Monday, August 28, 2006

Chocolate Cake and Frosting Story

Now, you knew my first food post back would be a goodie, didn't you? I will get to non-sweets again sometime. Really. :)

But I have good reason for this one. It was hubby's birthday on Saturday, so I tested out my new Chocolate Cinnamon Cake and my Creamy Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting for his big day!

The cake was wonderful with the warm tones of cinnamon with the chocolate. The frosting was oh-my, sinful rich and luscious... though it comes with a bit of a story........

When I made the batch of frosting it became a little too thick and firm after it had been refrigerated. It is made with a silken tofu base, so I pureed a little extra into it to thin it out. After the new batch had cooled again, it was just a touch too loose. At first I was concerned that it wouldn't hold at all on the cake. But, it stayed just as it looks in the photo, with the frosting just cascading down the sides of the cake! It looked quite pretty so I didn't try to fix it at all.

Sometimes with cooking and baking, when something doesn't work out the way you "thought" it should have, or had planned it to look - well - big deal! (This is especially true when testing recipes!) So, instead of fretting and fussing, think of it in a fresh new way if possible. Rather than try to scoop the frosting back up and try to make it even all around, I let it drizzle down much like a glaze. Now, for the retest of this recipe, I will firm up the frosting again just a touch, because I realize that most folks would prefer the frosting a little more set - if only for keeping it set at room temperature and/or transporting the cake. But let me tell you, we all 'oohed and ahhed' over the flavor combination and texture of this cake, and my sister even said "the frosting looks so pretty like that"! Cool!

Moral of the chocolate frosting story: Cooking and baking is kind of like our hair, ladies (well, maybe you men out there too - do you get bad hair days?).... Anyhow, yes it is!
You know those days when your hair just wants to do its own thing?? The more you mess with it to get it to 'cooperate', the worse it gets? But, if you go with the flow of that bad hair day, it can look pretty darn fine! Same with our food. Um.....

but don't get carried away with this hair/food analogy....
no hair primping in the kitchen, okay? We really don't need to mix the two.
Leave the hair-in-the-food stories for those nasty all-you-can-eat buffets, alright??
Not for your dynamite vegan creations! :)

Now. Am I forgetting something? Let's see..... what could it be.... what is it that some of you are just scrolling to the end of this post to find?..... hmmmm..... oh yes, a giveaway. Silly me!

Alrighty, 'you snooze you lose' with this one - I'll be drawing one winner from the first 15 comments. Same rules as last time. Ready, set, GO!


Sharon said...

Really nice cake. I love chocolate, it is my favorite.
Sharon Fuller

dayler said...

MMMMMMMMMMMMM. That cake looks amaaaazing, Dreena. So you went with the cinnamon after all, huh? Good choice, love that combo together. The icing really does look great like that! Good job!

Oh, and uh... Don't count me in the giveaway LOL!

Gaia said...

Wow ! It looks delicious, the frosting looks kind of like a chocolate mousse, and I always love the combination of cinnamon and chocolate.
If I'm lucky, this frosting recipe doesn't not require Earth Balance as an ingredient :-D

Cherie Anderson said...

I think that looks cool, too, but understand the nervousness of having icing that melts quickly!

(don't count me - i have your books!)

Caroline said...

Cinnamon and chocolate, eh? I never would have thought of that combination for a cake. I know it's very popular in some parts of the world. Sounds like my next baking experiment!

laura jesser said...

That looks so, so good... Oh my gosh! Chocolate-and-cinnamon-and-hazelnut is a genius combination. The icing looks fabulous that way, I agree!

gwern said...

wow - i'm salivating over that cake! the icing looks so light and fluffy, like mousse, as gaia already said. very pretty! :)

Brooke said...

OOOOooooh, that cake is calling my name!
Dreena, I just checked out your MySpace page and would like to add you as my friend (I already made the request!). :-)

Emily said...

ooh! looks great. I just got back from vacation too and it was very hard to find food to eat and I'm only a vegetarian. That's what I get for going to the land of BBQ.

hyphen_helena said...

Oh man- chocolate and hazelnut is a heavenly combination! That looks like the perfect birthday cake, too. Your husband's a lucky man!

Elizabeth said...

Wow that cake looks really good. Count me in for the giveaway! I have Vive and love it!!

maybepigscanfly said...

