It's my birthday, and I'll make what I want to...

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!

15 comments from you:

vlb5757 said...

Happy Birthday young whipper snapper! The cake sounds good and I think that you should tweak it without a recipe to see if you can do it! The icing decoration looks wonderful. I can tell your lessons have been paying off! Thanks for thinking about all of us and our weird food problems! Aren't we all a strange lot? Have a wonderful birthday. I hope someone cooks for you for a change and cleans it up! Such a treat.

Kitchen Queen said...

Happy happy birthday, and best wishes for many more, Michelle!!!

darlamay said...

Happy Birthday! I never would have thought anyone could make tofu frosting sound/look good, but you did it!

rob said...

It's still the 17th in Oregon, so happy birthday!

These cupcakes look interesting -- I'm especially intrigued by the mixture of rosemary and chocolate.

ilva said...

Happy Birthday! So young and fresh, how I envy you!

MM said...

Happy birthday chickie! Awww, so young! Hmmm, am intrigued by the rosemary infused choccie combo but not so sure about the tofu in cake!

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Feliz Cumpleaños querida Michelle!!! y que cumplas muchisimos mas :) Twenty eight is a great number and a beautiful age, enjoy it!

I loved your chocolate-chocolate creation, so intense!

Michèle said...

Hi Michelle and happy happy birthday! I love the chocolate and rosemary combination, I think it would be fabulous in cupcakes. Nice work ;) All the best to you this year!

Paz said...

What wonderful looking birthday cupcakes!

Happy, happy birthday! May all your dreams continue to come true.

Have a great birthday week!


Shauna said...

Happy, happy birthday, my dear! You are alive, and that's all that matters. The fact that the recipe needs tweaking is such a gift. What would we do if our recipes turned out perfectly every time? Life would be awfully boring. Thanks for being here.

mrs d said...

Happy Birthday, Michelle!

No dairy? Now that's my kind of cake!

michelle said...

Hi Vickie! Thanks for the birthday wishes! You're not a strange lot, you're a great lot! I'll try my hand at baking it and tweaking it without a recipe, but no one may want to eat it after that!!

Hi KQ! Thanks!

Hi Darlamay! My last venture with tofu frosting didn't come out very good, but this one was actually pretty tasty. Although, secretly, I was worried my frosting kinda looked like cow pies sitting on my cupcakes!! I'd like them a little darker!!

Hi Rob! Thanks! The rosemary chocolate combination was what caught my eye in the first place too.

Hi Ilva! You're sweet, I wish I still felt young and fresh instead of old and decrepit sometimes!! And I can tell by your pictures you've still got lots of youngness and freshness in you too!!

Hi MM! Thanks! The tofu was actually pretty good - it more just gives texture to the frosting than anything else!

Hi Melissa! Gracias, mi amiga! I hope 28 is as good as I'd like it to be!

Hi Michele! Thanks, my dear!

Hi Paz! Thanks a bunch, I think it's already working out to be a good week - looks like the sun finally came out today for us!!

Hi Shauna! Thanks for always being such a strong woman and inspiration! I really want to try to make this cake gluten free too...

Hi Mrs D! Thanks for coming by to wish me a happy birthday!

Clare Eats said...

I am so sorry I missed the actual day, you cakes look so cutend delcious, I love stuff like this!

MC Hungry Hippo said...

Hi Michelle,
happy birthday! I flake out on my daily blog perusal for a couple weeks, and you have your birthday right during that time. Hope you had a wonderful day, and may coming year be all that you hoped and more!


michelle said...

Hi Clare! No worries, just another year going by and dragging me closer to thirty.... :) Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Hi McHH! Thanks! I've been bad about checking blogs too - work is keeping me SO busy right now because I have my committee meeting coming up next Monday. Yikes! I hope science and life is treating you well too!