, and stir until cool (about 5 minutes). Add vanilla extract, then pour onto cake. Let cool completely before serving (about 1 hour).

For a 9x13 cake, use 1.5 times the recipe and cook about 25 minutes.
For a 9 inch round spring form pan, use 1.5 times the recipe and cook about 50 minutes. (butter and flour the pan before hand, mix batter in large bowl and pour into pan. Unmold after baking).
For a sheet cake, use a 17x11 inch jelly roll pan that has been buttered and floured beforehand. Mix 3 times the batter in a large bowl, and pour into prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes, unmold after baking.
For cupcakes, this recipe as above will make 1 dozen. Place 12 paper liners in a muffin pan. Mix batter in a bowl, then fill liners. Bake 22 minutes.


Sarah said...

My grandmother used to make Wacky Cake! Love it.

AMIT said...

Good recipe.

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