Haha, I love your hair/food analogy. I never thought of that but it's true. Well your cake looks super delicious and I'm sure that your husband and family loved it. Who could resist chocolate and cinnamon? I still haven't ventured out to try silken tofu yet. Does it work well for dips? With your inspiration I'll have to give it a try.


Jenna said...

this reminds me of a chocolate hazelnut mousse cake i would bake for a restaurant i use to work at..i love the idea of cinnamon with it!

Allison said...

I am on a chocolate cinnamon kick recently (since I treated myself to a giant vegan "Mexican mocha" cookie last week). I can almost taste this awesome looking cake!

erica said...

Mmm, cake! How is miss chocolate :P

I've picked up both your cookbooks from the library recently and would love a free copy! The avocado cashew sauce from VLV is heavenly.

Sharon said...

Hmm, 15 comments already, but a few don't seem to want the free stuff. I love the cinnamon/chocolate combo and you've inspired me to let my cakes go only partially frosted--very pretty.

Dreena said...

Thanks everyone for your cake-appreciating words!!

Just so you know... there is still one spot left since my sis, Dayle, counted herself out of the draw and so did Cherie.

Gaia, yes, the frosting is made without Earth Balance margarine - yayyyy for you!!

Brooke, we are now "friends"! I haven't spent much time getting set up on myspace so my page is pretty bland! :)

Hyphen_helena - he certainly is lucky!!! Ha! (I'm super lucky too - he is a sweetheart and an awesome hubby and dad, if I do say so myself)!

Teresa, you MUST give silken tofu a try, oh yes, oh yes!!! I like it best for non-savory things, such as puddings, frostings, cream-filled cakes, etc. Mori-nu has a 'pudding mate' mix that you blend with the mori-nu silken tofu - very good!! I also just created an excellent new caesar dressing with some silken tofu. It's very versatile stuff!

Allison, your 'Mexican Mocha' cookie has my mind back on the cookie track now!

Hi Erica, thanks! I love that avocado sauce too. We just plain love avocadoes in our house, so I try to find other ways to eat them then just chopped and in things or made into guac!

Sharon, you're in even though you're #16! :)

*a* said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
*a* said...

really looking forward to your new cookbook, Dreena! that cake looks awesome! Aimee

Lady Di said...

I know I'm not in on the drawing and it's ok. The cake looks wonderful. Not sure about the cinnamon and hazelnut thing though. I'll have to think about it.

I also wanted to say I can't wait until you're off the sweets kick. I am so glad I've found you! I was an omni until last week when my liver surgeon informed me I MUST go at the very least lowfat lacto-ovo. You make it easier to lean more towards vegan with your Vive Le Vegan. I'm getting ELV once we have the money for the bookstore to special order it. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

oooooh! That recipe looks absolutely fab Dreena!

I can't wait till you're new cookbook comes out since I've made just about everything in VLV!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dreena! Love the cake - looks awesome! Thanks for the email about the pizza dilemma for my kiddo. I have some great ideas to try now! Well, I missed out on the first 15 comments but couldn't resist when I saw that cake - yummy!

Dori said...

That cake... wow, that cake ... wow! It looks amazing.

The contest... Darn I loose, but WOW - The homestyle chocolate chip cookies my daughter made this weekend (soon to be blogged) were sure fantastic.

I have made alot of vegan cookies... made some $$ doing so, but I rarely ate them because they were all mostly fat and sugar calories. I love the "lite - ness" of your cookies. In buying your book, I'm a winner.

Anonymous said...

How funny. I was just going to try to find a chocolate cake recipe to turn into cupcakes. I've had a fierce craving for quite some time now.

Michelle said...

guess i missed this one too :(

Melissa West said...

Welcome back Dreena!

I've missed you! I finally got my hands on your book The Everyday Vegan. I am totally loving it. The best was the idea to shred beets on your salads. I love the salad ideas.

The cake looks fantastic, lucky hubby!

Peace, Love and Veganism said...

What can I say? Every time I pick up Vive, I find myself drawn to the cookies! Actually, I have been baking for my friends and co-workers, as we teachers head back to school. I bring batches with me when we travel to see family, too. This way, I don't eat them all!!

