Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Homemade: Vegan Chocolate Cake

Have you ever wondered if rich and moist chocolate cake could be made without inherent evils like butter? Embracing the hippie-eat-organic culture of Berkeley, William and I braved the creation of a vegan chocolate cake. He found a recipe online that promised such a moist cake sans eggs and butter. In their place, the recipe called for egg substitute and apple sauce. The assembly of the cake was not particularly challenging, unless you consider throwing stuff in a bowl and mixing it a mental workout.

Three minutes of rigorous mixing and 50 minutes of baking at 325 degrees, our low-fat, cow-byproduct-free cake was ready. Before I go into the taste aspect, let me tell you that the cake was indeed moist. And from sheer appearance, you could not tell it contained no dairy. But oh the taste. I don't even know how to describe it! It was sweet for one but not derivative of the bittersweet flavor of chocolate that one would expect. The combination of the apple sauce in the addition to the egg substitute (that was mostly water, soy and plum concentrate?!?!) lended the cake to take on a most unnatural sweetness that was reminiscint of fruit (shockingly). After several bites of the cake, the taste began to grow on me but in no way did I ever believe that I was eating a chocolate cake. I guess the cake simply wasn't satisfying. Perhaps it's because I missed the fat too much. Regardless of how many calories a non-vegan chocolate cake may contain (and I don't want to know), at least you know the guilt is accompanied by a scrumptious and satiating bite of chocolatey goodness.

Lesson learned: Vegan food is not real food (to me).

Recipe rating: 4/10 (I've made a huge mistake) <--(non-vegan) brownie points if you get this reference


Melinda said...

Eggs and fat are irreplaceable. Seriously.

And do the points come in certificate-form?

Surafel said...

I'd probably give vegan chocolate cake a one. I'm actually surprised that your cake had any taste whatsoever (the one I had was devoid of flavor, although Jason gave a valiant effort to avoid that).

Without this comment getting too long, apparently, for vegans, it's really tasty because they get accustomed to subtle tastes, and so their taste buds are trained to taste the taste that we normal people don't taste. Strange, I know...

Tess said...

Hi there,

I'm not sure if you'll ever see this, since this is such an old entry, but I'll give it a try anyway. I just wanted to make it clear for you or anyone who might happen across this--vegan is not the same thing as no-fat or low fat. Some vegans are in it for their health, but all vegan means is that you don't use animal products. There are plenty of forms of fat that come from vegetable sources.

It's really hard to make a good cake with no fat, but a lot of vegans wouldn't bother with that anyway. I make vegan cupcakes a lot (with a recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz), and they are certainly not low in fat or sugar, but they are very good.