Right now, we are settling in for something like a week of cloudy days and rain ahead. Oh joy. And since the precipitation is not in the shape of snow, I will be honest--there is some depression that accompanies me. So I say: chocolate! I could have made one more batch of chocolate cupcakes, but I've made 36 of them in the past week, so I was ready for a change.
What got me thinking about this cake was earlier this year I watched Throw Down with Bobby Flay on the Food Network in which he went toe-to-toe with a restaurant owner who had this incredible German Chocolate Cake recipe that folks just raved about. Then he made his version to see who had the best. I believe his won. But when I went to look at his recipe, it overwhelmed me--some sweetened condensed milk shows up, some major layering of cake parts and tons of egg, too. I had some adjustments to make to create a vegan version of this famous cake. So I scoured my book shelf for help. Ultimately, I used three different cookbooks for inspiration for my vegan version. I was delighted with how this turned out. Hopefully you get the Yum factor of this cake. The cake portion inspiration comes from Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts. The coconut frosting inspiration from The Joy of Cooking, and the ganache topping from Gourmet Cookbook. You could make this cake ahead of time and place in fridge over night. There are some necessary cooling times for the ganache and coconut frosting.
Vegan German Chocolate Cake
For the cake:
3/4 cup unsweetened vegan cocoa
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups Florida Crystals Sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup instant decaf. coffee
1 cup soy milk plus 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
3 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350. Line two 9" round cake pans with parchement paper, then spray with non-stick baking spray. Prep your egg substitutes first! Then, prep your soy milk mixture so it has time to curdle. Sift all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: soy milk, coffee, oil egg replacer and extracts. Add half of the wet ingredients to the dry, mix with hand blender and then add rest of wet ingredients, mixing well--until batter is smooth. Pour equal amounts into cake pans. Drop the pans a few times on the counter to help remove any air bubbles before you pop this into the oven. Bake for about 35 minutes. Test with a toothpick stuck in center of cake--if it comes out clean, you are good to go! Remove cakes from the oven and set aside to cool.
For the coconut filling:
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 cup Silk Soy Creamer
3 teaspoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 3 tablespoons warm water
1 stick Earth Balance Butter
First, prep your egg replacer--whisk really well and set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the sugar, soy creamer, extract and add egg replacer. Keep stirring this until you see the mixture just beginning to boil. It will also begin to thicken. Remove from heat--be careful, hot sugar is HOT!
Now, add the shredded coconut and pecans. *Mmmmm--this is starting to look really good! Allow pan to cool, then, place pan in fridge to cool further and allow to thicken--about 30 minutes once it has come to room temperature. Place 1/2 of the cooled cakes onto a cake keeper (preferably one that will fit in the fridge)--and pile on some of this frosting. Then add the second layer, pile on rest of frosting. Now, onto making the ganache for drizzling over and frosting the sides of the cake.
For Ganache Frosting
*Note: If you have a favorite ganache recipe, feel free to use it--as long as you are adding another chocolate covering to the cake, I think you will find it takes it to a whole new height! Or, you can skip this part.
2 sticks Earch Balance Butter
3/4 bag of vegan chocolate chips
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Place all ingedients in small sauce pan on medium heat and cook until all butter has melted. Keep stitting the entire time. Once all of chocolate pieces have melted, remove from heat and allow to cool, then place in fridge for about 30 minutes as this will thicken quickly--but you want it to still be a bit runny for pouring over the cake. If it is too runny to stick to side of cake, allow to cool a bit more and it will thicken enough to frost the sides of the cake. Drizzle over the cake, but don't cover the whole cake topping. Then frost sides of cake. Store in fridge until ready to serve!