Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chocolate Walnut Cake

I'm feeling creative this afternoon, and while I don't believe this introduction has any sense of direction, I've been questioning my motives in choosing "the vegan lifestyle" lately, so I'm going to go ahead and share...

I drank the Kool-Aid. I've gone from a raging college party girl with a penchant for clear alcohols, Marlboro cigarettes, and fast-food to a full-fledged kook that rambles on about topics such as the many uses of milled flax-seed. People that know me personally think I've lost my mind - they would have never imagined I would become a devoted yogi, a vegan, or a person committed to emotional, spiritual, and physical health. While I've actually found (most of) my mind in taking this path, I often feel that I must let myself stray from time to time in order to keep a sense of balance and sanity. That isn't to say that I regress into old habits - but every now and then I'll indulge in a few drinks, a cigarette, or a vegetarian meal rather than strict vegan. I suppose that's why I love sharing dessert recipes; I'm absolutely enamored by the idea that I can have the best of both worlds in these decadent desserts made vegan.

A slice of cake spurred this epiphany. That sounds insane, but it's true. The taste of rich nutty chocolate with a hint of berry flavor sent me spiraling out into thought - that if I can have a slice of THE MOST MOIST AND DELICIOUS chocolate cake I'VE EVER HAD and it's VEGAN and it was so easy I MADE IT MYSELF then why would I ever turn back?

And the answer, Ladies and Gentlemen, is that I'm not turning back - unless to get another slice of this heavenly cake. Enjoy!

  • Canola spray 
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, ground
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 cup canola oil 
  • 1 cup maple syrup 
  • 4 ounces raspberry-flavored coconut milk yogurt or vegan sour cream
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate soy milk or vanilla soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • Raspberries, Blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Spray an 8" x 8" baking dish or a 9" round pan with canola oil.

3. Prepare Cake: Grind walnuts in the food processor until they have a flour-like consistency. Be careful not to grind them into a paste. In a medium bowl, mix walnuts, flours, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder together. Set aside.

4. In another medium mixing bowl, stand mixer, or food processor, blend the canola oil, maple syrup, and coconut milk yogurt together until creamy. Add water and mix again.

5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until well combined, being careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread batter evenly.

6. Bake about 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched in the middle and is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven to cool.

7. Go around the sides of the cake with a knife and gently turn over onto a plate.

8. Prepare Frosting: Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender until creamy.

9. Assemble Cake: Frost the top and then the sides of the cake. Sprinkle with walnuts and garnish with fresh berries.

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