Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake. No, really, I couldn’t she says, and then gives her flat stomach a conspiratorial little pat. Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am. That person has discipline. But that isn’t a person with discipline; that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy. A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what’s served on the happiest days of your life. This is a story of how my life was saved by cake, so, of course, if sides are to be taken, I will always take the side of cake.

Eat cake.

Jeanne Ray (via shetakesflight) (via kerosenefumes) (via giantrobotlasers)

Cake. 3 tiers, chocolate with vanilla buttercream and fondant. Made while sick, nearly killed me. For my nana <3

Cake. 3 tiers, chocolate with vanilla buttercream and fondant. Made while sick, nearly killed me. For my nana <3

Carrot Cake

Delicious nom carrot cake for Lou-face.

The icing makes more than enough for the cake, expect to have extra.

Cake:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1-3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. table salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups lightly packed, finely grated carrots
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, with the rack in the center. Line the bottoms of 2 9” round cake pans and grease the sides.

In a large bowl (which will contain all the final mixture), beat together the oil, eggs, carrots, brown sugar, vanilla, walnuts and raisins (if using).

Whisk the remaining dry ingredients together in a medium bowl (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt).

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just mix - don’t overmix or the cake will be tough.

Divide the batter between the two cake pans, and place in the oven for approx. 25-30min until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

When done, let cool in the pans for 10-15 min then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.

For the frosting:

  • 450g cream cheese, softened
  • 340g butter, softened
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla essence

Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and icing sugar and beat until fluffy. Set aside at room temperature until the cake has cooled completely to ice it.

Refrigerate the cake for a few hours or days, best served at room temperature or slightly cool. This cake freezes and defrosts well (un-iced).

Isa Chandra’s Vegan Chocolate cake

I’m hosting a cake party next month. I have several friends getting married and this way, they can try my cakes and if they like them - I can do them again for weddings. Otherwise, there are many other brilliant cake makers I’m sure could fill the void :)

The important part: Cake Party!

Isa Chandra’s recipe for Chocolate Cake is simple and delicious, I’ve made it several times and it’s definitely of Cake Party standard. I’m planning to pair it with white chocolate buttercream and perhaps a thin layer of white fondant which I might attempt to “quilt”. Ambition, anyone?

Anyway, here’s the link to the wonderful vegan chocolate cake recipe.

I’m really only posting it so I never have to hunt for it again. x

Dairy-free peanut butter milkshake

It’s my blog birthday! 5 years, let’s celebrate with a milkshake. This is for Priya, who had a below-average one from Moustache cookie shop on Monday.

  • 2 cups soy milk (or alternative)
  • 2-3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 6 ice cubes

Blend the milk, peanut butter, sugar and essence together first. Then add the ice cubes and blend again - if the peanut butter gets too cold right away it clumps up.

Add another ice cube and serve,

I only added sugar because the peanut butter I keep is really salty (no added sugar). You might like to add more milk to your taste.

Also good: adding a scoop of dairy free ice cream (vanilla). 

Must be consumed through a straw, otherwise won’t bring all the boys to to yard.

Vegan, gluten free, dark chocolate coconut fudge cake
with vegan chocolate coconut ganache.
This recipe was for Adam&#8217;s birthday cake! An invention based on a chocolate version of the white coconut cake recipe I posted recently. It&#8217;s a double recipe, so would fill two 8 inch cake pans for a nice tall double layer cake (make extra ganache if that&#8217;s your plan!). I used a tall 5 inch pan for a little but high cake coated in ganache that more than served our table of 12. 
Ingredients
2 cups almond milk (or soy)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tsps vanilla extract/essence
1 tsp coconut extract/essence
100g 70% vegan dark chocolate
Dry Ingredients:
1 cup rice flour
3/4 cup gluten free flour
2 tsp guar gum
2/3 cup cocoa
1&#160;1/2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup desiccated coconut
Method
Preheat oven to 170°C, line and grease two 8&#8221; round cake tins (or one tall 5&#8221; one!).
Combine the milk and apple cider vinegar, set aside and allow to curdle.
Sift together the flours, cocoa, guar gum, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the desiccated coconut to this dry mixture. 
Melt the chocolate in a med-large mixing bowl which will eventually contain all ingredients.
Add the oil to the melted chocolate, stir through, then add the extracts of vanilla and coconut. Ideally, the milk and apple cider vinegar combination should have been left to stand for around ten minutes and should be close to room temperature (or at least not cold). Add half of the milk mixture to the chocolate and mix together, then add the other half.
Next add the sugars to the wet mix and stir thoroughly.
Add a third of the dry ingredients, fold into the wet. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients, fold in, and then add the remaining dry mix to complete the batter. It will be slightly lumpy.
Pour into the prepared cake tin(s) and bake for about 45-50 min or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Or clean ish - it is a gooey fudge cake after all. Rest the cake(s) in their tin(s) for 10 min on a cooling rack before turning out to cool completely.
At this point you can put the cake in a plastic bag and freeze it, or put it in the fridge for a day or two before icing it. 
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Ganache
I used a bar of Green &amp; Blacks Organic Dark 70%, and roughly 50% of the solids from a 400mL tin of &#8220;Family Choice&#8221; brand coconut cream. Tip - when buying coconut cream - shake the tin, if the contents move about a lot in there, don&#8217;t buy it. You want the practically solid stuff. The thicker, heavier and creamier, the better for this job. 
Before opening the tin for making this recipe don&#8217;t shake it! You want the insides to stay separated so you can scoop the &#8220;heavy&#8221; cream off the top of the tin.
I didn&#8217;t add sweetener to the ganache as the cake itself is quite sweet and the velvety texture is a nice complement to the cake without it&#8217;s own sweetness. The coconut flavour doesn&#8217;t actually come out as the chocolate masks it, you could add coconut essence or another flavouring though.
Ingredients
100g vegan dark chocolate
400ml tin coconut cream (full, not &#8220;lite&#8221;)
1 tsp high quality vanilla essence
Method
Break up the chocolate and melt it down in a double boiler, taking extra care not to get any water or steam in the chocolate. Add the coconut cream, vanilla, and stir until combined and smooth, then remove from heat.

