Sunday, March 6, 2011


Today M turned 42. We kept things mellow, but sweet.

A couple of walks that turned rainy--one to Safeway for powdered sugar, another just for the heck of it, through our neighborhood alleys. We learned how to play Peaceful Easy Feeling on the piano. Games and wine and coziness.

He played loud bass; I bought fresh daisies, crafted a card, and made my famous chocolate cake with vanilla butter-cream frosting. Everyone should make this cake, from the Moosewood cookbook, which you can mix directly in the pan, and which you would never, ever guess is vegan.

Here's how:

1. preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Sift together: 1.5 cups white flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, directly into an un-greased 8 or 9 inch baking pan.

3. Mix together: 1 cup of cold coffee, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Then pour the liquid ingredients into the baking pan and mix the batter with a fork.

4. When the batter is smooth, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar (yes, vinegar; apple cider works great). The reaction of the baking soda and vinegar will make pale swirls in the batter. Stir until the vinegar is just evenly distributed.

5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside to let cool.

You can eat it plain and still taste heaven. But you can also top with slices of fruit, whipped cream, ice cream, etc. I like to whip up a butter-cream frosting that is to die for, and certainly not vegan.

It's so easy: just cream half a stick of butter (softened), then, using an electric mixer, slowly beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of cream, alternating between the two. Beat in a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Apply liberally to the cooled cake, and taste immediately.

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