For a girl who has a healthy eating blog, I sure do fancy chocolate cake recipes. I have this philosophy that my cakes aren’t exactly health food, but they’re so much healthier than other–yes, even vegan–versions. So if you want a little indulgence, start here. My latest creation is a vegan version of Bon Appetit’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Fun Cake.
The cake wasn’t too hard since it was already vegan and similar to other cakes I’ve made. I modified it by using full-fat cocoa powder from Penzey’s and coffee instead of water. Coffee in a chocolate cake makes it just that more chocolate-y.
One More Chocolate Cake Recipe
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder (full fat if you can get it)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup coffee (I use decaf, but really good stuff from Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters)–or water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (if you’re gonna make if vegan, check the ingredient list for milkfat)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8 X 8 pan and put parchment paper in the bottom (to make your life easier, of course). Whisk dry ingredients together. In a 2 cup measure, whisk wet ingredients together. Don’t combine wet with dry until your pan is ready and the oven is preheated. In this story, the dry and the wet have chemistry and you don’t want them making out on your counter, but in the oven so the cake rises. When everything is ready, mix the ingredients together until just combined, pour into your pan and slip the pan into the oven. It will take 35-40 minutes to bake. I never got the hang of sticking a toothpick in the middle. They always come out with stuff on them. I like to gently touch the top of the cake. If it feels firm to the touch and the cake is coming away from the sides of the pan (even a little), it is probably done.
Here’s where I get all proud. The mousse in the Bon Appetit recipe comes from egg whites. And so many vegan versions of this use tons of Earth Balance and Spectrum Spread (the health-food version of Crisco). Yukky! Here’s what I did and it tastes as good as it looks. Maple syrup balances the beaniness of tofu. Trust me. No one will know if you do this right.
Peanut Butter Mousse
1 box extra firm tofu
2 T maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3-1/2 cup smooth 100% peanut butter (no Jif, people!)
1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted
Put all ingredients except coconut oil in your blender and blend until completely smooth. Add coconut oil through blender hole in a thin stream (you are running the blender). Transfer this peanut butter pudding to the refrigerator to chill while the cake cools and you prepare your toppings.
Chop 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts and 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate. Once the cake has completely cooled, invert it onto a platter. I cut this into wedges and you can see how pretty it is. The mousse is very well-behaved, light and fluffy. The whole cake kept very well in the fridge for several days on a cake plate. It did not dry out. I’ve been doing Kris Carr’s Adventure cleanse (no gluten, no sugar, la la) or I wouldn’t know this.
I’m already thinking about giving this hot little number a makeover with some crushed chocolate cookies and the mousse with its toppings in a martini glass.