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Fat-free chocolate cake

Posted Nov 07 2008 12:00am

Yesterday I was in the mood for something really chocolatey, so I decided to bake a cake from one of my favorite cookbooks, Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Most vegans already have this cookbook, but for anyone who doesn’t have it yet, I strongly recommend purchasing it. I set my sights on making the lower-fat deep chocolate bundt cake from this book, but I soon realized I was missing 3 ingredients included in the recipe: canola oil, cornstarch, and vanilla extract. Luckily, I had some arrowroot powder on hand, which I was able to use as a substitution for the cornstarch.

The recipe called for both vanilla and almond extracts, but since I was out of vanilla, I doubled the amount of almond extract instead. I was going to use melted margarine to replace the canola oil in the recipe, but then I decided to try to make the cake entirely fat-free, so I used extra applesauce instead. Here is the recipe with my modifications:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup brewed coffee
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
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Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat an 8- or 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Bring coffee to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, then turn down the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. In a mixing bowl, add the almond extract to the apple sauce, then whisk in sugar and arrowroot powder until they are both dissolved. Now stir in cooled coffee and cocoa mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients together. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and whisk for about 2 minutes until a smooth batter is formed.
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Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (I used a 10-inch pan, but smaller pans may require an extra 10 minutes of cooking time). Allow cake to cool for 20-30 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Once cooled, sift the top of the cake with powdered sugar if desired.
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This cake exceeded my expectations. I wasn’t sure how it would hold up without having any fat in the recipe, but it really turned out well. The cake was very moist, chocolatey, and dense. It had almost an Amaretto flavor because of the extra almond extract. I think next time I will make a light chocolate glaze to drizzle on top. Yum.
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