Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grasshopper Cake!

(Vegan) Grasshopper Cake
adapted from Vegan Desserts by Hannah Kaminsky
© 2011 from Skyhorse Publishing

As some people might know, Dan once told me that vegan food can't taste good.  If you know me, then you'll guess at once that meant CHALLENGE.  I'm not a vegan--I'm not even a vegetarian...but I have definitely been on a mission to make delicious vegan food! (Just to prove Dan wrong).  So, without further ado, here's the latest addition to the challenge--vegan grasshopper cake.  I will put a disclaimer on this recipe, however, because I don't think too hard about actually ensuring that I'm using 100% vegan ingredients.  I generally just use what I have on hand.  That being said--I'll give you the cookbook recipe and let you know if/when I made substitutions. Sound fair?

Pre-heat the over to 350°F and lightly grease 3 8-inch round pans or 2 9-inch round pans (or, you can do like me, and do 2 6-inch pans and 12 cupcakes!)

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups plain non-dairy milk (I used Unsweetened Almond Milk)
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil (I used the regular vegetable oil I had on hand)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder (I actually used instant espresso granules)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used Softasilk Cake Flour)
  • 1 cup natural cocoa powder (I just used by regular Nestle cocoa powder. Natural?)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the milk and vinegar and let sit for ~5 minutes.  Pour this mixture into your stand mixer and add oil, sugar, and instant coffee. Mix well (until slightly frothy).

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda, and salt. Whisk briefly and then add to stand mixture in 3 additions, allowing the mixture to combine well between each addition. Once you've added all the dry goods, add the vanilla and mix just until incorporated.

Distribute the batter between your prepared pans and use a spatula to smooth down the tops. Bake for 24-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans.

Creme de Menthe Frosting

  • 2 medium sized ripe avocados
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 7-9 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup non-dairy margarine (I actually didn't even have regular butter or margarine on I used 1/2 cup of Vegetable Crisco...)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP Creme de Menthe
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Prep the avocado and puree in a food processor or stand mixer, adding in the lemon juice immediately and pulsing to combine.

Toss in the margarine (or Crisco) and mix.  Scrape down the sides as needed to make sure the mixture is homogenous before continuing. Slowly add the sugar in three separate additions.  Add the salt, vanilla, creme de menthe, and peppermint.  Allow the food processor or mixer to run, mixing and whipping the frosting for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Frost your cooled cake!

Quick Chocolate Drizzle
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plain non-dairy milk (I used Unsweetened Almond Milk)
This is totally an optional adornment for your cake, but it's absolutely delicious!

Place the chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe dish and heat for 30-60 seconds in the microwave, until the chocolate is mostly melted.  Stir thoroughly with a spatula until completely smooth, and voila, instant ganache! Drizzle to your heart's content!

(I actually put my ganache in a small plastic baggie and then cut the corner off to do the drizzle.  Just my little trick!)

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