Desserts

Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Coffee Cake

Recipe courtesy of Fran Costiga, author of Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts (Running Press Fall 2013)

Ingredients
For the crumb
• 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
• Zest and juice of a medium organic orange 
• 3⁄4 cup pecans, roasted and cooled, coarsely chopped 
• 1⁄4 cup rolled oats, toasted and cooled 
• 1⁄2 cup organic whole cane sugar, ground in a blender until powdered
• 2 Tbl California Olive Ranch Everyday extra virgin olive oil
• 2 Tbl vegan chocolate chips

For the cake
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 3⁄4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
• 1⁄4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
• 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 Tsp baking powder
• 1 Tsp baking soda
• 1⁄2 Tsp ground cinnamon
• 1⁄2 Tsp fine sea salt
• 1⁄4 cup plus 1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
• 3⁄4 cup pure maple syrup, Grade B or dark amber
• 3⁄4 cup nondairy milk
• 1 Tbl pure vanilla extract
• 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
• 1⁄8 Tsp pure orange oil (optional)
• 1⁄3 cup vegan chocolate chips
• 1⁄2 cup Chocolate Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze (see below, optional)

Directions
Make the Crumb
  1. Mix cranberries and orange juice in a small bowl; soak for 10 mins, or until softened. (The amount of time needed depends on the dryness of the fruit.)
  2. Drain cranberries, reserving 1 TBS of the juice. Return cranberries to the bowl, and add pecans, oats, whole cane sugar, zest, and oil. If the crumb is dry, add the reserved tablespoon of juice. Think damp sand. Stir the chips into the crumb and set aside while you make the cake.
Make the Cake
  1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350˚F. Oil the sides and bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a parchment circle (or paper cut to fit). Do not oil the paper.
  2. Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to the strainer and stir with a whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. (If any small bits remain in the strainer, add them to the mixture in the bowl.) Whisk to aerate the mixture.
  3. Whisk the oil, maple syrup, nondairy milk, vanilla, vinegar, and orange oil (if using) in a separate medium bowl until completely combined. Immediately pour into the dry mixture and whisk until batter is smooth. Stir the chocolate chips into the batter.
  4. Pour half the batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle with half the crumb, going light on the center. Pour remaining batter over the crumb, using a small spatula or thin knife to spread batter to the sides of the pan if necessary. Sprinkle the remaining crumb over the batter, again keeping the center relatively light on crumb.
  5. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan and a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
  6. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 10 mins. Place a piece of parchment on top of the cake and invert. Remove the pan and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Invert the cake again, top side up on the rack and cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.
Serve cake at room temperature, or warm slices in the oven at 325˚F for 5 minutes. If you are glazing the cake, wait until after it is warmed and drizzle with Chocolate Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze.

Store the cake in a covered container overnight at room temperature. Refrigerate wrapped tightly for up to three days.

Chocolate Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze
Makes 1⁄2 cup, enough for one 9-inch cake

Ingredients
  • 1 1⁄3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbl plus 2 tsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbl plus 2 tsp boiling water
  • 1 Tsp pure vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Sift confectioners’ sugar and cocoa into a small heatproof bowl. 
  2. Add boiling water and whisk until sugar and cocoa are dissolved and glaze is smooth.
  3. Add vanilla and whisk until incorporated.
Refrigerate in a covered container up to one month. Allow time for the glaze to return to room temperature before using, stirring a few times. If the glaze becomes too thick to pour, stir in a teaspoon at a time of hot water until the desired consistency is reached.

Yield: Makes one (9-inch) cake, 10 to 12 servings




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