Monday, November 07, 2011

Birthday Cake for Ed!

You know how it's super fun to cook for people who really appreciate your food? Well, my aunt's boyfriend Ed is a really sweet guy - and I'm not just saying that because he likes my desserts so much. Whenever we have family dinners, Ed is always a little coy about inquiring into dessert... trying to suss out what I've made this time. Once, in summer, I just made a big plate of watermelon - and poor Ed was so disappointed, especially since he's allergic to watermelon! Oh no. I felt so bad.

Well, not this time. When my aunt told me Ed's birthday was coming up, and that he really loves chocolate (smart man!), I got to work scheming right away.

Little Yummers, official inspector

I made a double batch of my favorite chocolate cake - which is the Low Fat Vegan Chocolate Cake from Joy of Cooking (of all places!). I sub out half the oil for applesauce, and then I usually add 2-3 extra tablespoons of cocoa powder. I also subbed out 1 tsp of vanilla for 1 tsp of chocolate extract - just to go overboard on this chocolate explosion experience.

Then, for the filling between the two layers I made the Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Friends, that stuff is CRAZY GOOD. I love it so much. Especially because it also has hazelnut liquer in it, which gives the whole thing an excellent zip-iti-doo-dah! If you haven't tried it, please address that situation.

For the ganache, I used a recipe I really love from Simple Treats - it's got instant coffee granules in it, which I love - and I also find the texture really easy to work with. The combo of the coffee-chocolate in the ganache and the hazelnut-chocolate in the filling, and the chocolate-chocolate in the cake was absolutely glorious. Our friend Janet said "I think this is the best cake I've ever had." And of course, Birthday Boy Ed was happy too.


  1. this looks so amazing! best birthday cake ever!

  2. I'm not a big chocolate cake fan but "hazelnut mousse" is a magical phrase that instantly fills my heart with desire. Nice cake! Happy birthday Ed!

  3. This looks amazing!! And I loooove your animals' names. :)

  4. You know that cat would pounce on the cake, LOL!!!


  5. Now that is a beautiful cake!

  6. The cake looks beautiful, but it is a good thing that Yummers is there to give it the final tick of approval!

  7. OHMYGOODNESS! Now you have me wanting to see what it looks like inside. And what it tastes like. I want a piece!!!

  8. I still want this cake...

  9. Ooooooooooo lucky Ed I want that cake!

  10. your web blog is a perfect example why Americans are so unhealthy and fat.
    you enjoy making people and friends happy by serving unhealthy food catering to your addictions and theirs.

    "and that he really loves chocolate (smart man!)"

    he is not smart, he is stupid! and the tone of your writing says you are not to smart either.
    you are addicted to junk food and always looking for an excuse to make more. Holidays and birthdays, actually your blog is your main excuse.

    Your are a vegan, you want to save animals lives and don't give a poop about yourself and the people who you love. What kind of a sick philosophy is that.

    you make not like my tone, or print this, but you will read it, and deep down in side you I know I am right.


  11. That cake looks AMAZING!

  12. A English speaking friend, that speaks better English than I, pointed out to me that I made several English writing mistakes in my last post. Yes, I need to work on my English writing skills.

    I did find your post very offensive suggesting people who eat chocolate cake are smart. what are you saying to the people who want to be eat. healthy, that they are stupid.

  13. Hi ALF,
    I think it's clear that I am not saying people who want to eat healthy food are stupid. But I did hear you saying that I was stupid for enjoying a chocolate cake, which is nasty and accusatory. This was obviously meant to be a joyful post about a very special occasion and a naughty treat that I make very rarely. Most days I (and my whole family in fact) am eating salads and kale and fruit and quinoa. Telling me I am stupid and mean-hearted and "probably overweight" hurts my feelings and my first reaction is to become defensive. But I've thought about what you've written.

    If you don't like me, and you don't like my blog, and you don't like the food I cook, you could probably save yourself a lot of agitation by not bothering to come look at my blog. If you are passionate about encouraging people to give up sugar and eat more healthy foods, your methods of nastiness and attacks are not very persuasive. You're more like to make enemies that way.

    Why not leave a comment like "I can see your family had a great gathering. How sweet. We used to eat cakes in our family until we became more concerned about health and reducing sugar. Now we celebrate together by eating XXXXX. Here's a link to one of my favorite recipes: XXXXX" That comment would indicate that your dietary choices have helped make you into a content and kind person who enjoys helping and encouraging others to make good choices.

    In the future, I'll probably just delete your comments if you come with the same mean, nasty, and accusatory tone.

  14. The chocolate cake was a fun special treat for a special occasion. For those of us who are trying to eat a healthy diet daily it is fun to have a naughty treat once in a while. Keeps us sane! Your well thought out response to Alf is a testament to what your blog is about. Keep up the good work, Amey. We have learned about different foods, spices, the experimenting with recipes from your blog.

