Vegan Month of Food | 1. Chocolate – Mexican Chocolate Cake with Almonds
Trying to stay vegan as many days as possible is a voluntary challenge we have been trying to attempt for a while now. We were good for some time, we fell off, picked ourselves up and resumed. It’s been an on and off effort, either because it has been difficult to stay committed to OR switching back to non-vegan living has been very tempting.
Thinking about it, adding veganism to an already existent list for staying gluten-free and dairy-free, meant scoring off more items in order for me to eat and live allergy free. So the drive to go entirely vegan wasn’t so much motivating, at first. Yet, we have tried our best staying committed to our purpose.
As long as it was just the regular mains and sides, gluten-free, vegan living was a breeze. However, when it came to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings it was a disaster. I have tossed out many recipes that I have researched and baked/tried, than anyone can ever keep count of. The thought of wasting ingredients (vegan stuff don’t come cheap) threw me off and I reverted to my ‘ just’ gluten free, dairy free diet. Now and then, we did reconsider the idea of switching back to veganism for good, but there wasn’t anything that was going to help sustain the motivation.
A while ago I came across the Vegan Month of Food challenge (Vegan MoFo) being hosted during October 2012. If you are like me and totally new to the concept , it’s a challenge encouraging vegan living, with the idea to blog each week day in October or about 20 times in the month. I contemplated participating for days before I finally decided to get involved in the hope that this will help strengthen my resolution to stay vegan. Only time will tell if I am successful as much as I hope. ( Note that I say “I” am giving veganism another try, because the husband feels comfortable following veganism most and not necessarily all days of the week.) But for now, I am on a path to experiment recipes that either failed previously at OR haven’t been tried before.
My foods of choice for the first five days will be everything Chocolate! Yes, this is exactly where my previous trials haven’t had fruitful outcomes. I decided to start with the most challenging one first, and then get to the ones I can handle better. I looked up recipes and have book marked quite a few that I plan to work with.
So here’s my first ever vegan & gluten-free Mexican chocolate cake topped with toasted almonds. It was way better than what we expected it. Moist, delicious and spicy is how we’d like to describe this cake. It took us a few seconds to appreciate the texture. The original recipe did not call for nuts. We love almonds (toasted) in almost everything and this cake was no different. The crunch from the almonds worked just perfect with the heat from the cinnamon and cayenne. Also, I replaced half the oil called in the original recipe, with gluten-free apple sauce, which helped keep the cake nice and moist without the grease.
Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free - Mexican Chocolate Cake with Almonds
( An adaptation from Jennifer Katzinger’s ‘Flying Apron’s Gluten -Free & Vegan Baking Book’)
1 ¾ cups brown rice flour
¾ cup chick pea flour
1 ½ cups cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup canola oil
½ cup apple sauce
1 ¾ cups water
2 cups agave nectar
1 banana, mashed
2 cups sliced almonds
Cooking spray (olive oil based)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Prepare the spring foam cake tin using cooking spray and set aside.
For the Flour mixture: Combine the brown rice flour, chick pea flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cayenne in a large bowl.
For the oil mixture: In a separate bowl, combine canola oil, apple sauce, water, agave nectar and the mashed banana.
Slowly whisk the flour mixture into the oil mixture until thoroughly combined. Make sure there are no lumps in the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
Generously sprinkle the top of the batter with almonds . Make sure the entire top surface is evenly covered.
Bake until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes (This depends on the kind of oven you use.)
Allow to cool completely at room temperature. Serve warm or chilled with black coffee or with almond milk.
Yields: One 9.5 inch round spring foam cake tin/pan