Vegan Chocolate Cake & Annual Meeting Retreat
Chris M. and I have been attending for a dozen years or so, having missed one because of a niece’s baptism and one for a cousin’s wedding along the way. It is still a wonderful way to get to know people better, some new and some we met at that first retreat we went to, about four months after we arrived in SF. Some of the regular retreat attenders are former members of our meeting who still come back once a year to connect and relax with us.
It is a very low-key affair: the only parts planned in advance are the meals. The rest of the schedule is developed by a group process on Saturday morning after breakfast, when anything anyone wants to do with other people can be proposed and assigned a time and place. And even then, all activities, from bible study to water balloons to worship sharing to hiking to the waterfall, and including the daily meeting for worship, are entirely optional.
Anyway, at lunch on Sunday, some one asked if I would publish my recipe for vegan chocolate cake on my blog. I hereby comply. I ask only that that Friend leave a comment in the near future.
Vegan Chocolate Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together in an ungreased 8x8x2 inch baking pan, pressing out any lumps with the back of a fork:
1 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup succanat (regular white or brown sugar also work fine)
3 tablespoons cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Make three holes in the stirred dry ingredients. Into these place< 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour over all
1 cup cold water (or coffee or milk, depending on your flavor and ethical preferences)
Mix with a fork just until all ingredients are well blended. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Cool in the pan.
This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9x13x2 inch pan, but it will probaly need 40 minutes or so to bake, depending on your oven.
When I prepared this to serve after a memorial meeting for worship once, I sprinkled the top of the cake, while it was still warm, with vegan & organic chocolate chips. After they melted a little bit, I spread them out into a thin layer of frosting. This was amazingly good.
This cake is also fabulous with vanilla ice cream and sliced strawberries.
The funny thing for me is that this “vegan” recipe is readily available in almost any basic cook book, sometimes called Crazy Cake or Wacky Cake, because of the vinegar, etc.
I first had this cake as part of an after school religious education program at First Presbyterian Church of Salinas when I was in fourth grade.
Each week, the teacher brought in one of the ingredients for us to taste. Most weeks she brought in both the kitchen-ready version and the unprocessed form of each ingredient, like flour and a wheat stalk. Some ingredients were yummy, some were terrible, some were just bland. But when she put them all together at the end of the semester, the cake was rich and delicious.
The point was that religious practice is like that too. We enjoy some aspects, we may dislike other aspects, but the result wouldn’t be the same without them all.
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]