Vegan Bake-A-Thon Show #609

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Divine Chocolate Mousse Cake

Makes 8 to 10 servings

 

MOUSSE FROSTING

14 ounces extra-firm regular tofu

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons vegan powdered sugar

1 cup, 55% cacoa, vegan dark chocolate chips, plus 30 to 35 more, for decorating the cake

3/4 cup chocolate cashew milk

 

CAKE

1 tablespoon flaxseeds

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

2/3 cup vegan cane sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons nondairy milk

2 1/2 tablespoons “extra-light” olive oil (see note)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

FILLING

3 heaping tablespoons raspberry preserves, plus more as needed

 

To make the frosting, heat the nondairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until small bubbles appear on the surface, and the nondairy milk is simmering hot.

 

Put the tofu, olive oil, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar in a blender, then add the chocolate chips. Pour in the simmering nondairy milk and immediately process for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until completely smooth. Spoon the mixture into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, (about 3 to 4 hours) before frosting your cake.

 

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally coat 3 six-inch round cake pans with vegan margarine. Line the bottom of each pan with a round piece of unbleached parchment paper.

 

Put the flaxseeds into a high-performance blending appliance and process into fine flour. Put the flaxseed flour, whole wheat flour, cane sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the nondairy milk, olive oil, and vanilla and stir with a large spoon to incorporate. Divide the cake evenly among the 3, six-inch round, prepared cake pans. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Put the cake pans on wire racks, and run a table knife around the perimeter of each cake to loosen the sides. Let cool for 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the wire racks and gently and very carefully remove the parchment paper. Let cool for at least 2 hours, before frosting the cakes.

 

To frost the cakes, line the perimeter of a pretty plate with strips of parchment paper. Put one cake layer in the center of the plate. Spoon half of the raspberry preserves over the first cake layer and spread in an even layer using an offset spatula. Spoon about one-quarter of the frosting over the raspberry preserves and gently spread it in an even layer, over the preserves, using the spatula. The frosting layer will be very thick.

 

Put the second cake layer on the frosting and gently press down, so the cake will adhere. Spoon the remaining half of the raspberry preserves over the second cake layer and spread in an even layer using an offset spatula. Spoon about one-quarter of the frosting over the raspberry preserves and gently spread it in a thick, even layer over the preserves, using the spatula.

 

Position the third cake layer, on the frosting and gently press down, so the cake will adhere.  Spoon the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake and gently spread it evenly over the top and sides, using an offset spatula. (Once again, the frosting layer will be very thick). Decorate in a pleasing manner, with the chocolate chips.

 

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and make certain to serve the cake well-chilled. Covered and stored in the refrigerator, the cake will keep for 3 days. (It actually tastes better, the longer it stands in the refrigerator!)

 

Chef’s Note: If desired, you may use extra-virgin olive oil in place of the light olive oil, but the cake will be slightly denser, in texture.

 

Four-Ingredient Apricot Bars

Makes 12 bars

 

2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon rolled oats

3/4 cup thick apricot preserves (see note)

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8-inch square rimmed baking pan with vegan margarine. Line the pan with unbleached parchment paper, leaving an overhang of 2-inch “wings” on two opposite sides of the pan.

 

To make the dough, put the bananas and the vanilla extract in a large bowl and mash into a chunky purée, using a potato masher or large fork. Add the oats and stir with a large spoon to thoroughly combine.

 

Press half of the dough mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer. Spread the apricot preserves in an even layer, over the dough. Top with the remaining dough, patting it down gently, into an even layer.

 

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool 15 minutes. Cut the “cake” into 12 bars, using a serrated knife, wiping the knife clean often. Using the paper "wings" carefully lift the bars out of the pan, and set them on the wire rack. Let the bars cool for 10 to 20 minutes before serving. Wrapped tightly and refrigerated, leftover bars will keep up to 2 days.

 

Chef’s Note: If the preserves are “watery,” drain the excess liquid from the preserves before measuring and using in this recipe.Do thisby placing the preserves in a fine-screened sieve, set over a bowl. Let drain for 15 minutes. Proceed with recipe as directed.

 

Lively Lemony Cupcakes

Makes 12 Cupcakes

 

Zest from 2 large lemons

1¼ cups nondairy milk

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1½ lemons)

2 1/3 cups, whole wheat flour, plus more as needed

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup vegan cane sugar

1/4 cup water, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons extra-light olive oil (see note)

 

FROSTING

1 to 1 ½ containers (12 to 18 ounces) ready-made vegan vanilla frosting, or your favorite homemade frosting, Banana Whipped Topping, or Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a twelve-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.

 

Put the nondairy milk and lemon juice into a bowl or pitcher and stir to combine. Let the mixture stand for 7 to 10 minutes, while preparing the rest of the cupcake batter. (It will curdle to make “vegan buttermilk.”)

Put the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the sugar and stir with the whisk to combine. Stir in the water, olive oil, and the “vegan buttermilk.” Fold in 1 1/2 teaspoons of the lemon zest.

 

If the batter seems overly wet, stir in a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is moist, but not runny. Alternately, if the batter seems overly dry, stir in a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is moist.

 

Mound the mixture into the lined cups. Bake for 25 minutes, or until set and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Put the tin on a wire rack. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes and put on a wire rack. Cool the cupcakes completely (at least 1 hour) before frosting them.

 

Spoon the frosting into a piping bag that has been fitted with a star tip. Pipe a generous amount of frosting on top of each cupcake. (Alternately, spoon some frosting or whipped topping on top of each cupcake and spread in an even layer with an offset spatula). Garnish each cupcake with some of the remaining lemon zest.

 

Serve immediately, or put the cupcakes in a tightly covered container and refrigerate. For best taste, remove the cupcakes from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving.

 

Chef’s Note: If desired, you may use extra-virgin olive oil in place of the light olive oil, but the cake will be slightly denser, in texture.