Saturday, May 19, 2012

vegan chocolate cake balls

Vegan chocolate cake balls: they may be cute, but they pack a seriously decadent punch
About 80% of the time, I consume nutrient-dense, lower-fat food. But every once in awhile I go off the reservation and dive into full-blown hedonism mode. Fact is, I've never been one for absolutes – in diet, politics, religion or anything. I'm much happier when I give myself permission to occasionally "sin." But since my diet is exceptionally healthy most of the time, when I submit to decadence, I prefer full-throttle Indulgence [capital "I" intended].

Gooey-fudge filling enrobed in a coating of best-quality chocolate 
And so last week, I heard the call of the wild vegan Cake Ball. These très American treats are more like truffles than cake: a fudgy, gooey cake-based filling encased in a best-quality chocolate coating. Their only saving grace health-wise is that, instead of using oil or Earth Balance, I employed canned pumpkin for moisture. It actually provides a interesting, earthy counter-point to all the chocolate.

I usually prefer simple recipes, but these little babies are all about process. They are somewhat time-consuming, so try them on a rainy day or when you're in the mood to putter around the kitchen. Making them is actually good, messy fun – like playing in the mud, but tastier! And if run out of steam mid-way and don't feel like going through with the entire recipe, the good news is you can just make the chocolate cake and frost it – and skip the "squishing" part. 

Vegan Chocolate Cake Balls

Cake Balls
  • 1 1/2 cups flour [I used whole-wheat pastry flour]
  • 2 T soy flour [as an egg replacer]
  • 1/4 cup best-quality cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup canned, unsweetned pumpkin
Cake Ball Frosting
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • Non-dairy milk, if needed, to thin frosting
  • About 2 cups dark chocolate chips or buttons, minimum 60% cocoa, please!
  • Decorations: sprinkles, sugar crystals, non-pareils, etc

Makes about 28-32 balls, depending on size

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8" x 8" cake pan [Shape doesn't matter because you will squish up the cake after it's baked!].

Mix dry cake ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a large bowl and beat in the dry ingredients, about a cup at a time, until very smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Mix everything in a large bowl and combine until very smooth using a mixer.

This is the fun part: when cake is cool, crumble it up with your hands [the kids can help, here!] and mix it it with the frosting until just combined. Don't over-mix or it won't hold together. Put this batter in the 'fridge for an hour or two to help it hold its shape.

Line a large cookie sheet or two with waxed paper and using a melon scoop or your hands, form chilled batter into 1-inch balls. Put back into the fridge for another hour or so.

Melt 1/2 the chocolate chips in the microwave at 60% power, with a tiny drizzle of canola oil. Use a fork to dip the balls into the melted chocolate and place on the waxed paper. Decorate while the chocolate is still warm. Melt the remaining chocolate if and when you run out and keep going. You can freeze these balls for up to one month.

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Millie said...

all my vegan friends have been baking up a storm and they are making me go bonkers desiring some of their stuff. That looks to good to even show it off...I'm jealous.

Kelly said...

Where do you find vegan sprinkles? I look everywhere for ones without confectioner's glaze and the only ones I've found are those Sprinkelz at Whole Foods that come in such a tiny expensive package!

DJ said...

This sounds like a perfect and yummy kid-friendly activity - making the cake ahead to save time and then letting the little punks loose! I can see me trying this recipe out on one of those rainy days when I'm struggling to keep them occupied!

urban vegan said...

Kelly:Those yellow ones were leftover from my pregan days. But I googled and found this cool recipe for homemade chocolate sprinkles if you're feeling ambitious!

Seitan said...

Oh my... this looks like chocolate heaven!!!

Omen shara said...
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