tofu

Insane Chocolate Layer Cake

What would you do if you had cause to celebrate but you couldn’t just go out and buy any old cake? I mean I could have picked up a specialty vegan cake at City Cakes or Cake Walk, but I’ve tried their not-so-amazing cupcakes, so a 45 minute drive didn’t seem worthwhile for something I wouldn’t LOVE.

So instead, you make the awesomest plant-based cake. Ever.

Okay, well maybe it wasn’t really the best one ever, and this other cake probably wins the healthiest cake contest, but mine was pretty dang tasty.

Insane Chocolate Layer Cake:

This cake features a simple chocolate cake base, layered with chocolate cheezcake ganache, topped with coconut whipped creme and adorned with figs.

For the cakes: 3 C. whole wheat pastry flour (blend it again through your power blender to get it extra fine, I used extra finely ground kamut berries instead of wheat), 2 C. water, 1 C. unsweetened applesauce, 1 C. raw agave, 2/3 C. cocoa powder (I used raw cacao), 1 t. baking soda, 1 t. salt, 2 T. vanilla, 4 T. apple cider vinegar.

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil two 9 inch cake rounds, dust with cocoa powder. Set aside. Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl. Then combine water, vanilla and agave in another bowl. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir til just combined. Add the 4 T. apple cider vinegar and stir until swirls start to form in the batter. Immediately pour batter into the cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes rest for 10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely. This cake IS NOT made with buckets of white flour, white sugar and loads of fat, so it’s not very sweet or rich, so the batter may not taste like you think it ought too, but the finished product is delicious.

For the Chocolate Cheezcake Ganache: 1 1/4 C. raw cashews, 1/3 C. agave 1/4 t. salt, 1/2  C. dairy free dark chocolate chips, 1 T. lemon juice, 2 T. Cocoa Powder (I used raw cacao), 1 box lite silken firm tofu, 2 T. dry pectin (the kind you use for jam making), 1 C. boiling water.

Method: Place cashews in power blender, grind to a fine powder (if you don’t have a powder blender, soak the cashews for a few hours and skip this step), add agave, cocoa powder, lemon juice, chocolate chips, pectin and salt. Pour the boiling water over the other ingredients and blend until fully combined. Add the box of tofu and blend again. This mixture will be hot and will need to cool in the fridge for a few hours before using.

For the Coconut Whipped Creme: 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 3 hours.

Method: Open the can, pour off the liquid and save for use in a smoothie, scoop solidified coconut creme into a chilled bowl and whip with beaters or whisk until light and fluffy. See the Veggie Witch method here, I only used one can of coconut as opposed to her 2 cans and didn’t sweeten the creme.

Fresh Figs for decorating

Assembly: Slice the two cakes in half width-wise into layers using a long serrated knife. You will have 4 layers now. Put First layer on a plate or cake platter, spread 1/3 of the cheezcake ganache over the top of the cake. Carefully place the next cake layer on top of the ganache. Repeat until you reach the top cake layer, for the top of the cake, frost with the coconut whipped creme and adorn with sliced figs. This cake MUST be kept covered and refrigerated or the ganache will melt and start to slide everywhere (as it clearly did in my photo shoot).

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A Very Vedged Out Lasagna

My friend Heidi at Lightly Crunchy once said to me

“I’m curious about how you’d make vegan lasagna. No cheese?”

(okay, this was really in a comment, since we’ve never really ‘met’. She lives in Canada and I live in Utah, and yes, to answer your next question, I’m vegan and I’m a Mormon, and no I don’t have 10 children or any sister wives despite the size of this lasagna)

THIS is how we do it at Vedged Out.

A Very Big Very Vedged Out Lasagna

1 Package whole wheat lasagna noodles (I like Delallo Organic no-boil flat sheets), you can use gluten-free noodles instead if you like – 1 large diced onion – 2 grated carrots – 2 stalks celery, diced – 5 minced garlic cloves, divided – 1 large diced eggplant – 8 oz. diced mushrooms – 1 head broccoli, chopped – 2 diced zucchini or summer squash – 2 C. chopped baby spinach leaves – 1/2 C. Chopped black olives (or kalamata or green olives depending on your preference) – kernels cut from 1 ear of corn (or 1/2 C. frozen corn) – 1 block sprouted firm tofu – 2 T. nutritional yeast – 1 t. each of dried thyme, basil, parsley and oregano – couple dashes red pepper flakes – 4 oz of this awesome cashew cheez minus the crushed red pepper flakes or other lame vegan cheez – 3 cups unsweetened almond milk – 4 T. whole wheat pastry flour (or 2 T. cornstarch for gluten-free version) – one 28 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Organic Crushed Tomatoes – one 15 oz can Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce.

Method: Water sauté onions, celery and carrots until translucent, add all other veg except 2 cloves of the garlic and the spinach. Cook for 5 minutes more until veggies are crisp tender. Add fire roasted crushed tomatoes, spices, salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Crumble tofu into a bowl, add 1 clove minced garlic, the spinach and the nutritional yeast, stir it all together.

In a small saucepan heat the almond milk and the flour or cornstarch, when it comes to a boil, add in the cashew cheez and the last remaining clove of garlic, salt to taste. This is your cheez sauce.

Assembly time! Using a deep dish lasagna pan, pour 1/2 can of the tomato sauce in the bottom. Level it out with a spoon until the bottom is covered in sauce, place 3 lasagna sheets over the sauce, then layer with half of the veggie mixture. Add 3 more lasagna sheets. Layer the tofu mixture and 1 C. of the cheez sauce over the top. Add 3 more lasagna sheets, your next layer you will do the remaining half of the veggie mixture, the remaining half of the tofu mixture and one more cup of the white sauce.

Add your final layer of pasta sheets, top with the other half of the tomato sauce, then drizzle with the cheez sauce.

Bake uncovered for 60 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool for 20 minute before serving if you don’t want sloppy lasagna. Even better and less sloppy on the second day.

p.s. this dish makes 12 filling servings, you can easily halve the recipe and bake it in a 9×9 square dish. It has zero cholesterol (duh, veggies don’t have cholesterol), is super low in fat and crazy high in fiber. You can really use whatever veg you have on hand, but perhaps not cabbage, or for that matter, brussels sprouts.

Check out Vegan Bloggers Unite today, my first post is live there! Are you a Vegan Blogger? You can post there too.

The lovely Lidia who runs the site is always looking for new material. 🙂 Check out the deets here.