Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chocolate Birthday Love

For some reason, I'm still kind of in a funk.  I think maybe I have just had too much to do and haven't been sleeping well.  The brownies I made last night definitely helped, but it's a pretty serious weird mood.  Luckily, it's my lovely housemate, Lilly's birthday today.  That means I have an excuse to make cake!

Her wonderful boyfriend is also quite the baker, so we collaborated to make her a chocolate cake.  However, Lilly is quite the athlete/fitness guru, so I wanted to make her something a little on the healthier side.  I found a recipe for a lower-sugar, whole wheat chocolate cake.  I also had very little time today, so the fact that it was a super simple recipe with only one bowl sold me.  It's also summer, which means I opted for a chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries instead of frosting.

Lighter Chocolate Cake with Homemade Chocolate Sauce and Fresh Strawberries (Dairy-free)
Cake recipe adapted from Eating Well
Chocolate sauce recipe adapted from david lebovitz
Yield: 2 8" chocolate cakes

Cake Ingredients
1 1/2 cups + 4 Tbs whole wheat flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup almond milk + 1 Tbs white vinegar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 Tbs vegetable oil
2 tsps vanilla
1 cup hot strong black coffee (I used freshly ground hazelnut for extra depth)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
Grease two 8" cake pans and dust with cocoa
Add in all remaining ingredients and stir together
Divide batter evenly between cake pans
 Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling completely
Homemade Chocolate Sauce (dairy free)
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
(Make at least 2-3 hours ahead of time so that it has time to thicken)

1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
3oz semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips

Put all ingredients except chocolate chips in medium saucepan over low-medium heat, whisking occasionally until it comes to a simmer
Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips.  Allow to cool to room temperature before placing in refrigerator
Poor chocolate sauce liberally over cakes.  It will be thin.  Slice fresh strawberries and garnish as desired.

Happy Birthday, Lilly!  I hope you had a great birthday, despite working all day and having your baseball game.  We love you!!

Here's to birthdays and baking yourself out of a bad mood.
Love and cookies,

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