Sunday, September 26, 2010

By Which We Are Fed

This recipe comes from Kat Raese, Urban Land Scout of many talents, among them vegan baking. You don't have to publish your recipe to earn a Level 4 badge, but you do have to eat some food thing composed of mostly wild sourced ingredients.

Vegan Vanilla Bean Cake with Wild Blackberry Filling and Lime "Buttercream" (portions of this recipe adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World).

1 cup blackberries
2-3 Tablespoons Sugar
2-3 Tablespoons Brandy

In a medium bowl, mix clean berries with sugar and brandy, and allow to macerate (wait around) for at least 30 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients for the cake. The berries should start releasing their juices.

1 cup blackberries
2-3 Tablespoons Sugar
2-3 Tablespoons Brandy
pinch of ground cloves or cinnamon

Bring all ingredients to a boil over medium heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the blackberries start to break down. Smush the berries further, and when they have broken apart adequately, strain the mixture through a fine sieve--you don't want any seeds left. Syrup can be cooked down more, or if the consistency is satisfactory, set aside and save (refrigerated) until you are serving the cake.

Cake: (for a six-inch double-layer cake)
1.5 cups soy milk
1.5 teaspoons apple cider
1 7/8 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar + 2 Tablespoons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 scraped vanilla bean

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray baking pans.
2) Whisk soy milk and vinegar in a large measuring cup and set aside to curdle while you mix dry ingredients.
3) Mix dry ingredients together.
4) Mix wet ingredients (and vanilla bean) with the curdled soy milk in a large bowl.
5) Sift the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until no large lumps remain.
6) Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 25-30 minutes (checking for doneness with a toothpick after 25 minutes). You're looking for a nice golden color. However, DO NOT open the oven during the first 15 minutes of baking, as your cakes will sink.
7) Set cakes in pans on a cooling rack, and wait for them to cool before turning them out onto the cooling rack to complete cooling. THe cakes have to be COMPLETELY cool before icing--this can take up to a few hours. Do not attempt icing before then, as your icing will melt.

Lime Buttercream:
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance)
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

(Save your arm and use a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer to do this part.)
1) Beat the shortening and margarine together until combined and fluffy.
2) Add sugar in half cup increments, beating after each addition; beat for 3 minutes once all added.
3) Add vanilla and lime juice--beat for 5 minutes, or so, until fluffy.
4) Fold in zest and mix to distribute evenly.
5) Chill until ready to use.

Putting it all together:
1) Stab the top of one of the cakes with a toothpick or a small knife--so the berry juice will absorb easier. Spread macerated berry fulling on top of one of the cakes; wait a few minutes for the cake to begin absorbing. Situate second cake on top of the filling.
2) Ice the cake (don't worry if the berry juice oozes into the icing--it won't be the prettiest, but it will taste great!).
3) Chill cake until serving; drizzle coulis on plate (and on cake) as you are serving.

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