It took me a while to write this post. Actually, it took me a while to think of a nice and reasonable way to put into words my mixed feelings towards chocolate. It’s a back and forth relationship, the one I have with this ingredient: sometimes I love it, other times I can’t stand it. I have friends who die for chocolate, not being able of spending an entire day without putting their teeth into a chocolate bar or some kind of chocolaty treat. I, on the opposite, can spend quite some time, with no sacrifice at all, without eating it. I’ve learned to enjoy chocolate throughout the years, as it was something I never got enthuasiastic about, but still I tend to prefer sweets made out of other ingredients. My childhood food memories are filled with cinnamoon, orange and banana cakes, apple pies and roulades, goods that I’d help my grandmother preparing, as I’ve spent a great amount of time, as a kid, at her place. Time has passed, but those remain the sweet baked goods I still like the most. Simple cakes with honest flavors. No chocolate involved.
Actually, I had never baked a chocolate cake until yesterday. So, you may wonder, what on earth suddendly has happened to me to bake a chocolate cake? Honestly, I don’t know. I think it was more of a conscious and logical issue. I mean, I’ve cooked and baked so many things so far, and it feels strange not having a chocolate cake recipe in my repertoire. So, to fill this gap, I’ve decided to pick up a good chocolate cake recipe, one that I could easily make egg and dairy-free (if it wasn’t already like that), and bake it. It was not without surprise that, while searching, I found out that Deb, at Smitten Kitchen , posted a recipe for an everyday chocolate cake . The recipe was dead easy to put together (it took me only 10 minutes to measure the required ingredients, mix them into a batter, and put the batter on the prepared loaf pan), and it called for only one egg, which I easily replaced by some puréed tofu.
The cake was that good. It was dense, rich, and not overly sweet, as I don’t like my baked goods to be too sweet. Also, thanks to the addition of muscovado sugar, it developed a nice crust. We enjoyed the cake today right after lunch, and my grandparents, who usually come over for a visit on sundays, even took home some good slices of it with them, to enjoy later on today or tomorrow with a cup of tea.
(for one cake, baked on a loaf pan of 22 x 7 cm)
110 grams (1/2 cup) vegan margarine
190 grams (1 cup) light muscovado sugar
90 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
40 grams (1/4 cup) tofu, crumbled
3 tablespoons water
250 ml (1 cup) soy milk mixed with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (this makes a good substitute for buttermilk)
75 grams (3/4 cup) dutch processed cocoa powder (I used Green & Black’s)
190 grams (1 1/2 cups) regular flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
1. Preheat the oven to 170º.
2. Grease a loaf pan (22 x 7 cm) and line with non-stick parchment paper.
3. In a food processor, combine the tofu with the water and process until creamy. Add the vegan margarine and soy “buttermilk” and process until smooth.
4. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
5. Add the tofu, margarine and “buttermilk” mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir with a spoon until well combined, being carefull not to overmix. You can also do it (as I did) with an electric mixer, as it blends the ingredients more easily.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
7. Let the cake cool on the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, at which point you can transfer it to a wire rack, to cool down completely. It keeps for up to 2 days, wrapped tightly in plastic.
adapted from a recipe posted on the food blog Smitten Kitchen