Sunday, April 13, 2008

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Port Reduction

Tawny Port pairs well with chocolate...and strawberries...this is the cake recipe from the Moosewood cookbook that I mentioned previously.

For the Cake:
1 1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c brewed coffee or water (I used brewed instant decaf coffee, cooled to room temp and it worked very well)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp white vinegar

For the Strawberry Port reduction:

8 oz strawberries plus a few extra for decorating
1/2 c Tawny Port
4 Tbsp sugar

For the Chocolate Ganache:
8 oz bittersweet chocolate or 4 oz semisweet plus 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c vanilla soymilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375.
Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
Grease an 8x8 inch pan. In an electric mixer, combine oil, water or coffee, and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients. When blended smoothly together, add vinegar, mix quickly.
The mixture should have pale swirls, indicating the baking soda is reacting with the vinegar.
Immediately pour into baking pan and bake for 25-30 mins, or until set (toothpick should come out clean to very slightly moist on the bottom). Allow to cool 10 - 15 mins. Turn out onto a wire cooling rack, allow to cool 10 more mins, cut into 2 pieces horizontally to make 2 layers. If it falls apart don't stress, it's going to be covered in chocolate ganache in the end.

To make the strawberry port reduction, mix together the strawberries, sugar and port in a medium saucepan. Cook at medium high heat until the alcohol is cooked off and the consistency is syrupy.

To make the ganache, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Stir in the warm soy milk and vanilla, stir until smooth.

Spoon the strawberry mixture on top of one of the layers, then place the other layer on top. Finish by frosting it with the chocolate ganache and top with strawberries.