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RECIPE: "Crazy Cake" from LA Times

A friend passed this article  to me and I figured, since this is a blog vaguely related to food, that I would post the essentials here along with a link to the original article.

Mad for crazy cake

It contains no butter or eggs, is a cinch to make and comes out rich, moist and delicious. What’s not to like?

During a recent visit with my sister and her family, we were invited to share Shabbat dinner with our cousins. My sister volunteered to bring dessert. Because the meal would be kosher, with chicken the main course, that meant making something parve — without any dairy ingredients — in keeping with the Jewish dietary restriction not to mix meat and milk.

(the rest of the original article can be read here)

crazy cake with cream cheese frosting

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings:
9 to 12
Note: Adapted from “BakeWise” by Shirley Corriher. This recipe works best with a higher-protein all-purpose flour, such as King Arthur brand.

1 1/2 cups (6.4 ounces) unbleached flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup cold water or weak coffee

  1. 1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In an 8-inch-square baking dish, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Smooth out the powder. Then, using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke two small holes and one large hole in the dry ingredients. Put the vinegar in one small hole and the vanilla in the other. Pour the oil into the large hole. (It will overflow, not a problem.)
  2. 2. Pour the cold water or coffee all over the top. Then use the wooden spoon and stir well to blend all of the ingredients together until smooth.
  3. 3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. 4. When the cake is completely cool, top with your favorite icing or sprinkle on powdered sugar. It is also nice with berries and whipped cream or ice cream. (Or you can skip any topping and instead add three-fourths cup of chocolate chips as you stir the mixture. There are vegan and nondairy chocolate chips available at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.)

Simple cream cheese frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (not whipped)
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

On a low speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until soft. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the cream and then the vanilla. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is the right consistency for spreading. Wait until the cake is completely cool before frosting and then store it in the refrigerator.

Each of 12 servings, with cream cheese frosting: 308 calories; 3 grams protein; 36 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 18 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 26 mg. cholesterol; 23 grams sugar; 221 mg. sodium.

Poppy seed crazy cake

Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 9 to 12
Note: This recipe works best with a higher-protein all-purpose flour, such as King Arthur brand.

1 1/2 cups (6.4 ounces) unbleached flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup poppy seeds
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup boiling water

  1. 1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In an 8-inch-square baking dish, sift together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Stir in the poppy seeds. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make three holes in the mixture. Put lemon juice and vinegar in one hole, almond extract in the second and the canola oil in the third. Pour the heated water over everything. Stir with the wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth.
  2. 2. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  3. 3. Cool the cake, then brush with a fruit glaze or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Fruit glaze

1/4 cup apricot jam
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the jam, lemon juice and water. Cook, stirring frequently until the jam melts, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat to a small bowl. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 week.

Each of 12 servings, with fruit glaze: 220 calories; 2 grams protein; 34 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 20 grams sugar; 65 mg. sodium.

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