PB&C Layered Cake ~ Vegan

PB&C Layered Cake ~ Vegan
(Peanut Butter and Chocolate layered cake)

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I am looking forward to summer and it is almost here! We’ve had so much rain lately. This recipe is rich and moist. A few weeks ago we celebrated our little girls 12th birthday (time flies, doesn’t it?). I promise this recipe is not MY obsession with the peanut butter and chocolate combo, it was Jasmine’s idea and birthday request. First the brownies and now this cake – she does tend to go with what she knows. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
2 ½ Cups Cake Flour
½ Cup Cocoa Powder
1 ½ Tsp Baking Soda
½ Tsp Salt
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/3 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
½ Cup Shortening, softened (I use Earth Balance)
1 ½ Tsp Vanilla extract
½ Cup Hot Water
½ to 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, optional

Frosting/Icing:
Vegan Cream Cheese (Tofutti’s) – I used 1 (8oz tub)
Peanut Butter – about 1 cup
Powdered Sugar – about 2/3 Cup
Vanilla Extract to taste

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Directions:
-Pre-heat oven 350 degrees. Grease (2) two (8-inch) round pan – Earth Balance (Vegan Butter) or cooking spray, if you prefer.
-Combine dry ingredients then mix in softened shortening.
-Add wet ingredients and stir in to combine using a spoon, adding Chocolate chips last.
-Pour into prepared baking pans and bake for 40 minutes.
-Remove from pans and let cake cool completely. Cut each into two pieces to make four layers.
Icing: -Combine ingredients to combine. Spread evenly onto each layer. Enjoy!

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5/26 – Happy Birthday Jasmine!

5/26/15 – Happy Birthday Jasmine!
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Yesterday, well Tuesday (5/26) was our baby’s birthday. Baby…Yeah, wow!… Isn’t it crazy how time flies by? Lately the years just seem to be falling off the calendar. In April we celebrated Megan’s 21st Birthday and now Jasmine turns 11, there are no babies here 😦 …but they’ll always be our babies.
Jasmine my peanut…may you always continue to be blessed. You are a beautiful young little lady. Continue to be my kind hearted, helpful and brilliant little girl. Always seek knowledge and maintain your eagerness to learn. I relish your passion for veganism and your enthusiasm in the kitchen as my Sous Chef. I love you so very much. We love you so very much!
Jasmine
On Birthdays I always take requests from my family. What would you like for your special birthday dinner? or what kind of birthday cake/dessert would you like? I’m always cooking up something. Definitely just simply being vegan for so many years now I’ve grown accustomed to making the birthday cake instead of buying (which would mean traveling to the one of about two vegan bakeries – not quite close by)…so it is much easier to make it and it doesn’t hurt that I love cooking/baking. It is definitely stimulating to create in person a dish/dessert that my hubby or kids created in their minds – like my husband’s taste for Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafers. Now there is sometimes a misconception that all Vegans eat healthy all the time. Truth be told there are vegan junk food items just the same as non-vegan…Whoa…I know right. Yup, you have Chocolate Cake, Cookies, Cheesecake, Pudding…etc. and so do Vegans. Hey I’ve made my share of some sinful desserts in the past – I don’t want to talk about my son’s birthday cake request from November…I won’t mention the Vegan Cookie Dough filling cake that was sandwiched between Vanilla Cake with a layer of Chocolate icing then topped Chocolate and Vanilla icing that I created…all vegan with all the guilt too. : -/
Jasmine’s birthday request this week was my Smoked Corn Chowder (she LOVES it) and Chocolate Cake with Chocolate filling and icing. I always have a stash of Endangered Species Chocolate around (mommy’s chocolate emergency stash), so I sacrificed one of my bars and shaved some chocolate to top Jasmine’s all chocolate cake. 🙂
Despite what feels like every other thought being that of food (I’m sure I’m exaggerating…maybe? Okay okay it is admittedly excessive) but there is a balance and that balance is my family. I love these guys, they truly keep me going.
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Happy Birthday my little angel! Mommy loves you always.

Easy Chocolate Cake

Effortless Chocolate Cake
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As if you need a reason to make chocolate cake. Oh you do? Well let’s see there are: Anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Date nights/Romantic dinners at home, Weddings, Bridal or Baby Showers, Promotions, Retirement, Holidays, Potlucks, Birthdays and your Unbirthdays for every other day of the year. See that…now you can make this cake any time and it’s a celebration! [Public Service Announcement] I do advocate healthy eating habits; even some vegan treats should be enjoyed sparingly.

Desserts and vegan baking are an artistry that I LOVE to explore. The expressions of non-vegans are the best. I take great pleasure in watching their eyes enlarge nearly falling out of their sockets, followed by, ‘this has no eggs or dairy in it?!’ as they talk with food in their mouths sloshing about – the one time that doesn’t seem to bother me as much. I grin baleful yet benevolent. This cake is incredibly easy to make and has all the characteristics of being the best chocolate cake I ever created: it is moist, decadent, rich and delectable.
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Ingredients:

1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I use almond/coconut milk blend)
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Baking Soda
¼ Tsp Sea Salt (Ok to use reg. Salt)
¾ Cup light Brown Sugar, packed
½ Cup organic cane Sugar
1 Tsp pure Vanilla Extract
¾ Cup Earth Balance (Vegan Butter), softened
½ Cup natural Applesauce

Directions:
-Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Grease pan – Earth Balance/Flour or vegan cooking spray if you prefer.
-Stir the apple cider vinegar into the milk and let the mixture sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients. – The milk will curdle slightly to create a vegan buttermilk.
-In a large bowl combine dry ingredients: Flour, Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder, Baking soda, salt and sugar(s).
-Whisk dry ingredients together to incorporate.
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-Add wet ingredients: Vanilla Extract, Earth Balance, Applesauce and vegan buttermilk.
-Ditch the whisk and combine wet/dry ingredients with a large Spoon.
-Pour/smooth into your baking vessel and pop it in the preheated oven, then bake.
-Be sure to check that your cake is baked completely. The center should spring back and not be loose. – Insert a toothpick or butter knife and be sure it comes out clean with no batter or streaks of batter.

-Below are notes about cooking times and variations.
(1) 15×10 Pan: 20 Minutes
(1) Bundt cake: 40 Minutes
(2) 9-inch Rounds: 25 Minutes

Notes:
I first made this using a large cookie pan – similar to a jellyroll pan: 15x10x1. Just make sure the pan has a lip – 1 inch at least. –This bakes for 20 minutes only! – I use large cookie cutters or food rings (stacking-ring molds) to cut out pieces. You can cut larger pieces and leave one layer to top or cut out smaller pieces and stack up.
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Variations:
-I’ve made this cake with just a simple chocolate ganache over top.
(4oz Semi-Sweet chocolate, melted over a double boiler with ½ Cup non-dairy milk).
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-Try with Chocolate ganache then topped with Candied Walnuts.
(Toss shelled walnuts about a cup in a pan with a Tbsp Earth Balance and ¼ Cup Light brown sugar).
-You can also top with above-mentioned ganache and walnuts then sprinkle with Sea Salt – my favorite version.
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-On Valentine’s Day I made this cake with a Raspberry sauce, ganache and walnuts.
(2 Cups Frozen Raspberries-thawed, 1 Cup of Water, 3 Tbsp Ground Chia Seeds and 3 Tbsp Agave nectar. Blend ingredients in food processor then strain).
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-Honestly, this cake is perfect with even just a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
-Seth loves just the cake alone too without the extras, paired with a good cup of coffee.
Whichever version you try – Enjoy!