A New Chapter


I must admit my current job is taking a lot out of me, I have barely cooked or baked at home for the last month which is terrible as my kitchen is where my muse lies. I sense a new chapter coming in my life, one where I do a little bit of summer cleaning and get back to learning simple rustic desserts.

The chez panisse crew and I are heading into the tcho chocolate factory tomorrow to have a private tour. Tcho is a company based in sf that states clearly on their packaging “no slavery”. Most of the chocolate in our country is produced by slaves and it is why most chocolate bars cost $1.  Sometimes as vegans we get so caught up in animal rights that we forget we are animals too, and there are plenty of animals out there…humans that are slaves too.   I first learned of this when my brother was in the theater program at his high school.  Every fall they made each theatre student sell a box of sees candy chocolate bars to help support the theatre program.  When he tried to sell one to a guy he respected at school he responded by saying he didn’t eat chocolate picked by slaves.  My brother was freaked and when he went home he researched in depth to find out that it was in fact true, that majority of chocolate in the US is picked by child slave labor….let me repeat that… child slave labor.

Being twelve I still understood this was wrong and cut unfairly traded chocolate from my diet.  Today we have many options in this country to choose from, and I urge those of you who care about animals to take the same care with humans!  There are many resources online if you google fair trade chocolate, and a lot will deliver in the cooler months of the year!

To celebrate fair trade chocolate this is a recipe I made for my brother on his birthday this year. Not the best cake design but definitely a delicious vegan fair trade chocolate cake!  I am sorry for the poor picture quality on this post, I had no idea I was going to share this with the world. This recipe is adapted from Isa Chandra’s chocolate cake recipe.

photo 1 photo 3 photo 4

Vegan Fair Trade Chocolate Cake:

Makes 1- 8 inch round cake

1 cup almond milk 
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

1 C peanut butter

2 C confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

Almond milk as needed

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2.Mix the milk and vinegar in a bowl to curdle in a large bowl. Meanwhile sift all your dry ingredients into another bowl.  Then add the sugar, oil, vanilla, and almond to the wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches making sure each addition is well incorporated before adding more.

3.”Butter” an 8 inch spring form pan lightly and pour the mixture into the pan. I personally also like to cut out a  8 inch round parchment to lay over the bottom after I greased it for easier removal from the spring form. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  If you want a layered cake. Cut the cake in half before you frost!

4. While the cake is baking make the frosting.  Using a hand mixer mix together the powdered sugar and peanut butter.  Add a little at a time of the almond milk until the mixture comes together and is a smooth and spreadable frosting. Be careful not to add too much milk as the mixture will become to runny, too little and you will break the cake when you try to frost it.  Remember to let the cake cool completely before frosting or you might be giving your loved one a big mess of a cake!


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