Vegan Holy Grail! Chocolate Cake, an FAQ

I did it. I found the Holy Vegan Grail: chocolate cake. It’s been since just before Valentine’s Day I finally discovered this very easy recipe, but it was so unbelievable for my longing taste buds, I had to make it again (and even a third time)…to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

pinch Nope. Still awake.

Cake for breakfast anyone? (Yes, please!)

To me, cake is the ultimate in textural edible pleasure. Brownies are great, true, but caaaaaake. There is something gorgeous and magnificent about the sponginess of a cake with a little bit of sugar-y creamy-ness of icing with each bite. If it’s super-chocolate-y, that’s just a bonus. It takes the cake, if you’ll pardon the pun.

We have traveled miles every few weeks just to get vegan cupcakes (to the tune of $2 each) at a favorite restaurant in Houston. As it was starting to get expensive, I kicked it into high gear to find a home-based solution. And, oh, did I find it.

Given my new-found pleasure, I will be flexing my skinny vegan muscle a bit and start by answering a handful of Vegan FAQ’s posed by the non-bloggers in my life (a/k/a/ my real friends). If you’re a blogger and — especially if you’re new here — just stay with me.

You may have already read my Top Ten Hardest Things About Going Vegan or Where Do You Get Your Protein…but now, it’s time to get real, friends. In the end, we shall have cake.

When I don’t eat meat, my blood-sugar spikes.

Um, first off, it might be possible that something else is dealing that blow, perhaps…chocolate cake? Thank goodness I’m not diabetic, and your ‘meat’ — a/k/a rotting flesh — might be playing a different role regulating your blood sugar than you think. To my limited understanding, both Type I and Type II diabetes can be managed and even prevented through healthy dietary habits. What could possibly be more healthy than vegetables? Have you even tried greens? If you want sugar stabilizers in the form of protein, look to the plant world. If you want a healthy diet, look to the plant world. Your ‘meat’ (provided she was a wild animal, which, sadly, probably wasn’t) was built from the same plant protein that also builds you. So…why not just cut out the middle man?

Look no further than plants, but get educated first. It is entirely possible to eat vegan with nary a vegetable ever passing your lips. Be smart: don’t be that vegan! Variety is key. Find yourself a licensed dietitian who helps diabetics, who does not push ‘fad diets’ like the one you might already be on. Do some research, read testimonials from others who are managing their diabetes successfully without causing harm to others, like this one. It can be done, and since you don’t live in a food desert, stop making excuses.

Would you be offended if I ordered the chicken or cheese pizza instead of the salad?

In a word, yes, but not for the reason you might think. Would I be offended if you asked permission to kick one of my sweet little bun-buns across the room? Of course, I would! And guess what? We wouldn’t be friends anymore if you acted upon your offer. In a morality sense, the two are one-in-the-same — identical — in that they both cause others unnecessary suffering or even death.

Your irrational comfort with harming sentient beings (provided you already know the truth, which now you do) is pleasure without a conscience, something I’m compelled to question as a fellow moral human, and you should too. Join me instead with the one vegan entree on the menu so the restaurant owner will also get the message that change is coming. Learn how to enjoy pleasure without causing unnecessary suffering to others.

If you’re such a moral person, why don’t you worship God?

Each religion is highly personal, and each religion encompasses a particular ‘belief’ system or ideology, a manual, if you will, on how to effect one’s after-life. Being vegan is a ‘reality’ system, what happens today. My after-life is my business, and your after-life is yours, but the systematic abuse and slaughter of billions of fellow creatures living today, how that system affects our home today, and how that treatment is the baseline of human behavior today is all of our business. As long as church congregations end their love-thy-neighbor kumbayah sermon with deep-fried chicken flesh or ice cream (a/k/a/ concentrated torture), I’ll attend my ‘church’ elsewhere, thank you. I continue to be bummed, however, that I missed this fabulous sermon address right in the middle of Meat Country USA (Texas). Tashi Nyima addresses the Richardson Interfaith Alliance on the Thanksgiving observance and says most eloquently what I feel in my heart:

“I am here tonight not to speak in lofty platitudes, but to get in the way. Not all abuse happens in dark alleys. Much unspeakable cruelty takes place in the brightly lit aisles where we purchase the flesh of animals, their eggs, their milk, their skin, their wool, their feathers, and their fur. Those brightly lit aisles conceal the horrible darkness where animals are confined, enslaved, tortured, and slaughtered for our pleasure.”