I put mine in the freezer to cool, and stirred it intermittently until it was a nice thick consistency to spread over the cake with my usual offset spatula that I use for buttercream.

Vegan, gluten free, dark chocolate coconut fudge cake

with vegan chocolate coconut ganache.

This recipe was for Adam’s birthday cake! An invention based on a chocolate version of the white coconut cake recipe I posted recently. It’s a double recipe, so would fill two 8 inch cake pans for a nice tall double layer cake (make extra ganache if that’s your plan!). I used a tall 5 inch pan for a little but high cake coated in ganache that more than served our table of 12. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk (or soy)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract/essence
  • 1 tsp coconut extract/essence
  • 100g 70% vegan dark chocolate

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour
  • 2 tsp guar gum
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut

Method

Preheat oven to 170°C, line and grease two 8” round cake tins (or one tall 5” one!).

Combine the milk and apple cider vinegar, set aside and allow to curdle.

Sift together the flours, cocoa, guar gum, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the desiccated coconut to this dry mixture. 

Melt the chocolate in a med-large mixing bowl which will eventually contain all ingredients.

Add the oil to the melted chocolate, stir through, then add the extracts of vanilla and coconut. Ideally, the milk and apple cider vinegar combination should have been left to stand for around ten minutes and should be close to room temperature (or at least not cold). Add half of the milk mixture to the chocolate and mix together, then add the other half.

Next add the sugars to the wet mix and stir thoroughly.

Add a third of the dry ingredients, fold into the wet. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients, fold in, and then add the remaining dry mix to complete the batter. It will be slightly lumpy.

Pour into the prepared cake tin(s) and bake for about 45-50 min or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Or clean ish - it is a gooey fudge cake after all. Rest the cake(s) in their tin(s) for 10 min on a cooling rack before turning out to cool completely.

At this point you can put the cake in a plastic bag and freeze it, or put it in the fridge for a day or two before icing it. 

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Ganache

I used a bar of Green & Blacks Organic Dark 70%, and roughly 50% of the solids from a 400mL tin of “Family Choice” brand coconut cream. Tip - when buying coconut cream - shake the tin, if the contents move about a lot in there, don’t buy it. You want the practically solid stuff. The thicker, heavier and creamier, the better for this job. 

Before opening the tin for making this recipe don’t shake it! You want the insides to stay separated so you can scoop the “heavy” cream off the top of the tin.

I didn’t add sweetener to the ganache as the cake itself is quite sweet and the velvety texture is a nice complement to the cake without it’s own sweetness. The coconut flavour doesn’t actually come out as the chocolate masks it, you could add coconut essence or another flavouring though.

Ingredients

  • 100g vegan dark chocolate
  • 400ml tin coconut cream (full, not “lite”)
  • 1 tsp high quality vanilla essence

Method

Break up the chocolate and melt it down in a double boiler, taking extra care not to get any water or steam in the chocolate. Add the coconut cream, vanilla, and stir until combined and smooth, then remove from heat.

I put mine in the freezer to cool, and stirred it intermittently until it was a nice thick consistency to spread over the cake with my usual offset spatula that I use for buttercream.

Vegan, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie Recipe

How’s that for a title. Just dripping with SEO.

Anyway, last week I had cookies on the brain and spent some time sifting through internets looking for a recipe. I wanted peanut butter and chocolate, no eggs, no dairy, no gluten. Most recipes used dumb egg replacers, actual eggs or other undesirable too-exotic ingredients and things.

After much reading I tried this combo to a satisfyingly delicious result, fortunately it only made very few cookies because over the course of the week I ate all of them.

