Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Home Grown Tomatoes presents...Something Sweet

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting
(and fresh fruit, because that cancels all that is fat and/or unhealthy about this cake)

Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly Vegan/Vegetarian column posted by Giovanina Bucci

Well since our last recipe chat on here, my little life at home with Sugar Daddy has been turned upside down a bit.  No worries, it's not that tragic.  Over the last couple of weeks, our house has been lurking with a tinge of sickness, cough here, sinus thing there, ya know?  Enter every possible herbal remedy to help nip these things in the bud - hot teas, apple cider vinegar, cough drops (the ones without Red Lake 40 in them), etc.  

Although I experienced a hint of all this, Beau was really the one suffering...and Tuesday night it all went from "Hey, I feel like absolute shit" to "Hey I feel like absolute shit, I have excruciating pain on my side, and now it's actually hurting every time I breathe."  So after making it through a terrible Tuesday night, agonizing over whether or not we should go to the emergency room, sans insurance, or hold out until Urgent Care opened Wednesday at 8am... we fought tooth and nail, my friends, and 8am couldn't have come any sooner.  

After a nurse, two doctors, 3 x-rays and $150 later, we found out that Beau had a severe respiratory infection and a broken rib - broken from coughing!  Can you imagine?  Ah ha...that whole excruciating pain thing makes so much more sense now!  So all in all, I'm sure this seems relatively trivial, and I am really freaking happy that I'm blessed with health and that this is about as bad as it gets in my life - tragedy wise.  But man, do these moments really help remind me to be thankful!  So, go hug your kids, husband, neighbor, dog, whoever is close by...just because :) 

(Hallmark, you can call me later for the copyright on that last line)

So obviously, at this point, you're wiping all of the tears from sobbing through that last paragraph but seriously, let's cut to the sugar.  Because, well frankly, that's more fun.  My girlfriend stumbled upon this vegan chocolate cake recipe and it's genius.  Simple.  And genius.  As you can see from the pictures, I had my very first elementary cake decorating experience.  It will become more impressive.  I promise.  And the fruit not only adds color but also negates the calories from the frosting.  It's a win-win situation!  The cake recipe is here: http://www.boutell.com/vegetarian/cake.html - and I followed it to a tee. 

As for the frosting...that's a crap shoot that involves Earth Balance, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla.  Literally, I mix random amounts of butter and sugar together until I get the consistency, texture and taste that I want and about a 1 Tbs. of vanilla.  Sometimes I split the butter up with cream cheese to spruce up the flavor.  And with this particular batch, I separated a portion of the frosting out, and added a couple tablespoons of cocoa to it to create a "chocolate" frosting.  Really I just wanted to play with my decorating kit and I figured it would be more fun with two different colored frostings as opposed to one.  

And really, that's it!  I also used this cake recipe last night to take my first shot at Cupcake Pops, which Scarlet referenced a while back.  I would've taken pictures, but my Cupcake balls were a bit on the hefty side and therefore ended up sliding down the lollipop stick.  So basically I ended up with chocolate covered chocolate balls with small holes running through the middle of them, where said stick initally sat.   But damn, they were good, just not quite as aesthetically pleasing as I had hoped.  Note to self for next time:  Smaller balls.  (And don't pretend like you didn't just laugh a little bit because your mind headed straight for the gutter as soon as this ball conversation began...:)

If anything, try this chocolate cake recipe for it's simplicity, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!  Enjoy:)


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