The cakes I bake and the books I read while baking them.
Why hello there dear reader, it is the month of July, which means, if you read this post back at the beginning of the month that I am currently doing a thing where I am vegan. while I am still learning and I’m not entirely sure that I can sustain this lifestyle right now, it has been great learning to make and eating lots of different foods.
On my first day of VEDIJ, my good friend George, who does in fact have a vegan blog, made me a chocolate cake, explaining how egg substitutes work and that most Betty Crocker things happen to be vegan. I for one do love a good bit of cake, but being lactose intolerant tend to stay as far away from chocolate as I possibly can. I also am someone who enjoys baking, so while knowing a packet mix is in fact suitable for vegans is great, it doesn’t exactly excite me as a baker. Egg substitutes I have found can be a bit expensive and other substitutes, such as bananas (gross), apple sauce and golden syrup, don’t always have the desired effect when you’re using them. So, with this in mind, I took to the internet and found a recipe for chocolate cake that doesn’t involve egg or egg substitute. Right? My mind was blown a little too, how does one make cake with no eggs? Let’s find out! My first attempt at this went horribly wrong, it literally stayed liquid, smelt burnt and well… Failure. The second attempt, that was a definite success.
Firstly, take a look at that picture, yes, it looks like cake! It tasted like cake too, if a little on the floury side, so how did I manage this almost impossible task?
Things you will need:
A mixing bowl
A Wooden Spoon
A cake tin
150g of self raising flour
50g cocoa powder (being vegan this month, I used dairy free cocoa powder, which I found in my local Sainsbury!)
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
400 ml vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of vinegar
A pot of Betty Crocker chocolate icing (which is accidentally vegan!)
The book of your choice, I was reading Lair of Dreams, by Libba Bray!
Firstly, weigh out the dry ingredients and add them to your mixing bowl. Give it a bit of a stir around with a wooden spoon and then pour in the wet ones. Give the whole thing I good stir until the lumps are smoothed out and poor into a non greased cake tin (I know, I thought that was risky too, but trust me!) Put that in the oven for 30 minutes while you enjoy your book.
I was, as I said, reading Lair of Dreams, the sequel to the Diviners, which I positutely loved, Lair of Dreams was similarly wonderful, but I felt like it was lacking the special something that made the first one so amazing. Which was the feeling I was also getting about this cake, part of me was like, it smells lovely, but is it lacking the special something, the eggs for instance, that helps make cake cake? I didn’t have all that long to wonder about it though, as before I knew it my alarm was ringing to tell me that it was ready to come out of the oven. The sense of trepidation was high, especially as the day before I had given this a go and ended up with something that was still liquid (too much oil), so imagine my amazement at opening the oven door and being greeted with a cake?! The knife tests told me that it was cooked throughout, so I got it out, left it on the side to cool and continued reading about the Sweetheart Seerer and friends for a little while longer. Then came the second moment of doubt, whether it would in fact come out of the cake tin seeing as there was nothing lubricating it, once again surprise, as it tipped out onto a plate completely in tact on my first go.
After decorating it and the arrival of my niece and also lactose intolerant nephew (it is a family trait I’m sure neither of us particularly want) we cut it up and dished it out and while it is a little crumbly and has a slight floury after taste, it does in fact feel and taste like your average chocolate cake! It is in fact possible to make chocolate cake without using any dairy! Up until this moment, I was starting to have doubts about being properly vegan, while I don’t think I can embrace being completely free of anything that has caused distress on an animal – I live in the middle of nowhere, our super markets are not stocked with a wide range of options, I think now I know that cake is still an option, I might stick with this whole dairy free, meat free thing! We shall see!
If you too have lactose/egg allergies, maybe give this a go and let me know what you think!