May 13th, 2007

Better than Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Thanks for the reassurances a few days ago when I asked about Better than Sour Cream. The cake turned out great! The frosting didn't hold up perfectly in the heat and humidity, but I was impressed with the crumb of the cake after so many dry wacky cakes.

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe in How to be a Domestic Goddess

Cake:
1 1/3 c flour
2/3 c sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c plus 2 tbs soft Earth Balance
3 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 c plus 2 tsp Better than Sour Cream
1/3 c hot water mixed with 1 tsp instant espresso powder and cooled
3 tsp Ener-G powder, mixed into the cooled espresso
1 tsp vanilla

Beat Earth Balance and sugar, then add wet ingredients. Add the dry all at once, and stir until just combined. Liberally spray/butter a loaf pan or higher-edged 9" cake pan (I used the loaf with good results). Bake in a pre-heated 350 oven for about 20-25 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Leave the cake in the pan for about ten minutes, then flip out to cool. My cake sunk a bit, and wasn't very stable, so be careful with this step (or prepared to fix it with the frosting!).

Icing:
3 oz. dark chocolate bar (semi-sweet is best)
3 tbs Earth Balance
1/4 c Better than Sour Cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbs light corn syrup
2 c confectioners' sugar, sifted

Melt the chocolate and Earth Balance in the microwave (careful to stir it frequently and not let the chocolate burn). Let cool a bit, then stir in the sour cream, vanilla, and syrup. Add the confectioners' sugar, blending until smooth. You want it thick enough to spread, so add hot water to thin it or more sugar to thicken. Frost the cake.

This fed about six of us for dessert, and we served it with fresh strawberries.

Amaranth Stuffed Kabocha Squash

Here is a quick n' easy.


1 2-3 pound Kombucha squash
1 cup amaranth
6 green onions, washed and diced
2 T Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
2 1/2 cups water

Fill a sauce pan up about one inch. Bring water to a boil.

Cut the top off the squash off, remove seeds, guts, etc. Place top and squash in sauce pan. Turn water to simmer. Cover, let steam cook for 30 minutes until soft but not mushy. Remove from heat and drain water when done.

In the meantime, wash the amaranth in a fine sieve and drain well (I use my sprouting bag for this). Preheat a frying pan on medium high, and gently brown the amaranth (takes about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. In another sauce pan, bring the 2 1/2 cups water to a boil, add Braggs, stir, add amaranth, cover, turn to a simmer, and let cook until the water is absorbed (about 30 minutes). If the water is still not absorbed, turn up the heat a little and continue to stir until it is a bit of a thick porridge. Add the diced green onions, and pour the mixture into the squash. Serve warm and fresh, by cutting it into eight wedges, or refrigerate and serve the next day. This is a great easy, quick, simple healthy whole food side dish.

(Originally written up for Extravegance)