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Recipe Mon Apr 23 2007

Coconut Cardamom Pistachio Cake

Leftover Coconut Cardamom Cake topped with Pistachios.jpg

The Chopping Block demonstrated an incredible two-layer vegan coconut cake on last year's Veggie Bike and Cook. Their recipe comes out incredibly moist and tender, with a nice crumb. I remember my pal Rose enjoying a large three-sized piece I'd made and frozen to save. "This is reminiscent of the olive oil cake in terms of texture," she said. "It's good, Chris. It's very good." My roomie Liz had added about 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice to the frosting that time.

Another time, my pal Meleah and I added cardamom, pistachios and a touch of salt to the recipe. We substituted 1/2 cup of the canola oil with olive oil. Meleah pedaled off to this cake's destination, a friend's party, with it still in pieces: the layers in the springform pans tucked into a milk crate on her bicycle's rack, a container of frosting and chopped pistachios for the topping. Meleah said, "It's one of the best cakes I've ever had! And it's got tofu in it!" We deviated from the Chopping Block's icing with an ad-hoc tofu cream cheese frosting that Meleah noted, "I don't think it gets much better than that." Below's the cake recipe, modifications from this version noted.

8 ounces silken tofu
1 pound + 5 ounces sugar
2 cups coconut milk
12 ounces coconut flakes (cb note: 12 ounces by weight, not volume)
1 cup canola oil (cb note: as per Meleah's suggestion, used 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup canola oil)
1 pound + 4 ounces all-purpose flour
1+1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1+1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cardamom powder (cb note: added to original recipe)
Pinch of salt (cb note: added to original recipe per Meleah's suggestion)

Icing - Option A (original Chopping Block version):
1 pound soy margarine
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted (cb note: you can make by whizzing granulated sugar in a coffee grinder)
1/4 cup coconut milk

Frosting - Option B (Meleah's tofu "cream cheese" version - from memory after-the-fact):
About 1/2 container of Tofutti plain Better Than Cream Cheese
About the same amount of soy margarine as faux cream cheese
About 1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (or to taste)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Pinch of salt "to balance the sweet," as Meleah put it

Topping (cb note: our addition):
Handful of pistachios, roasted, salted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. For the cake, food-process the tofu, sugar, coconut milk, coconut flakes and oil until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt and food process again until smooth. Pour into two oiled and floured springform pans and bake about an hour, or until a tester comes out clean. (This is a slight deviation from The Chopping Block's recipe, which calls for two 9-inch parchment lined oiled cake pans).

For either icing/frosting, combine all ingredients until smooth - we used a food processor. Make sure the cake has completely cooled before icing/frosting, or it will run. As Meleah suggested, refrigerate the frosting until cold, and keep cold through to serving so it doesn't soften too much.

To assemble, spread a bit less than half of the frosting on the top of one cooled cake layer. Place the second layer on top. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides. Top with chopped pistachios. (You might also like pistachios in the frosting between the layers).

Coconut Cardamom Cake batter ingredients. Layered. Before blending.jpg
Coconut Cardamom Cake batter ingredients (before flour), layered in food processor before blending
Coconut Cardamom Cake- Meleah likes this batter.jpg
Batter blended and tasty
Oiling Springform Pans.jpg
Oiling springform pans
Flouring Springform Pans-2.jpg
Flouring springform pans
Coconut Cardamom Cake. Batter.jpg
Cake batter ready for the oven
Takeaway Frosting.jpg
Frosting to go: assemble your cake somewhere else
Coconut Cardamom Cake. Layers Cooling.jpg
Layers cooling on cooling racks
Leftover Coconut Cardamom Cake topped with Pistachios.jpg
One slice left

meleah / April 24, 2007 8:21 AM

In the words of my lovely roommate Marta, "you just used my 5 favorite food words - vegan coconut cardamom pistachio cake!" Yum. I'll report on the birthday party response when I get a spare minute...

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