Anyway, my usual update: I made the chocolate chip cookies for my family and my sister brought them to her friends. One of her buds happened to be a (gourmet?) chef, and he said that he had eaten lots of vegan things before, but none quite as good as these cookies!! I also made the brownies yet again, to more rave reviews, and the maple walnut cookies to sighs of delight and requests for recipes!

Last but not least, thanks to your comments about Erik Marcus' book about veganism, I bought it, read it (crying a little) and shared it with my mother who said, "After I'm done reading this, I may be a vegan, too!" And she's only just turning vegetarian! Yay - what a wonderful day for veganism, after all our airplane stories!

Danielle said...

Ooh, I can't wait to see the recipe for that cake. It sounds like something my boyfriend would go bonkers for.

funwithyourfood said...

hello hello
Long time lurker here!
I love the hazelnut chocolate combo. This cake looks great. Thanks for being so creative and VEGAN too. :)


EatPeacePlease said...

Crap, I'm #30 (it's 7:22p MST). Dreena, this cake looks amazing and I especially like how all the frosting is dripping down, I'd keep it that way too. Or eat it with my finger as it drips! I wished this wasn't baked (for my personal selfish reasons) but I can't wait to see it in the new cookbook. Glad your back with a huge awesome cake!

Julie said...

oh, man! I am number 31. :[

oh, well.

The cake looks glorious, Dreena!

Urban Vegan said...

That looks volcanically good....

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Oh wow, is that cake and frosting, or frosting and cake?!?

Anne said...

WHEN is ED&BV coming out? Whenever it is, I don't think I can wait that long!

Carrie™ said...

You know I love your Triple Layer Chocolate "Cream" Cake. I don't know if this cake can topple it from the number one spot. Looks and sounds mighty tasty though. Once your book is out, I'll have to do a comparison experiment. Oh, the sacrifices I make *sigh*

Dreena said...

Thanks again everyone for your cake-loving comments!! :)

Lady di, I appreciate that you think my work is helping you make some healthy changes. You will find lots of very satisfying, low-fat recipes in Vive and TEV. Any q's, let me know!

Pure zuke, that's so true, you have made so much from Vive I think you could take over my blogging! :)

Dori, you know, I REALLY appreciate that input, that's a big compliment to me. Whenever I work on recipes, I try to balance good taste/texture with not overdoing the fat/sugar/white stuff. Sometimes I don't mind using more of the 'junk' when it is a real treat type of recipe, but for most things and day-to-day foods, I want it to be healthy as well as tasty. Thanks... :)

Melissa, thank you!! I'm so glad you are also liking TEV. I was putting grated beet on my sandwiches for a while, but I'm out of it now (got tired of it I think)! I also put grated jicama and carrot on my sandwiches at times. I like to do a "salad in a sandwich" most lunches, piling the veg in there!!

P,l,veganism... heee, I love that you are continually tempted to bake up cookies! Also, I'm most flattered about that cookie story - I'm not trained professionally, so that is very cool to hear! Erik will also be very pleased to hear that report about his book. That is what he strives to do - have people make changes after reading his work. Keep passing along the book if you can! (and good work sharing it with your mom) :)

Dang!! Sorry Leslie, Julie, and Michelle.... well, you know I'll run another contest sometime later on. I'll include more entrants next time! :)

Amy... that's funny!! I DO like a lot of frosting with my cake - it's ALL about the frosting for me - I'll scrape it off and leave the cake!

Ha, thanks Anne... it will be out in fall 2007 - when I first read
"ED&BV" I thought "huh? what's that?".... not used to the acronym yet myself!!

Dreena said...

Yes, Carrie, you are very selfless to do a comparison taste test!! If you do take on that arduous task, please give me your opinion! :)

Oh - pure zuke - after Carrie mentioned my Triple Layer Chocolate Cream Cake, I had to come back and mention it to you. I think you said you were going to pick up TEV, so if you do and you have a craving for a creamy-frosted deep chocolate cake - make it! It's not difficult at all and I posted about it a couple of months ago. :)

Catherine said...

Hey Dreena, about Blogger Beta -- I guess they are only letting a few people upgrade at a time, so when it's your turn, you will get a link on your Dashboard. I haven't been "allowed" to upgrade yet, and can't leave comments for people who have already upgraded! Bummer.

Yummy looking chocolate cake, by the way. :)

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