I love challenges. It’s probably my crazy competitive streak kicking in but I love trying new things that either I have never done before or I have had people tell me was impossible.
Case in point: when we were in Tortola, we hiked to a very remote part of the island called Smugglers Cove. I had read that it was possible to hike but I couldn’t find any specific directions before we left. And so we and our friends took a ferry out to the BVIs with no set plan in mind. Once we got off the ferry, we had about four cab drivers inform us that we couldn’t hike it and that it was a terrible road. They also wanted to charge us three arms and four legs for the trip and some tried to convince us to go to a different beach. One cabbie actually got upset with us for suggesting we could walk it and told us we would basically spend the entire day just walking.
And so we asked the kind bakery owner for directions and she told us to “Go up the mountain. Take the road to the left. Keep going up. Until you go down.” Ok, whatever that means. Sounds good? And so we started our hike up and up and up. I’m not sure how but we made it without a single missed turn to the secluded beach. All that to say, sometimes the best things are difficult, but pretty gratifying when you get to the end.
And now that I’ve bored you with my rabbit trailed story, let’s get back to this cake. Peanut butter, chocolate and a hint of coffee. No eggs, no butter and no milk. I have to admit, after baking this cake, I have a newfound respect for those who are vegan. How do you do it? It’s amazing how much more creative you have to be.
Strawberries are not necessary here but they do add some sweetness and an extra oomph of flavor. If you have always wanted to try vegan baking but have hesitated, I encourage you to give it a shot. It’s fun and tasty!
VEGAN CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CAKE
1 3/4 c flour
1 1/4 c sugar
3/4 c cocoa
3 tsp baking powder
3 T flaxseed mixed with 6 T water
3/4 c coffee
1/2 c coconut milk
1/2 c peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
4 oz good quality dark chocolate, melted* (dairy free)
2 T peanut butter
1 T powdered sugar
1 T coffee
powdered sugar, garnish
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flaxseed/water mixture, coffee, coconut milk and peanut butter. Add to flour and mix well. Fold in vanilla.
Pour into greased/floured 8″ baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
While cake is baking, mix together melted chocolate, peanut butter, coffee and sugar in a small bowl. Slice cake horizontally into two layers. Spread chocolate/peanut butter icing over the first layer (bottom) and top with remaining cake layer. Dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate a few hours before serving.
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