#AfroVegan Cocoa-Spice Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Coconut-Chocolate Ganache [Recipe]

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

Cocoa Spice Cake--Credit Paige Green

Cocoa Spice Cake–Credit Paige Green

 

CAKE

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)

GANACHE

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.

 

#AfroVegan Book Signing & Food Tasting With Chef Bryant Terry [Photos & Mix Included]

On Monday, April 28, 2014, 70+ people gathered at Soup Factory Studio for the Supper Club to celebrate Bryant Terry’s fourth book, Afro Vegan:Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed. Bryant Terry is a chef, educator, and author renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. In regard to his work, Bryant’s mentor Alice Waters says, “Bryant Terry knows that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege.”

Bryant is also the author of the critically acclaimed Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine, which was named one of the best vegetarian/vegan cookbooks of the last 25 years by Cooking Light Magazine. Bryant also authored The Inspired Vegan, and he coauthored Grub (with Anna Lappe), which The New York Times called “ingenious.” Bryant is also proud to have served as the “humanities advisor” on the Between Meals cookbook project, which shares the recipes and stories of newly-arrived refugee and immigrant women and explores how they have nourished their families in the US.

The night started out with a food tasting including three dishes from Bryant’s Spring Salad Buffet (p. 198): All-Green Spring Slaw (page 74), Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad (page 102), and Verdant Vegetable Couscous with Spicy Mustard Greens (page 133). After the food tasting, Bryant jumped right into a speech discussing his relationship with food, the inspiration behind his work, history of African American culinary traditions, and more! His talk was very inspiring and moving (as expected).

Check out photos from the Supper Club captured by our photographer Darren Burton (@darrenburton_).

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If you follow Bryant’s work, you know each recipe is accompanied with a soundtrack, movie, or book pairing. Check out the official Supper Club Mix featuring music inspired by Afro Vegan (by Darren Burton). Click here to download the mixtape!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Supper Club! The Uptown Soul Food team had an amazing time and we hope you all did too! I’d like to extend a special thank you to Ten Speed Press, Impact Hub Philly, Char Nolan, Black Eye Soup Studio, and Big Blue Marble, Darren Burton and Bryant Terry!

7 Steps to a ZERO-Waste Kitchen

Like many other environmental buzz words (“green”, “sustainable”, “energy”), “zero-waste” has garnered attention from large corporations and institutions seeking to improve their environmental image. While achieving “zero-waste” status has become a designation fit for the corporation, its true purpose should be embraced by residential home-owners and renters as well. ‘The “zero waste” philosophy aims to minimize waste and resource consumption in order to conserve energy, mitigate climate change, reduce water usage, prevent toxic creation, and minimize ecosystem destruction’.

Achieving ‘zero-waste’ status in our homes may be a challenge so let’s start with the most wasteful room in the house: the kitchen. ‘Americans waste an astounding amount of food – an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption, according to a government study – and it [even] happens…in your very own kitchen’.

Courtesy of The New York Times

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. We’ve all heard the mantra. Americans are recycling paper & plastics more than ever, but we are still sending millions of tons of food waste and other organic materials to landfills.  Continue reading

Uptown Soul Food Caters The 1st Annual City Fit Girls Wellness Retreat

View More: http://dburtonphotos.pass.us/cityfitgirls

This weekend, Uptown Soul Food had the opportunity to cater the City Fit Girls Wellness Retreat! The menu featured our Sweet Potato Kale Wraps, a side salad, and green smoothies! Check out some of the photos from the awesome event below!

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Kitchen Forks & Vibes: Georgina’s Cocktails & Tastings w/ Music by DJ Mike Lowry (Vegan/Vegetarian Options on the Menu!)

invite2Looking for something to do this weekend? Georgina’s, a local catering company founded by Nana Wilmot, will be hosting a cocktails & tastings event on Sunday, June 23rd at the American Dreaming Building in celebration of their 2nd anniversary. The event will feature live music by DJ Mike Lowry. While the full menu has not been released, Nana tells us that vegetarian and vegan options will be on the menu! Get to know Nana through Uptown Soul Food’s exclusive interview with her.

Uptown Soul Food: When did you decide to become a chef? What influenced  your decision?
Nana: Its actually a funny story. About 4 years ago, I was living at home and just got fired from my retail job and was in need of a change. I had left school back in ’06 and came home with no clue as to what I wanted to do in life. While researching career options online, a pop-up ad for the Art Institute of Philadelphia’s culinary program appeared on my screen, so naturally, I clicked it. My grandma, Georgina, taught me how to cook by the age of 7.  I cooked because I had to, not because I liked to. The day I clicked on the Art Institute ad cracked open a new door and the possibilities were endless. After a successful 7-day challenge  to create something different every night for dinner for my mom and I, I was hooked, I decided to go to culinary school. From that day on, I was Chef Nana. Continue reading