Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Bundt Cake

It all happened so fast.

I found this recipe at around 4pm. Up until that point, I had no intention to bake this evening. I would be lazy, watch Sense and Sensibility, maybe make stove top popcorn if the craving was strong enough. But this cake looked so appealing. Maybe in part because it's reminiscent of the cakes I see on Downton Abbey, my newest vice and escape of choice. Mostly, though, it was vegan. And vegan meant easy, in this case. No creaming butter, no cracking eggs (truth: I'm terrible at cracking eggs); and I had everything the recipe called for. Everything, except the bundt pan.

I could've baked the cake in a 9x13 pan or a 9-inch round. But oh, then it wouldn't be nearly as pretty. And it wouldn't look like it just came out of Mrs. Patmore's kitchen. I asked myself if that really matters. Turns out, it does. I remembered the wealth of bundt pans I once came across at value village. At the time I had been tempted, but told myself to wait until I actually needed a bundt pan. This was it! The time had come! And off to Richfield I went.

A half hour later I was back and making hazelnut coffee, the one thing I was quite capable of messing up (truth: I'm terrible at making coffee). The batter came together quick, ridiculously quick. It was only as I poured it into the mold that I realized this cake had the potential to really suck. No eggs? No BUTTER? When I told Josh what the cake would be lacking, he made a face. We decided that if it flopped, we could take the opportunity, momentarily, to make fun of vegans and their "food."

I couldn't sample the batter because I was in the middle of a 2-hour express whitestrips treatment, so I had very little indication of how this thing would turn out.

At half past seven, the verdict is in. A cake without eggs and butter is not an impotent cake, whatever purists may say. It is a pleasant chocolate cake with faint reminders of the hazelnut coffee within. The crust is tightly sealed in a flawless inversion of the mold, the elegant depressions crisp and kissed with powdered sugar.

Okay, vegans. You may have something here.

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