During the past month I have been baking a lot of cakes, just to get that perfect vegan sponge. I thought of purchasing another cook book but like I said before, I don’t seem to have done justice to the forty cook books that are already in my possession. This and the fact that there were no vegan cook books available at my local book shop forced me to just make a few changes and adjustments to already available recipes. I was surprised that the results were not just satisfactory but very tasty too.
These were the areas that I found challenging: Tips are welcome:
1. Cream and icing: I recently made Meeta’s semifredo which solves this excellently. The compote, cream layer can very well be used as an icing if needed. The fact that it is low calorie is an added bonus.
2. Leavening: My vegan cakes taste great but do not seem to rise as much as the ones with eggs/condensed milk used to.
3. Vegan cakes seem to have a first bite stickiness which I have never encountered in other cakes. The coconut cake and the carrot cake I am sharing today however were not sticky.
This one is modified from the America Cooks series. The book used eggs, sugar and three times the oil I used, and a maple butter icing which I did not even attempt as it would have rendered the cake fattening!
I make cakes by feel. If the batter is a little lumpy I stir in boiling hot water to bring it to a pourable and spreadable consistency. This works very well for me! Have you tried it? If you have some tips, do leave them in your comments. In this case the batter spread very easily. I substituted some of the fat with apple flavoured soymilk, and this turned out perfect.
The cake turned out a little sweeter than I prefer my cakes to be, possibly due to the use of sweetened soy milk.
I have reduced the amount of sugar in the recipe below. Do give this vegan cake a try!
Recipe: Carrot cake with cardamom, coconut and jaggery
Eggless | Dairy free | Refined-sugar free
1 and 1/2 cups SRF (Self Raising Flour)
Salt – A pinch (The recipes calls for 1/2 tsp.)
1 Tsp. – Ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup – Organic powdered jaggery
3 heaped tsps – Flax seeds – powdered
(Beat the meal with 1/4 cup water till you get lightly beaten egg consistency)
1/4 cup – Sunflower oil
1 and 1/2 cups – Carrot grated
1/3 cup – Freshly grated coconut
Approx. 1 cup – Apple flavoured soymilk (I used Sofit)
A handful of raisins
I did not have walnuts otherwise I would have used 1/4 cup
Grease an 8″ square tin – I used non-stick.
Sieve the flour, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the jaggery. Add the flax eggs, oil and 1/2 cup apple flavoured soymilk to the dry ingredients mixing in one direction well. If it is still lumpy add the reserved soymilk gradually till you get a thick idli batter consistency.
Pour in the tin and bake for about 35-40 minutes at 180 deg. C. till firm to touch. The cake may take a little longer depending on your oven but wait for a minimum of 1/2hr.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling on a rack.
The cinnamon flavor complements the carrots perfectly.
My son did not like the idea of adding coconut.
As you see from the picture above, the cake was absolutely crumbly, soft and just rightly moist.
I used 3/4 cup jaggery but I have reduced teh quantity in the recipe above, as mine was a wee bit sweet – but then I am not the kind who like sweets too sweet or cakes too sweet too:)
Sieve the flour from a good height, at least a ft. as it helps capture air.
While mixing, take a portion of the batter and slap it down. Repeat this as this too helps in aerating the batter.
Any other tips are most welcome.
This cake goes to WTSIM…..The Summer edition hosted by Eva of The Passionate Cook.