Thursday, 5 September 2013

WSC Vegan chocolate cake and Peppa Pig

A great basic vegan chocolate cake recipe from my university food co-op days that now serves us well as Dolly's birthday cake. Peppa Pig would approve.

Television show: Peppa Pig, children’s cartoon, UK, 2004 - current

What it Means to Me:  
Peppa Pig is a short cartoon about a family of pigs.  It is a favourite TV shows of Sylvia (aged 4). It is one I am quite happy for her to watch. The characters are quite believable, the drawing is charmingly naïve and the humour appeals to both children and adults. I like how positive each story is. I also find it interesting that we never see them eat meat. Even when Kev Kangaroo visits and fires up the barbie, he cooks corn on the cob. I guess if they ate meat, they would be eating the animals that are their friends.

We have a few DVDs that have been watched frequently and when it comes on the telly, Sylvia likes me to sit next to her and watch.

Making the cake.  Note postcard from my parents in Russia in the top left photo. 
They returned from their trip over 2 months ago.
Food Moment:
It was hard to pick one food moment. Daddy Pig flipping a pancake onto the ceiling, George Pig calling spaghetti 'peeghetti', ice cream served by Daddy Pig on Miss Rabbit's day off, the blackberry and apple crumble Grandma Pig makes after Mummy Pig gets stuck in the brambles. I could go on and on. I chose chocolate cake.

In Peppa Pig, they always make a chocolate cake for a birthday or celebration.  I love the way that the icing is so easily spread over the cake, and when it gets smeared over their mouths and they lick it off in one deft movement (especially when eager to play with Polly Parrot).  If only life was as easy as it seems in cartoon land.

My original recipe notes.  I have noted half quantities in the right hand column.
Recipe notes:
I chose a simple chocolate cake recipe that I was given many years ago when I was a volunteer at the university food co-op.  This cake was a regular feature on the menu.  In my recipe notebook I have listed it as Food Co-Op Moist Chocolate Cake.  Needless to say I loved it.  At the time, the idea of a vegan cake was bizarre.  I loved it.

It is a recipe that I see online quite regularly.  I have seen it called Wacky Cake or Magic Cake because it is an easy egg free dairy free cake that uses regular kitchen ingredients and (some recipes say) can be mixed and baked in the same cake tin.

The cake is good enough to eat uniced.
Random Notes:
I picked up Sylvia from child care and told her we would be having chocolate cake tonight.  She immediately explained that it was Dolly's birthday cake.  It is always Dolly's birthday.  She keeps getting older and older despite spending today in a shoebox cradle with a scarf for a mattress and handkerchiefs for blankets.

I had planned to make the cake a bit fancy for  We Should Cocoa, a blog event founded by Choclette (and Chele of The Chocolate Teapot who sadly has retired from blogging).  The event is celebrating it's 3rd year and the theme is chocolate showstopper cake.

Now I don't really do showstopper cakes.  I do have a cake stand for a small cake.  I was out of icing sugar but I had leftover buttercream from Oreos so I just mixed in some melted chocolate.  And I have more sprinkles than I care to admit.  I wasn't quite sure how to decorate the cake.  Fortunately I have Sylvia, the Sprinkles Queen.  She just put a bit of every sprinkles into the bowl and we covered the icing with them.  I also sandwiched the cake together with more chocolate buttercream and some raspberry and rhubarb jam.  Sort of like a chocolate vegan Victoria Sponge Cake.

But I iced the cake for Choclette and Dolly.  Unfortunately my best photo of the cake included Sylvia musing over a broken match in the background.  I don't usually let her play with matches.  I just had the boxes out to light a sparkler.
The mention of Victoria Sponge might explain why E loved the cake.  It wasn't too rich for him and it was slathered in buttercream.  Sylvia was also delighted.  She knows that food is for play as well as eating.

After dinner I cleared the table and took a photo photos before cutting us a piece of cake.  Sylvia helped me with food props.  We made a deal that she would help keep the background from crashing onto the cake and she could take some photos after me.  The background still came crashing down.

Once photos were over, I lit a sparkler and Sylvia made us all stand back.  Then she insisted on cutting (butchering) the cake with a plastic knife.  It is amazing what you can get away with when you are cute enough to warm that it is unhealthy for witches to eat children and believe that warriors are people who worry a lot. Sylvia went to bed a wee bit late but we had fun.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Alphabakes: Creamy pasties with peas or pumpkin
Two years ago: Baked beans - that recipe seems very familiar
Three years ago: Isabella's Cafe - lighthouse gourmet
Four years ago: Superhero Cake – Kapow!
Five years ago: In Search of the Green Smoothie

Vegan chocolate cake

1 and 1/3 cup flour (I used half white, half wholemeal)
1 cup sugar (I used half coconut sugar, half raw sugar)
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp bicarb soda (baking soda)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla (I used wattleseed)
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil (I used rice bran oil)
1 tsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 180 C.  Grease and line a cake tin.  I used a 6 inch cake tin but if I didn't plan to do it as a layer cake I would probably use a 20cm round tin.  (I halved the original recipe which suggested using a 13 x 9 inch lamington tin.)  Mix dry ingredients and then add wet ingredients.   Bake for 30 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Ice if desired but it is great without icing.

On the Stereo:
Magazine... (where the power is)

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food September 2013.  This year for Vegan MoFo I am cooking recipes inspired by some favourite tv shows - and veering off topic occasionally.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my Vegan MoFo posts.   

