It's my birthday today, yep the BIG 2-8, and being the ahem, culinary wizard that I am...okay, strive to be, I wanted to make myself a cake. I bought a great cookbook when I was in Florida at the beginning of the year - The Golden Door Cooks Light and Easy, and I haven't cooked out of it yet, so I was browsing through the dessert recipes when I saw this one: Rosemary-Infused Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate-Tofu Frosting. Wow - I coudn't pass that one up, especially considering I have so many great, great blogger friends that are trying to watch their waists, have food allergies or intolerances, or are trying to cook for someone they love that does, and lo and behold, this cake has no dairy and has a minimum amount of sugar (you could use Splenda if you wanted) and it's low in fat (for me!). I also think it could easily be made gluten free with a few adjustments (I actually thought it was when I first decided to make the recipe) - but I'm going to have to play around it with it bit. I'll update the recipe as I get around to it trying it again, tweaking it, and making it what I imagine it to be capable of too! After I returned from the grocery store, I also discovered didn't have the right sized pan (a 6" round), so I decided to make birthday cupcakes instead. So, without further adieu...
Rosemary-Infused Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate-Tofu Frosting, from The Golden Door Cooks Light and Easy (needs a few adjustments)
1 tsp. Vegetable oil
4 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup hot, strong, freshly brewed coffee
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. Kahlua or coffee brandy
1 large, ripe banana
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup unbleached rice flour, sifted
3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup firm silken tofu, drained (**sandwiched between 2 plates with paper towels!)
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted
2 tbsp. commercial chocolate soy milk
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 6" round baking pan with the vegetable oil and set aside
Steep the rosemary sprigs in the hot coffee for 15 minutes. Remove the sprigs, set aside and cool. Pour the cooled rosemary-infused coffee, vanilla extract and Kahlua or coffee brandy into a blender or food processor. Add the banana and process until smooth. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in the brown sugar.
In another large bowl, combine the flour, the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir in the coffee, banana and brown sugar mixture; mix well.
Using an electric mixer with a whip attachment (or hand mixer), beat egg whites and salt at high speed until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped egg whites and salt at high speed until they are fully incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan; bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (cupcakes took about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven, turn out onto a rack, and let cool completely.
For the frosting, combine the drained tofu, maple syrup, cocoa powder and soy milk in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, then transfer to a bowl. When the cake has cooled completely, use a spatula to frost the top and sides of the cake. (I piped the frosting on the cupcakes with a 1/2 inch round tip).
My Notes: To be honest, my cupcakes needed a little bit of help, and the recipe needs a little bit of tweaking in my opinion, but it's got great potential. One, don't over-cook it - as I've said a hundred times, my oven sucks, so the bottom and edges got cooked a little too much, which made them dry, but the middle was moist and delicious, which I'm guessing the entire cake should be. I also think the banana I bought wasn't big enough, because my batter was kind of dry when I tried to fold in the egg whites so I had to actually take a whisk to it (I know, bad, bad girl!) but I would like to try applesauce instead of a banana because the cake had a distinctive banana flavor that I think took away from the rosemary and chocolate and coffee flavors. Again, I think this could be made gluten free, I just have to figure out how to do it. Also, be sure to drain the tofu - meaning, not just dumping out the water, but letting it drain into paper towels sandwhiched between a couple of plates for quite a while. I had to add more cocoa powder and squeeze a bunch of tofu to get the frosting to be a spreadable/pipeable consistency because the 1/2 cup I added was just water-dumped-out 'drained.' The cupcakes did rise a bit, so only fill them 3/4 full if you go that route. I would also maybe try mint instead of rosemary, although I did enjoy the slight rosemary flavor. If you tweak it, let me know how it turns out!
Now...for a little birthday indulgence...I haven't had the time lately at work to get around to checking all of my favorite blogs...so lest you think I have forgotten you all (I haven't!) I'm going to go say hello and see what you've been up to! Have a wonderful, happy Monday!
written by Michelle at 11:20 AM