Recipe Experimentation: Raspberry Ripple Chocolate Cakes
by Ali Seiter
To celebrate the 18th birthday of my good friend, dormmate, and fellow vegan Katie, I allowed her to scroll through my 17-page “Dessert Recipes to Try” Word document and choose any sweet treat for me to recreate as my gift to her. Doing so, of course, also provided a gift to myself, seeing as the time I can devote to experimenting with tantalizing recipes amidst classes, papers, and extracurriculars here at Vassar proves quite rare. More than happy to oblige Katie’s request of my whipping up of Jo’s mouthwatering Raspberry Ripple Chocolate Torte, I contentedly whiled away in the kitchen to put a smile on Katie’s face, as well as on those of the Vassar Animal Rights Coalition, with whom Katie and I honored the conclusion of finals week and shared her birthday goodies. Thus, I bring you yet another edition of recipe experimentation!
Recipe: Raspberry Ripple Chocolate Cakes—Adapted from Including Cake.
Tweaks to the Original Recipe:
- Replaced the silken tofu with an extra 1/2 cup of black beans.
- Substituted date syrup for the agave nectar and stevia.
- Substituted vanilla extract for the almond extract.
- Replaced the spelt flour with a mix of 1/4 cup brown rice flour, 3 tbsp sorghum flour, and 1 tbsp arrowroot powder to make them gluten-free.
- Added about 1-2 tbsp homemade almond milk to moisten the batter.
- Omitted the salt and slivered almonds.
- Included 1/4 cup cacao nibs.
- Baked 12 of the cakes in a mini-muffin pan and another 4 in a regular-sized muffin pan instead of in a loaf pan.
- Reduced the baking time to 15 minutes for the mini-cakes and 18 minutes for the regular-sized cakes.
- In addition to replacing black beans for the silken tofu, I opted not to puree the wet ingredients together out of a desire to not have to hand-wash the bowl of my food processor (oh, how I’ve come to enormously appreciate my dishwasher back in Madison while in college without such a handy appliance!). Due to both of these changes, the wet ingredients did not provide adequate moisture for all of the dry ingredients upon first mixing, though a simple addition of a tablespoon or two of almond milk ameliorated the problem.
The results of my experimentation? An incredibly happy group of VARC-ers! The cakes proved incredibly moist, dense, chewy, and oh-so-chocolatey, while providing a lovely flavor balance between the tartness of the raspberries, bitter sweetness of the cacao nibs, and deep unctuousness of the cocoa powder (fair-trade, of course). My fellow animal rights activists could hardly stop themselves from devouring the entire batch.
Comment Provoking Questions: What is your favorite blend of gluten-free flours to replace regular flour in recipes? What other ingredients do you use to replace silken tofu?
Until next time, Ali.