|A Jackson-Pollack-esque drizzle of dark chocolate takes the hedonism quotient over the top.|
When it comes to eating – and most things in life, really, I believe in the 80/20 rule. I eat uber-healthily about 80% of the time. Eight to ten servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Whole grains. Healthy oils, in moderation. I eschew animal products. Plus, after some recent health issues, I even macheted caffeine from my diet, and now only enjoy wine on weekends rather than nightly. All this said, when it's time to sin [20%], I want to do it right, hence the creation of this recipe. I made the pictured cake for F-stop's birthday.
The dictionary defines decadence as "unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence," and that's also a good description for this cake: two dense, brownie-inspired layers sandwiched together with vegan Nutella (aka "gianduja"), then iced liberally with a chocolate-espresso frosting, finished with a drizzle of best-quality melted dark chocolate. You might actually experience a sugar low just from looking at the picture. The full recipe will appear in the new cookbook, but I've included the Chocolate-Gravitas Frosting recipe below.
• 1 stick plus 2 T Earth Balance
• 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
• Up to ½ cup espresso (You can just use coffee or soy milk, but you’ll miss out on the gravitas that comes with espresso)
• ¾ cup cocoa
• Pinch salt
Makes enough for one layer cake or about 18 cupcakes
1. Cream together Earth Balance and cocoa
2. Alternate adding powdered sugar and liquid, about ½ cup at a time. Mix well until spreadable and no lumps remain.