A little bit of ice cream isn’t going to hurt anything.

If you believe that, then I guess you won’t mind a little bit of rape for yourself. Perhaps you think a little bit of torture on your child or a little bit of infanticide for your days-old newborn wouldn’t be so bad either.

Come on. What you consume — not the quantity you consume — perpetuates equally the disposable male babies and reproductive slavery that a regular daily consumer of ice cream does. Both of you are satisfying taste alone, and both of you are the reason the madness continues forth in its current ‘standard’ state. If you think that torture, rape, and mutilation of others for pleasure are wrong — and I happen to know that you do because you’re my friend — just stop participating in it. Period. 

But my kids really love ice cream. It makes them so happy!

A lot of things make children happy, and then there’s that one thing that you think makes them happy, only to find out it doesn’t a week later. Freakin’ kids. So…why ice cream specifically? Show your child where ice cream comes from. Listen to her, embrace her as you wipe her tears as she learns the reality of ice cream ‘happiness.’ She loves animals! Why are so you insistent upon training that love out of her? Her programming is fresh, not ingrained like yours. Take charge of your child’s future and education: don’t leave it to the businesses and schools districts (who are in cahoots with the businesses) as they will fail you miserably. Love your child by not lying to her anymore about her food. Break the cycle of violence so her generation will be better than ours. Then — I promise you — she will truly be happy and she will thank you for that.

Do you really think that your being vegan will change anything?

As more people become aware of the realities of our food choices, change will eventually happen, just as it has with any other social injustice movement of the past — slavery, cultural domination, male domination, plutocracy, mass oppression.  All big change starts at the bottom. It starts with you. It starts with me.

It is not my place to judge you, force you to change, or tell you I’m right and you’re wrong. It is my place, to share what I know, educate my loved ones where I can, and get in the way. Billions of living creatures’ very lives depend on it, and they are entirely at our mercy.

I may feel at times insignificant, but I don’t want to be like the elephant watching helplessly. Being vegan is silly easy to do, so in the words of Wangari Mathaai, “I will be a hummingbird.”

 ♦

Chocolate caaaaaaake!!

Now that I’ve got your attention, as promised, The Most. Awesome. Chocolate. Cake.

Recipe care of MinimalistBaker Blog, the only substitution that differed from my first batch to my last (I made three cakes in two weeks!! I told you I was excited) was balsamic vinegar. I used it instead of the called-for apple cider vinegar, because that’s what I had on hand…and Wow. It really does add something, feel free to embellish there. I also mixed milks (coconut and almond were on-hand) with success. Applesauce was made on the fly by boiling peeled-cored-chunked granny smith apples in a bit of water.

If you keep ripe avocado on your counter (we do), try this Avocado Chocolate Frosting recipe from CoffeeAndQuinoa Blog instead of the ganache on the cake recipe. Vegan butter is not something I’ve ever kept on hand, so you might not have it either. It was a most awesome cake companion, chocolate-y and texture spot on. She modified the same cake recipe that I used, but hers is also gluten-free.

The Vegan Holy Grail! Photo courtesy: MinimalistBaker.com

Please consider buying your chocolate cocoa Fair Trade. Your purchasing power makes tremendous impact, so start using it wisely. How a company’s culture affects humans, animals, the planet is driven by the market. You will be promoting with every purchase:

  • Child Education and No Child Labor
  • Environmental Conservatism
  • Poverty Alleviation
  • Workplace Safety
  • Women Empowerment

Go vegan. You can do it! I can help.
Together, we’ll eat chocolate cake and love the world.

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