This past Monday, Uptown Soul Food had the pleasure of hosting a Food Tasting & Book Signing with Chef Bryant Terry. We served three dishes from Bryant’s ‘Spring Salad Buffet Menu’ and every dish was amazing! Although we loved each of the recipes we prepared, I wanted to share this amazing recipe, directly adopted from the pages of Afro Vegan: the Cocoa-Spice Cake w/ Crystallized Ginger and Coconut-Chocolate Ganache. Be sure to check out other recipes in Bryant’s new book Afro Vegan! View photos from our books signing here!
COCOA-SPICE CAKE with CRYSTALLIZED GINGER and COCONUT-CHOCOLATE GANACHE
Nutmeg, Coconut Milk, Avocado, Jamaican Rum, Crystallized Ginger
Yield: 8 to 16 servings
Soundtrack: “Marcus Garvey” by Burning Spear from Marcus Garvey/Garvey’s Ghost
Book: The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir by Staceyann Chin
¼ cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for oiling
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon fine raw cane sugar
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
11⁄4 teaspoons baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Scant 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut milk
1⁄4 cup packed mashed ripe avocado (about 1⁄2 medium avocado)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon dark Jamaican rum
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces crystallized ginger, finely chopped (about 1⁄2 cup)
5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, finely chopped
3⁄4 cup coconut milk
5 tablespoons raw cane sugar
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dark Jamaican rum (optional)
12 thin slices crystallized ginger
Whenever I serve this cake, folks can’t believe it’s vegan, and they always get a kick out of it when I tell them that I include avocado to add moisture and natural creaminess. My assistant, Amanda Yee, came up with the idea of pouring a coconut-chocolate ganache over the cake. You can stop there and enjoy chocolaty bliss, or take it to the next level by pairing it with Vanilla Spice Rum Shakes (opposite). (Pictured on page 172.)
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Oil an 8-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides.
Sift the sugar, flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg into a large bowl and stir with a whisk until well blended.
Put the coconut milk, oil, avocado, rum, vinegar, and vanilla extract in a blender and process until smooth (or put them in a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender until smooth). Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients and the ginger. Fold together until uniformly mixed. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Slide a butter knife around the edge, then invert the cake onto a rack and let cool to room temperature.
To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Put the coconut milk, sugar, and cayenne in a small saucepan and heat until steaming hot (avoid boiling), stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly pour over the chocolate and let stand until the chocolate is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rum and whisk until completely smooth. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until slightly cooled but pourable, about 5 minutes.
To glaze the cake, pour the ganache evenly over the cake and let stand until the ganache is set, about 30 minutes. Garnish with the ginger slices.