Saturday, January 3, 2009

vegan chocolate cake anyone?

happy 2009 everyone! have been away from blogging for the past few weeks...but by no means away from cooking. i had a wonderful christmas here in napa. i told you in an earlier post that, for the first time ever, my entire family was coming here for the holidays. for my parents, siblings, nephews...and most of the rest of the family...this was the first christmas in their life not spent in southern california. i can honestly say the entire experience was magical...exactly as i dreamed...with loads of love, laughter, talking and terrific food. i will write about the experience during january...and share a number of the recipes...some i created, some treasured family traditions...and a few that i found in holiday edition magazines...did anyone else try the citrus-marinated pork rib roast from the december edition of food and wine? absolutely amazing..this one will get a story of its own...

did you make a lot of new year's resolutions? this is not something i usually do..but this year i made a number of what i am calling goals..seems a bit more flexible which is what my post-corporate life is supposed to be about. i do plan to cook even more than i did last year...and share the recipes here in this blog...which leads to goal number more frequently... when i started this blog last year, i did not realize how much i loved writing..and telling stories...i put so much time into launching my new business that i could not update as often as i wanted to...while the business still takes a lot of time, i can be a bit more balanced this year...and...goal number three...i get to combine the cooking thing with the business thing because...a life long dream of mine has been to launch a food, this year i am taking the plunge...very small for now, just on my webstore...and all items will be inspired by our farmhouse garden...jams, jellies, marmalade, preserves...granolas...sauces...condiments...all handcrafted and made with the best and highest quality ingredients that i can find. i plan to tell the stories of the ingredients (and the farmers or artisan producers if not grown in our garden) on this blog...don't worry, i do not intend to turn this blog into a sales pitch...this site is designed to share recipes, techniques, stories...and above all...celebrate the ingredients used in cooking/ the ingredients truly make the difference...

for today, i thought i would share one of my go-to recipes..vegan chocolate cake..i make this cake year round...and this was a hit a christmas. this recipe was inspired from the moosewood restaurant book*desserts. i substituted balsamic vinegar and olive oil, doubled the ingredients and turned it into a bundt cake. regular readers know how often i use in-season fresh figs in my recipes. this cake is very adaptable...if figs are out of season..or you do not like them..leave them worries. this is one of those *just happens to be vegan* recipes...did not start out with that as a goal...but..hey!...for those of you with "eating more healthfully" as one of those dreaded new year's resolutions...(vegan) chocolate cake anyone??

vegan chocolate cake with balsamic, olive oil and figs

3 cups unbleached flour (organic if possible)

2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (best quality)

1 tsp salt

2 cups organic sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1 3/4 cups cold water

1/4 cup cold coffee (just use your leftovers from breakfast)

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp plus 1 tsp balsamic vinegar of modena

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup fresh figs, stems removed..figs finely chopped

preheat oven to 350 degrees. grease (use olive oil) a bundt pan and set aside. sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda together in bowl. in a large mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients (except figs) and mix well. you can use a mixer..but i just use a wooden spoon and do this by hand. add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir until just not over-mix. add the figs and stir again until incorporated into batter. pour into prepared bundt pan and bake approximately one hour until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. remove from oven and allow to cool until just slightly warm. remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

you can drizzle your favorite chocolate glaze over cooled cake or sprinkle with powdered sugar...this recipe also make delicious cupcakes...

what are your favorite dishes to cook/bake in january? please share your ideas in the comments section of this post and let me know if you try the cake... again, happy new year!



napa farmhouse 1885™

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Beemoosie said...

Happy New Year to you!!! The cake looks wonderful!! Blogging more is definately a goal of mine in 2009...come visit my new puppygirl!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi beemoosie..happy new year right back! thanks for the comment and let me know if you try the cake. i will visit your blog to see you new puppy...


Anonymous said...

Yum! That cake looks delicious. Think I may have to try it next weekend.

Good luck with the food business.

Anonymous said...

I made your cake. It is delicious and easy. My family loved it. I made it without the figs this time because I could not find any. I will try it again with figs. This cake is going in my collection of regular recipes. Thank you.