31 comments:

  1. I've never watched Peppa Pig but have seen images of her and it certainly sounds charming. Wacky cake is my go-to chocolate cake as well, although I haven't made one for ages. Everyone I know has winter birthdays! Your 1st pic is very cute :)

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    1. Thanks Emma - it is a charming show. Sounds like you have a few birthdays coming up soon and might wheel out the wacky cake - it is a great reliable recipe

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  2. I love this post Johanna. Everything about it. The way it is laid out, the cake, peppa pig.....

    I am tempted to go into the kitchen and bake one right now! I am definitely going to make this for Graham.

    Never noticed that they are veggie on Peppa Pig, but I too have gotten caught up watching it with Cooper.

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    1. Thanks Jac - I hope Graham loves it - I used to love buying it at the food co-op when I was a student and even though I am used to fancier cakes now I still love it. I only noticed they are veggie on Peppa Pig because I was curious to see what they would eat at a BBQ

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  3. I love Peppa Pig! I only recently discovered it and watched a show with my daughter. Then I found out that they show it in English and in German, so we watched the English version, too. Now we havwe to watch out for the chocolate cake so we can make your recipe!

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    1. Thanks Mihl - it is a fun show to watch with kids - some kids shows I find very dull but the characters and the humour is great on this one (though my mum says she thought it awful when she first watched it before many viewings with her grandkids) They seem to have chocolate cake when there are birthdays

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  4. Chocolate cake is my favouritestestest dessert in the whole wide world! :) You and Sylvia have done a beautiful job of decorating this one. Dolly is one luck dolly to have chocolate cake parties in her honour. :)

    The Peppa Pig show sounds like something I would enjoy. Will see if I can find a few episodes on YouTube and watch them.

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    1. Thanks Veganosaurus - I am with you on chocolate cake but sadly my partner isn't so I am always happy to find a chocolate cake to please him and me. Though if it wasn't for sylvia and dolly I wouldn't bother with the decorations. Hope you enjoy peppa pig

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  5. Looks delicious !!! My Sylvia would love it, and loves Peppa too :)

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    1. Thanks Kate - you can't go wrong with chocolate cake and peppa pig for kids

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  6. This is exactly the same recipe I used for the cake I made today - which is also going to be my 'showstopper' entry for We Should Cocoa! I can't remember where I got the recipe from but you're right, it really is a lovely moist cake.

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    1. Thanks Caroline - can't wait to see your showstopper cake - and am pleased we both chose this cake - it is such a great one and holds its shape well for decorating

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  7. That's a lovely looking cake, I don't usually make chocolate cakes but will keep this in my bookmarks in case I get a request for one. Happy birthday to Dolly (again) - she does seem to have to a lot of birthdays! Loved reading this post and I wish Peppa Pig had been around when my young man was little, it sounds like a great cartoon.

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    1. Thanks Mel - highly recommend this as a really easy one if you do have a request for a chocolate cake - Dolly does have a lot of birthdays - sometimes sylvia has to resort to piles of buttons for cakes if I am not in the mood to bake for her :-)

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  8. ah yes, George Pig... we've perfected his squealy cry in our house. As in "it's not fair, why can't I have another biscuit!" "Because you've had more than enough already" "But I want another one it's not fair waaaah" "Are you having a George Pig moment? Waaaa-haaah, WHEEEE-waaaa". That's how we roll...

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    1. Thanks veganopoulous - we love georgie pig - sylvia had one for ages that she was very fond of and he got lost at home and never found (goodness there are some black holes in this house) but she has another - his crying is hilarious - would like to say there is none of that in our house....

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  9. My nieces love Peppa Pig. I'll have to make this cake for them while they watch the show next time!

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    1. Thanks Yummy C - peppa pig and chocolate cake will make you the best auntie in the world :-)

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  10. Oh Johanna, if you only knew how myuch I enjoyed reading every letter of this post, smiles, giggles, candles and yes a Vegan pig family, lol...

    Of course, that chocolate cake is certainly the show stopper. I LOVE that Sylvia gets to spend time in the kitchen with you. Precious moments:)

    Thank you so much for sharing...

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    1. Thanks Louise - glad to entertain you with our cake and stories - I was pleased to use some of the sprinkles - I love to buy them but don't use them enough - thank goodness for sylvia's help in using them up :-)

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  11. love a nice plain cake that's good enough to eat un-iced! :-)

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    1. Thanks Sandy - I love uniced cakes but Sylvia and E love icing so I usually give in

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  12. I'm sure Dolly has overtaken Sylvia in age now! I imagine they were both delighted to have this on the menu, particularly with the link to Peppa Pig.

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    1. Thanks Kari - yes apparently Dolly is now 6 - and she was very pleased with her cake as you can see in the top photo where she is almost falling upon it in her excitment

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  13. That's a very pretty cake. I have no idea about kids tv, but it sounds wholesomeish?

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    1. Thanks Amy - there is a lot of pretty dull kids tv about but peppa pig is wholesome albeit a little wishful thinking :-)

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  14. Whata great cake! Perfect for when I have no eggs.i heard about Peppa Pig on Recipe Rifle - wasn't around in my day.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - vegan cakes are great when there is no eggs in the house and this one doesn't have tricky ingredients

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  15. Dolly must be similar to Leopard. Leopard goes through quite a lot of birthdays round these parts but never seems to age any...lucky leopard.

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    1. Thanks Brydie - I wish I could have lots of birthdays and never age :-)

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  16. Lovely post Johanna and a gorgeous cake too. I've become a bit of a fan of eggless cakes, they have such a light but moist structure. It;s great that you are still using a recipe from your university days. And thank you for going the whole hog with icing and decorating - it sounds as though Sylvia appreciated it too.

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