i'm really starting to come around regarding the whole vegan baking issue. after not a small number of disasterous attempts at baking egg and dairy free i pretty much threw in the peta embossed towel. what with a butter and egg loving cookie eater in the house cawing and deriding my poor, flat, chewy baked goods, what else could i do? i hated to throw my little spongy mouse pad like cakes into the garbage can, but i hated to eat them even more.
so while i still bake egg (free range, blah blah blah) and dairy (organic, blah blah blah) filled sweets for my not-always-so-sweet, i find that i'm cooking more vegan cookies and cakes that are passing muster. i don't really know what has changed. maybe i'm selecting my recipes more carefully. maybe i've learned that to overbeat a vegan baked good equals instant failure. maybe i've just learned that baking is a science and that you need to actually read the directions and, here is the really hard part, follow them.
and so on a momentary note of vegan victory, this here is a recipe for wacky cake. aka crazy cake. aka make do cake. aka (my favorite moniker) dump cake. the bones of this recipe has been around since the forties when bakers had to "make do" with what they had on hand during the lean wartime years. the recipe can be made into a sheet cake or a round cake, but i like the little cupcakes best. the directions specified to not use dutch processed cocoa but since that was all i had on hand, and i have a very difficult time following directions, i used it anyway. with no ill-effects. the cakes rose beautifully with a light airy crumb, a high peaked crown and a lovely chocolately flavor.
1 1/4 cup white or wholewheat PASTRY flour
1 cup finely ground sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup +3 Tablespoons water
1 T. instant coffee granules (totally optional)
3 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl (first five items) then whisk to combine. in another bowl place wet ingredients (water, oil, vinegar and vanilla) and whisk vigorously until well combined. BRIEFLY mix the dry and wet ingredients. DO NOT OVERBEAT or your cupcakes will be tough! they will become mouse pads! place cupcake liner in a 12 muffin tin and lightly spray with oil. fill to about 2/3 full and bake about 25 mintues at 350.