Notes on ingredients:

Flour: I used a store brand gluten free flour which is a combination of flours. I think seed based flours would hold up best rather than starchy ones in this recipe but hey, experiment away! I’d be curious to see what happened with rise flour for instance.

Peanut Butter: I love peanut butter with more salt than sugar, and my cookies turned out quite salty, because I added even more salt. This was delicious to me but be wary of this and consider adding no salt at all (if salt is listed before sugar in the ingredients of your peanut butter, you know it has more salt. If neither are listed, your peanut butter is healthier but probably less tasty!).

Oils and milk: coconut oil could be substituted for extra light olive or canola oil, and the milk could be swapped for anything or omitted completely, I just found it helped bind the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 heaped tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (slightly warmed but not melted)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark (vegan) choc chips

Method

Preheat your oven to 170°C and grease or line an oven tray with baking paper.

Combine everything except the chocolate chips and mix well. When all the ingredients are evenly distributed, add the chocolate chips. I found the mixture didn’t stick together particularly awesomely.

Spoon balls of mixture out onto the tray and flatten, I made 9 medium sized cookies and they spread about 15-20% during baking.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

White Coconut Cake
Vegan and gluten free, this cake is chalky white in colour, especially if you use clear vanilla and coconut essence/extracts and coconut oil. Handy if you want to delicately colour it - light pink, aqua, yellow, any difficult colours would play nicely with this mix. Remember to bake in a light coloured pan if you really want a white cake.
The cake is quite sweet alone, you could reduce the sugar to half a cup as the coconut lends a sweetness complimented by the vanilla. Switch the sugar for 2 tbsp of honey if you prefer, but you may sacrifice the &#8220;whiteness&#8221;.
My current sneaky trick: a batch of this batter divided into cupcakes which are then frozen without icing. You can pop a frozen cake in the microwave for 30 seconds and it&#8217;s amazing just like that with a cup of tea. Yum.
Ingredients
1 cup almond milk (or soy)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil (or canola)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract/essence
Dry Ingredients:
1 cup rice flour
1 tsp guar gum
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Method
Preheat oven to 170°C, line and grease an 8&#8221; round cake tin.
In a mixing bowl, combine milk and apple cider vinegar and allow to curdle.
Sift the dry ingredients together. 
Add the sugar, oil, and extracts to the milk and apple cider vinegar, combine. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, adding a third of the dry ingredients at a time.
When all of the ingredients are combined, the batter will have some lumps and will be quite wet.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 45-50 min or until a skewer inserted into the center emerges clean. Rest the cake in its tin for 10 min on a cooling rack before turning the cake out to cool completely.
-
Yes the illustration is odd. That is what my frozen white cupcakes look like.

White Coconut Cake

Vegan and gluten free, this cake is chalky white in colour, especially if you use clear vanilla and coconut essence/extracts and coconut oil. Handy if you want to delicately colour it - light pink, aqua, yellow, any difficult colours would play nicely with this mix. Remember to bake in a light coloured pan if you really want a white cake.

The cake is quite sweet alone, you could reduce the sugar to half a cup as the coconut lends a sweetness complimented by the vanilla. Switch the sugar for 2 tbsp of honey if you prefer, but you may sacrifice the “whiteness”.

My current sneaky trick: a batch of this batter divided into cupcakes which are then frozen without icing. You can pop a frozen cake in the microwave for 30 seconds and it’s amazing just like that with a cup of tea. Yum.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk (or soy)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (or canola)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract/essence

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

Preheat oven to 170°C, line and grease an 8” round cake tin.

In a mixing bowl, combine milk and apple cider vinegar and allow to curdle.

Sift the dry ingredients together. 

Add the sugar, oil, and extracts to the milk and apple cider vinegar, combine. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, adding a third of the dry ingredients at a time.

When all of the ingredients are combined, the batter will have some lumps and will be quite wet.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 45-50 min or until a skewer inserted into the center emerges clean. Rest the cake in its tin for 10 min on a cooling rack before turning the cake out to cool completely.

-

Yes the illustration is odd. That is what my frozen white cupcakes look like.

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Ice-cream

I love love love Nice Blocks, in particular, the chocolate/coconut flavour. I recreated it last night with this combination:

  • 1 240 mL tin coconut cream*
  • 2 heaped tbsp dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 lg tbsp honey

Whisk ingredients together in a freezer-safe container. You want to almost whip some air through it so it will freeze into nice fluffy ice cream. Put it in the freezer for about 3 hours.

If you have an ice cream maker, I’m jealous - use that.

The mixture will freeze more quickly in a wide shallow container - i.e, if the liquid is spread over a greater area.

*I used homebrand coconut cream, which is more like coconut milk than cream, it’s thinner. The more expensive brands of coconut cream tend to have a thicker creamier consistency but this doesn’t really matter.

Some tracks from the upcoming release of The Great Gatsby are available for listens via Spotify: