Friday, April 6, 2012


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I have to admit that I did not come up with the idea for this recipe all on my own-- I got the idea from the March 05 of Bon Appétit  magazine in an article by Emily Luchetti, pastry chef at the Farallon restaurant in San Francisco (my old stomping grounds). Since chocolate and peanut butter are two of my favorite things (especially together), I just had to veganize it for my now-defunct newsletter... which meant pretty much starting from scratch.

It turned out to be everything I imagined, but it's very rich-- much richer than the cakes I normally make, so cut small slices and save for very special occasions, like Easter. (Or eat it on a day when you only have low-fat soup and salad.) I think it's worth every luscious calorie! BTW, I can't find vegan peanut butter chips anywhere, but it's easy to make your own for this recipe-- recipe below.

Printable Recipe
(Peanut Butter and Chocolate)
Servings: 16
For some reason, the cake benefits from being made a day ahead of time. The first day the cake layers seem a bit dry, but they moisten up after a night in the refrigerator.

NOTE: Stir the whole wheat pastry flour well before measuring and use the "scoop and level" method. You can sift the unbleached flour before measuring.
1/2 cup    peanut butter, smooth natural  
1/2 cup    vegan butter (try my homemade palm oil-free vegan buttery spread)  
1 cup    brown sugar, packed  
1/2 cup    light organic unbleached granulated sugar 
1/2 cup    medium-firm tofu, mashed  
1 Tbs.    egg replacer powder (Ener-G or Orgran) 
1 tsp.    pure vanilla extract  
1 1/4 cups    whole wheat pastry flour  
1 1/4 cups    unbleached all-purpose flour  
1 Tbs.    baking powder  
1/2 tsp.    salt  
1 cup    nondairy milk  
1 recipe    Vegan Chocolate Ganache (minus 1/4 cup for topping) (see recipe below)
1/4 cup    peanut butter, smooth natural  
3 Tbs.    brown sugar  
1 recipe    Bryanna's Fluffy White Vegan Frosting (use vanilla only) (see recipe below)  
1 recipe    Bryanna's Homemade Vegan Peanut Butter Chunks (see recipe below) 
1/2 cup    roasted peanuts  

1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8" round cake pans and line them with baking parchment cut to fit.

2 TO MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS: Cream together the 1/2 cup peanut butter and margarine, using an electric hand mixer, a stand mixer or a food processor. When smooth, add the 1 cup brown sugar and light organic unbleached sugar and beat well again. Add the tofu, egg replacer and vanilla and beat again until very smooth.

3 If using a food processor, scoop the mixture into a mixing bowl.

4 Mix the flours, baking powder and salt well with a whisk in a smaller mixing bowl.

5 Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the soy milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture, and beating just enough so that you don't see the flour or milk anymore between additions. 

6 Pour the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on racks for 10 minutes, then remove from pans to racks, removing the cooking parchment. Cool thoroughly before icing. Wrap well in plastic wrap and ice the next day.  

7 THE MORNING OF THE DAY YOU ARE TO SERVE THE CAKE, make the Chocolate Ganache. Set aside 1/4 of a cup to drizzle on top of the cake. Beat the 1/4 c. of peanut butter and 3 T. brown sugar into the remaining ganache. Refrigerate until firm.

8 Make the basic Fluffy White Frosting and refrigerate for several hours before icing the cake.

9 WHEN READY TO ICE THE CAKE, spread half of the peanut butter-ganache over one layer (top side down). Top with another cake layer (top side down) and spread with the remaining peanut-butter ganache. Top with the last cake layer (top side up). Frost the cake with the Fluffy White Icing.

10 Crumble the Peanut Butter Chunks over the top of the cake and sprinkle with the peanuts. Heat up the 1/4 c. of ganache that you held back (I do it in the microwave at 50 percent power for about 30 seconds). Drizzle it from a spoon over the topping. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

Nutrition Facts per serving (1/16th cake)

Calories 542.22; Calories From Fat 230.70; Total Fat 26.73g; Saturated Fat 8.43g; Cholesterol 0.00mg; Sodium 225.10mg; Potassium 401.72mg; Carbohydrates 69.35g; Dietary Fiber 4.01g; Sugar 40.69g;Sugar Alcohols 0.00g; Net Carbohydrates 65.34g; Protein 11.49g; MyPoints 13.9

Yield: 1 1/2 cups  Recipe from my book Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause.

A ganache is a rich, fudgey chocolate icing that firms up when cooled. It is usually made with heavy cream, but rich, full-fat soymilk blended with silken tofu makes a wonderful substitute. A firm ganache is also the basis for making chocolate truffles-- if you would like to try this, reduce the amount of milk to 1/3 to 1/4 cup.

6 oz    dairy-free semi-sweet eating chocolate or chocolate chips (1 c.)  
NOTE: Remember that the quality of your ganache depends upon the quality of the chocolate you use.  
1/2 cup    nondairy milk  
1/3 cup    extra-firm SILKEN tofu  
1 tsp    vanilla

1 Break the chocolate up and process it finely in a dry food processor. Leave the chocolate in the processor.

2 Whip the milk and silken tofu together in the blender or with an immersion blender until VERY smooth.  This makes a soy “crème”  Heat it in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until almost to the boiling point, or microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute at 50 percent power, or until very hot, but not boiling. (If the mixture seems to curdle at all, blend it again until smooth.)

3 With the motor running, pour the hot soy crème in through the food processor feed tube. Process until the mixture is smooth.   Refrigerate until firm.

Enough for a 2 layer/ 8" cake or a 9x13" sheet cake.

I like this icing because it's not too sweet.

1 cup    nondairy milk  
6 Tbs    white unbleached all-purpose flour  
6 Tbs    vegan butter (try my homemade palm oil-free vegan buttery spread)  
1 cup   light organic unbleached granulated sugar
1 tsp    pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp    salt  

 1 Whisk the milk into flour in small saucepan until smooth. Heat and stir until it boils and thickens. Cool thoroughly (place in a small bowl inside of a larger bowl of cold water).

2 With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy-- several minutes. Beat in the cooled flour paste and beat until smooth and fluffy. Chill thoroughly before frosting. Frost the cooled cake. Keep the frosted cake refrigerated until serving time.
 Yield: 12 oz.
Easy and quick to make, and firm enough to cut into tiny squares and use in baking. They hold their shape during baking. Taste yummy, too!

NOTE: If you use the creamed coconut option, the easiest way to melt it without burning is to microwave at 30% power for 30-60 seconds.
2/3 cup light organic unbleached granulated sugar 
1 1/2 Tbs. water  
1 tsp pure vanilla  extract
1/3 cup melted solid cocoa butter OR solid block creamed coconut (see notes below)
(See this page on my blog for sources of cocoa butter if you health food store does not carry it.)
1/3 cup soymilk powder or rice milk powder OR soy protein powder
7 Tbs. natural smooth natural peanut butter  

Mix A ingredients with a whisk in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Off the heat, stir in the melted cocoa butter, then the milk or protein powder and, finally, the peanut butter. Mix until smooth. 

Pat out onto a 7 x11" baking pan lined with baking parchment cut to fit.. Refrigerate. When firm, remove from pan and cut into tiny squares. Keep refrigerated in a covered container (or freeze) until you use them.


"CREAMED COCONUT" is NOT the same thing as "coconut cream/crème", which is like a heavy cream in a can or asceptic box (often sweetened). The "creamed coconut" I'm talking about comes in a small cardboard box (6 or 7 ounces) and the product is a block of white semi-dehydrated coconut milk wrapped in waxed paper  that you can break into chunks-- it's NOT a liquid. Let's Do Organic Creamed Coconut, in 7-ounce boxes, is sold in many health food stores and on
You can buy other brands of this product in Asian, Thai, Caribbean (Grace brand), and Indian markets and in the Asian section of some large supermarkets. There are different brands, but they all look similar and are of similar size. Sometimes it is refrigerated, sometimes not; sometimes it is even frozen, though it does not need to be. It keeps just fine un-refrigerated. It can be stirred directly into sauces to thicken them or mixed with hot water to make coconut milk or cream. It will thicken up whipped toppings and icings, too.

It is high in fat, but a little goes a long way in terms of flavor and I think it has a fresher taste than canned coconut milk. 

Have a Happy Easter!


The Preppy Vegan said... many great recipes in one post! I'm going to try to make that fluffy frosting for some red velvet cupcakes I'm attempting this afternoon.

Katie said...

That cake looks amazing! I think I'm going to make that for my birthday cake later this month. Do you think soy yogurt would work instead of the tofu in the cake?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

That just might work, Katie-- make sure it's not too runny, though.

Katie said...

Great, thanks. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Unknown said...

This is so yummy!! Wanna grab it right now :)