Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Shopping/Baking/Prep

Well, I decided to take my own advice and slim down on some of the gift giving this year. We are notorious for overspending during the holidays and this year my grandmother and mother both said no more clothes :) They also said no more books, which is unfortunate because I had already picked some up at Goodwill, so they'll just have to take them and like them, or pass them on. So, to add to their gifts I decided to use the BBB website and find some reputable charities to which I could donate money in their names. My grandmother has recently been hospitalized due to COPD, so I have donated $25.00 in her name to the American Lung Association. My mother is now eating a vegan diet after years of down home cooking have caused her cholesterol to shoot through the roof, so in her name goes $25.00 to the American Heart Association. I am posting it here because notices have already gone to their homes, so it won't be much of a Christmas surprise anyway, but the intent is there. Finally, I am doing some baking as gifts and found a yummy vegan chocolate cake recipe that I wanted to share with you here:

Rich Chocolate Bundt Cake

Publication Date: 03/01/2007
The following chocolate cake recipe was created for PARADE by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, co-author of “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes That Rule” (Marlowe & Company, 2006) and host of the public access/podcast vegan cooking show “Post Punk Kitchen.”

1 3/4 cups freshly brewed coffee
2/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (like Droste)

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose white flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray an 8- to 10-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.

2. Over medium heat, bring the coffee to a simmer in a sauce pot. Once simmering, lower the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to bring to room temperature.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, canola oil, apple sauce and cornstarch until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Mix in the extracts. Once the chocolate has cooled a bit, mix that in as well.

4. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Beat until relatively smooth, about 1 minute with a hand mixer or 2 minutes with a whisk.

5. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick or butter knife inserted through it comes out clean. If your Bundt pan is on the smaller side, it could take up to 55 minutes.

6. Let cool for about 20 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate to cool completely. Once cool, sift powdered sugar over the top and enjoy.

Serves 12. Per serving: calories: 250, total fat: 7g, saturated fat: 1g, total carbohydrate: 47g, cholesterol: 0mg, fiber: 4g, protein: 3g

* If you can’t find whole-wheat pastry flour, then regular all-purpose flour will do. Don’t substitute regular whole-wheat flour; it is different and will result in a rough and chewy texture.

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Chronicling my adventures in proving that less is more. I'll learn to refashion/recycle clothes, prepare gourmet meals using as many natural/basic/raw ingredients as possible. I'll learn to spend less, live more, and reclaim those things that are truly valuable in my life.


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