Not only am a I bad vegan who missed World Vegan Day, I am also a bad blogger.
October slipped by without me realizing I had an anniversary. October marked my fourth year as a blogger.
I can’t believe it has been 3 years since I posted a Wild Rice and Wheat Berry Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Almonds in a Citrus Dressing.
One can see why it was easy for me to switch to a whole foods vegan diet with an inaugural salad such as that. Just swap the honey for your preferred sweetener, or omit it entirely, and it would be a recipe I could see myself munching on today.
I am going to joke a bit about Hurricane Sandy, but truly, my heart goes out to everyone who was affected. Toronto wasn’t hit nearly as bad. There was at least one fatality but trees suffered the most of the storm’s brunt. Although some people lost power, we fared very well. A few days of a light rain with some higher winds. Other than leaving my bike at home, I wasn’t affected.
Except I somehow made not one, but two desserts that week. This was the second dessert.
I blame the hurricane.
My excuse for making the chocolate chip blondies was to thank my co-workers. I gobbled down more than a few pieces in the “taste-testing” phase. While they were delicious, I felt shy bringing them to work. Even though Rob agreed they tasted great, they were non-traditional (never mind eating chocolate chip blondies, but they were filled with chickpeas!). They also were only 1-cm thick or so, and not as visually appealing as I had hoped. Since the whole plan was to thank my co-workers, I decided to make something else.
A vegan chocolate cake.
I actually wanted to make cupcakes, but I had no muffin wrappers.
I actually wanted to make a mint avocado cream frosting but did not want to brave the storm to get more avocados.
Even before my vegan days, I had a favourite quick and easy chocolate cake. It just so happened to be vegan. Pantry-friendly with staples such as sugar, oil, cocoa, and vinegar, my grandmother dubbed it “Wartime Cake” since the ingredients were reminiscent of cakes she made during the war when there were rations on milk, eggs and butter. While it would have been a fool-proof and easy cake to make, I wanted to try something new, something healthier.
Thankfully I had one avocado to make Joy’s Chocolate Avocado Cake. Oil is easily replaced with avocado. You would never know the difference. I only had whole wheat pastry flour, so I used that instead of white flour. If you could guess anything was up, you might have been able to tell there was whole wheat flour in the cake. Although nothing seemed to be suspected by others.
Instead of topping it with a green avocado frosting, I busted out a simple peanut butter chocolate frosting. I have not always been a fan of frosting (especially the ooky sweet ones), but since I didn’t use too much and it had peanut butter in it, this sealed this as a delicious cake.
My co-workers and Rob’s co-workers agreed. While Rob was sneaky, I disclosed to my gang this was a vegan cake and people were buzzing all day with compliments, at the same time marveling there were no eggs, butter or milk. They were impressed at how moist it was, which I ascribed to the avocado, my secret ingredient.
Baketivism. Sharing the love of veganism through baking.
I could get used to this.
Chocolate Avocado Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker
3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (or spelt or all-purpose, etc)
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup soft avocado, well mashed, about 1 medium avocado
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or your choice of oil)
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar (or coconut sugar)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9-inch spring-form rounds or a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to combine. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mash your avocado. Combine with oil, water, vinegar and vanilla until well combined. Stir in sugar and make sure it dissolves.
4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir to combine with a spatula or wooden spoon.
5. Pour batter evenly into the 2 greased containers. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let cakes cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting. Store at room temperature or freeze.
Makes 2 9-inch cakes, which could be stacked.. But I didn’t stack mine.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
1/4 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
4 tsp pure maple syrup, or to taste
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp milk of choice, or more for your desired consistency (I used coconut milk beverage and added a fair amount more milk)
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
Makes 1/2 cup. Frosts one cake. Need way more if you want to frost a stacked cake.