24 February, 2012

Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake

Have you ever found a vegan recipe that actually worked? Well I have.

And let me tell you, it is amaaazzzing! The cake is so moist and chocolate-y and delicious, I nearly ate the whole pan. Like, no, in all seriousness.. I nearly ate the whole pan.

I baked this last night, on a Friday and it was bliss. What's better then sitting down on a comfy couch, when your home alone watching a new episode of Glee? Nothing.

Chocolate and Rachel Berry singing makes me so happy!
I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker (story of my life!) and the whole day at school I was dreaming about baking this little thing up/I was craving chocolate cake with a cold glass of milk. So, straight after school I ran to the kitchen and threw this together. I didn't time how long it took me, but trust me, it was so quick!

Dry ingredients, measure, put into bowl.
Wet ingredients, measure, put into bowl.
And then chuck them together! Ta-da!!

I used a block of roasted almond chocolate and broke it up and threw it into the batter! Trust me, you should really use the chocolate chips in this cake, it takes it to another level!
Om nom nom. You should really make a double batch of this cake because one aint gonna last!
And also, the recipe calls for a bundt cake, but since I didn't have one I just used a 21cm round cake tin and it turned out perfecto!

Vegan Chocolate Cake
    makes 1 9-inch chocolate bundt cake

- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm coffee
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- small handful of chocolate chunks and/or cocoa nibs (optional)

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch bundt pan with vegetable shortening and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together coffee, oil, and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks and cocoa nibs, if using.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. The batter will be relatively thick. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 3 days

17 February, 2012

Valentine Butter Cookies

Yes. It's that joyous time of year again. Valentines day. The day of the year where I shut myself up in my room, eat chocolate and listen to Adele..and cry? No, I'm totally joking!

Except for the chocolate. That's a must on every singles Valentines day. Talking about being as single as a pringle; I made these fabulous butter cookies. Both of my best friends, who are also best friends with eachother share the same birthday. And yes, it is Feb 14th, the day of Valentines. Is that a good thing or a bad? I dunno. I would be happy getting all those boxes of Guliyan from my family.

I started Year 12 - aka my final death year of school - 3 weeks ago, and I've already had 4 breakdowns. Oh my god, how am I going to survive!? I'm stressed out to the max and the real assessments haven't even started!

Talking about assessments, I studied my ass off last weekend for Biology and I went to my first test on Monday morning. I did the test, I was pretty tricky but hey, I thought, I reckon I did okay.
Ha. Biggest. Lie. Ever.
I got it back yesterday. The paper lay innocently on my desk and I flipped it over.. 57%. Yes. My first assessment of Year 12 and that's my result. Great start to the beginning of the year. Note the sarcasm!
And yes, when I got home I had a binge. It consisted of 6 of these cookies. It also consisted of my putting 10 kilos on each of my thighs. Yee-haw! Go me!

..If you ever feel like you need to eat your feelings (story of my life) go for these! Buttery, but good!

Valentine Butter Cookies

3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon milk

1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Beat together butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light in color. Add egg and milk to the mixture and beat until well combined.
3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour, mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Divide the dough in half and stain with gel food coloring if desired. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 375.
6. Remove one package of dough from the refrigerator at a time. Sprinkle your work surface and a rolling pin with powdered sugar. Roll the dough to 1/4”, rotating the dough around the work surface, making sure it doesn’t stick.
7. Cut dough into desired shapes and place on a greased cookie sheet, or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Brush with a bit of beaten egg and milk before sprinkling with sugar in the raw or sanding sugar.
8. Bake for 7-9 minutes, rotating the pan half way through baking. Remove from the oven when cookies have barely started to brown on the edges. If you’re not using a silicone mat or parchment paper, I like to remove the cookies from the pan when they are still very warm. This will ensure they won’t cool and stick to the pan. Just be careful, they’ll be a bit fragile.