Harvest Chai Cake
Anyway, I have a vegan Thanksgiving dessert recipe! I stole the original idea for the recipe from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen, which is awesome because she has a lot of good, low-calorie recipes that taste amazing. When we started using her recipes for kale, it suddenly became not only bearable, but enjoyable to eat. Anyway:
- 2 cups cranberries (or three for extra yummy tartness)
- 15 oz (one can) pureed pumpkin (no additives)
- .75-1 cup of raisins or currants
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped (I don't add this all the time because it can make it wet)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 cup chai tea
- 1.5 cups oatmeal
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup demerara (if you’re keeping it vegan) or brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- .5 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1.5 teaspoons ground dried ginger
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- .5 teaspoon nutmeg
- .5 teaspoon ground cloves
Prepare ahead of time a bit more than a cup of hot chai. I use two teabags (Stash’s Double Spice Chai Black Tea). Let it steep until the water is cool. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
When the chai is cool, pour it into a medium mixing bowl. Add the raisins and the extracts and let them soak so the raisins plump and absorb the flavor.
Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, oatmeal through cloves. Stir.
Cook one cup of the cranberries for five minutes in boiling water. If you prefer, you can skip this, but it will make the cranberries bigger and more tart (which is how I like them best). Discard the water and add the cranberries to the chai mixture. Add the rest of uncooked cranberries, as well as the apple, pumpkin, and vinegar. Stir thoroughly.
Prepare a 9x13 baking pan by lightly spraying it with cooking spray. Mix the dry and wet bowls and immediately put the mixture into the pan.
Cook for thirty minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in all parts of the pan. It usually takes at least an hour to cook for me. If the next day the fruit gives off more wetness, you can throw it back in the oven for fifteen minutes to dry it out again, unless you’ve frosted it.
Without frosting, the nutrition facts are, for 18 servings: 119 calories, .7g fat, 210 mg sodium, 26.2g total carbohydrates, 2.9g dietary fiber, 10.4g sugar, 2.4g protein.
Poured Fondant (stolen blatantly from VeganYumYum’s awesome Clementine cake recipe)
- 1.25 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 3 tablespoons real cranberry juice or orange juice
Whisk powdered sugar with the juice. Add to a small sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil for 10-20 seconds, or until it reaches the soft-ball stage (235-240º F).
Remove from heat and whisk constantly until it starts to thicken. At first, the icing will be a glossy yellow or pink, and it will gradually thicken and become lighter as it cools. You want to pour it over the cake when it’s very clearly thickened, but not too cool (i.e. thick) to pour. If the icing becomes too thick, simply reheat and start again. (NB: This took me a couple of tries the first time. The instant between perfect and too thick is brief.) For a cake this size, you may want to double the frosting.
Nutrition facts for frosting, as is, 18 servings: 33 calories, 8.4g total carbohydrates, 8.2g sugar.
I don't usually use the fondant for us, because I think it's sweet enough and calorie-dense enough as is, but people seem to like it better with it elsewhere. The cranberry fondant is really interesting, but the OJ one is sweeter.