  15. I'm absoultely shocked by ALF's comment. So much hatred and negatively in one little package is unbelievable.

    I think you handled it very well.

    I also think your cake is beautiful. :)

  16. ha amey you are so thoughtful and eloquent. my reaction would just be "stfu." but seriously, what a jerk. keep on being the rad, sweet, smart, lovable vegan you are :-) haters be damned.

  17. Julie8:20 PM

    Hi Amey,

    I love your website with all your wonderful, thoughtful recipes and beautiful drawings.

    I loved your response to ALF, he was very mean, I completely agree with sophia response.

    Sorry your feelings were hurt, to make you feel better, I have a confession. Today for
    breakfast I had a vegan donut and chocolate soymilk!! I know, it is not good
    for me. But at least it's better than cow milk and a "regular"
    I love vegan donuts and would eat one every day if I had access to them.
    I want to be honest. In general, I love all sweet baked good, As long as there are vegan. Vegetables are good and I try to eat a few everyday but the bake goods are much more fun and that's what I look forward too.

    Tonight I am making a Vegan lemon meringue-style pie for a friend's gathering tomorrow,
    and then on Tuesday (my own birthday) I will be chowing down on big slabs of vegan chocolate birthday cake. One of my best vegan friends is baking it for my birthday..

    Don't let anyone take the joy out of your life.
    This is absolutely my favorite, joyous time of year, with my Birthday, major holidays and specially parties. and events, It is a non-stop party, The party goes into the new year.
    I hardly ever drink, but I can't say no to all the all the delicious bake goods, that I and my vegan friends make.

    I am a vegan, my main concern is for the welfare of the animals, I love my dog, more than anyhting else, that's it! I don't waqt to live to be a hundred even if if someone promised me I would , if I ate better, I would be miserable the whole time.

    I know my vegan diet is not healthy, I may gain some weight and drop dead. Some people like ALF will criticize the way I eat. It is none of their business...... "Hey we are all going to die". all I can say is, "what a way to go"!!

    Keep those great recipes coming, Can you pleaseeeee post the full recipe for that Chocolate Cake!

  18. Anonymous8:40 AM

    For personal reasons I will stay anonymous, I hope you understand.

    My daughter, who is a frequent reader of this Vegan blog and many other Vegan blogs, pointed out the exchange between ALF and the host blogger, Amey

    Yes, ALF can easily be dismissed as an angry, negative person, but his message on health is correct and overlooked by present day vegans, who's only concern is for welfare of the animals. Their health is not important or not their main concern.

    I would say Julie's post ( #17) is an excellent example of that. I would like to think she is in a small minority, but from what my daughter is telling me, she is not.

    My position about eating unhealthy Vegan junk food is, we should not be eating these foods: ever!

    Of course, you are not going to drop dead from eating a one piece of chocolate cake, but I believe it does wrap your sense of taste. Our taste buds have been so corrupted, since childhood, by the continual use of these unhealthy foods, like sugar. oil and salt, we can not eat foods with out them.

    Whole food should taste good to us in their plain natural state. If you don't believe me try fasting for a short number of days on just water, The first piece of food you eat will taste absolutely delicious.

    I recently heard T Colin Cambell at a lecture in Toronto. He was very hard on the attending, mostly Vegan audience. He stated being a Vegan was just the start. In order to be healthy we must eliminate sugar, oil and salt from our diets. A plant based diet consisting whole fresh fruits and vegetables, raw and simple recipes with out the use of sugar, oil and salt is what we should be eating.

    He also pointed out the obesity problem in Canada and the in the US. In his talks in has seen lots of over weight vegetarians and vegan.
    His talk was centered around cancer prevention, not heart disease. He stated eating a vegan diet does protects us from heart disease but not cancer. We have to eliminate most of the vegan processed foods, Fake meats, processed vegan package goods, and unhealthy bake goods. ( baking forms acrylamides that cause cancer) and all sugar,oil and salt.

    Now overweight people are becoming the norm. I am very sad to say, I am seeing this in my daughter and some of her friends, it really hurts me a lot to see her struggling with her weight. Both myself and my wife are thin.

    Although there is a attempt to cut down on the sugar, oil and salt in some of the Vegan blogs, that my daughter has pointed out. Most of the Vegan blogs still heavily rely on these ingredients, Bake goods are very common. Books like Vegan cupcakes Take over The World is a good example.

    I get mad when I see titles like "Vegan Cupcakes take over the World" Especially when I see titles like that in my in my house!

    The early vegans in this country came from a strong health movement and started the American Vegan Society to create more awareness for animals. Do no violence. This also meant, no violence to our self's by eating healthy food.

    We have to find a way to keep joy in our life's without continually poisoning our self's with unhealthy foods. Sorry, As hard as this may seem, The Vegan Chocolate cake is not he answer.


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