Invincible Muffin » Recipes » Sweet Things

Mexican Chocolate (or Carob) Cake

(modified from Vegetarian Times 9/93)

Cake

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan (one those baking pans with a removable side that you clip on around the base.) (The original recipe says to line a 9x12-inch pan with parchment paper cut about 2 inches larger than the pan, but we've never done this.)

Mix dry ingredients together well in a large bowl with a wire whisk. It's also a good idea to sift the dry indredients. In a separate bowl combine liquid ingredients. Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until well mixed. What happens is that the vinegar reacts with the baking powder, creating bubbles in the batter and making the cake "cake-y", and you don't want to let that sit too long. Pour the bubbly batter into the prepared pan and pop it into the oven fairly quickly.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick or knife blade inserted comes out clean. TRUST THE TOOTHPICK, NOT THE TIME. Place the pan on a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Unclip the side piece of the springform pan and gently remove. Invert the cake so it is bottom-side up and remove the bottom part of the springform pan. Gene says generally, though, you end up removing half the cake along with the bottom so here's his secret: Take a long length of dental floss, fit it between the cake and the metal bottom plate and pull it through, like a garrote, and off comes the bottom plate, leaving most of the cake behind. (If using the the parchment paper: lift cake gently out of pan by picking up parchment. Gently invert and place on a serving platter. Remove parchment.)

Cool cake in refrigerator for several hours before frosting and serving.

Icing

Whisk together cocoa (carob) powder and sugar in a heavy 1 and a 1/2-quart saucepan. In a bowl, mix cornstarch and soymilk together until no lumps remain. Whisk cornstarch mixture into cocoa (carob)-sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan with a rubber spatula, until mixture is glossy - about 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add vanilla. Beat to remove any lumps - strain through a fine sieve if necessary. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Beat again, then frost the cake with a thin layer of icing.

Garnish cake by sifting cocoa or carob powder over top of cake. Cut out a stencil in posterboard of any design you chose and sift powdered sugar over it to form a design on top. Cut out a second stencil out of posterboard and repeat with cinnamon. Garnishing the cake with orange slices and pecan-halves is also nice. Gene likes it with nothing more than a dusting of cinnamon over the whole thing.

Double Layer Variation

Make two cakes.

Make a raspberry filling to put between the cakes thus: Combine 1 12-oz. jar of seedless raspberry preserves with 2 Tablespoons of Chambord (sticky sweet French raspberry liqueur). Warm over very low heat until it just start to get a little runnier. Spread over the top of one cake and put the other cake on top of it.

Next, break up and melt in a double boiler 4 or 5 3-oz. bars of chocolate. Keep the heat low and stir constantly

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