Valentine’s Day is here, and it has already started fabulously! One of my oldest friends made a bunch of her friends “gal-entines”:
Isn’t that adorable? I love it. She hand-painted the mug and made the heart arrows herself, and the package inside is Mexican hot chocolate mix. Which is so fitting, given today’s cake recipe!
Only one course remains for the Valentine’s Feast I’m planning for G: dessert. I hope he doesn’t mind that I’m making my favorite dessert, Mexican chocolate cake. And I’m going to dress it up with homemade chocolate sauce and fresh fruit.
Okay, here’s where things might get dicey. Hear me out before you decide I’m crazy. I use a vegan chocolate cake recipe.
I swear, it’s the most delicious chocolate cake you will ever experience. I swear! Plus, it’s easy and quick and practically healthy.
The recipe comes from Margaret Fox of Cafe Beaujolais in my hometown of Mendocino, CA and is called the Amazon Chocolate Cake. The linked-to version includes the original recipe as well as an adaptation that is very similar to my own.
I don’t know why this particular chocolate cake is amazonian. But I do know that it’s been reprinted hundreds of times simply because it is the most delicious thing you’ve ever had.
To make it a Mexican chocolate cake, I add the same spices you would for Mexican hot chocolate: cayenne pepper and cinnamon.
Ingredients (makes 1 layer)
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t salt
2 t vanilla
1 T apple cider vinegar
5 T corn oil
1 c cold water
1/2 t cayenne pepper (optional)
1 t cinnamon (optional)
1/4 c chocolate chips (optional)
I’m the youngest child, so I’m not big on sharing. Anything. But I’ve been told by every romantic comedy I’ve ever seen that sharing a plate of dessert in candlelight is super romantic. So I’m baking my cake in 2 small ramekins for optimal plate sharing.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl, including the cayenne, cinnamon and chocolate chips if you’re using them. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together your oil, vanilla and vinegar.
Once an even brown color, mix your wet ingredients into the bowl with your dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. Then add your cold water and whisk the batter together.
You do not need to butter or oil your cake pan for this recipe because this cake is soooooo moist. (I apologize to anyone who hates that word. I seriously looked for a synonym and couldn’t find one.)
But I like to prep my pan with an oil spray and then sprinkle it with equal parts white sugar and cinnamon. To prepare the ramekins, I only used 2 t of the mixture.
Pour your batter into your prepared pan or ramekins. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. It’s done when you can lightly push on the top of the cake and the cake springs back.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a rack.
While the cake cools, let’s make the chocolate sauce!
3/4 c chocolate chips
1/2 c heavy cream
splash of vanilla
Over very low heat, heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a smal saucepan. Once the chocolate has completely melted, remove from heat and add the vanilla.
Tip: To easily remove a cake from its pan, slide a butter knife or spatula in between the edge of the cake and the pan. Very gently leverage the knife to pull the cake up and away from the edge. Continue to do that around the entire edge of the cake.