Monday, November 02, 2009

Vegan Carrot Cake - for birthdays and lessons learned about friendship

The back story:
For the first time ever in my thirty-some-odd years, I have friends who are vegan.  (Yes, yes, I lived a sheltered life.  I grew up in Texas, people!  'Vegan' is practically a cuss word there, and being one is almost worthy of a boot up your a$$ or at the very least, making you a social pariah!)  When asked to events at their house where they requested vegan or vegetarian food be brought, I was sorely tempted to show up with a side of beef, or some hog jowls.  Seriously.  I am stubborn girl.  I don't like being told what to do.  (Ask my Mama)

But after some conversations with women much wiser than myself (and being directed so some even wiser texts), I got a grip and embraced the idea that showing up with vegan food is loving my friends well.  And THAT, I really do want to do.

Cora bird's birthday party was this past weekend and I invited those friends.  I decided to Vegan-ize my Mama's carrot cake recipe.  (can I just say I love my Mama.  She writes her recipes with instructions like 'whoop together the following ingredients' - pronounced 'whup' and I know just what she means)  I actually made both a vegan version and a regular version and so was able to compare them side by side.  I could detect only the slightest taste variation, but both were equally good!  So here it is:

Mama's Carrot Cake (Vegan-ized)

(1) Beat together the following:
1 cup vegetable oil OR 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs ( for vegan version substitute 1 cup silken tofu blended smooth in the blender (I used Mori-nu Silken Tofu (firm) and added a 1/2 tsp of oil to get it to blend better) 1/4 cup of Silken Tofu for every egg you replace

(2) Sift together the following:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Add (2), the flour mixture, to (1), the egg or tofu mixture.

Fold in [mix and match] (we used the carrots and the pineapple this time)
4 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts are our favorite)
1 cup raisins
1 cup dates
1 cup crushed pineapple -well drained (she means it!!)

Pour into a greased (with veg. shortening) and floured 9x13 casserole pan. Bake 45 minutes at 325 F.  (add 10-15 minutes for the vegan version) Cool 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. (or leave it in the pan because you didn't listen to your mama and didn't drain the pineapples enough and it threatened to come apart on you because it was so moist!)

Ice with Pillsbury Cream Cheese Frosting, (which oddly enough has no dairy products in it.  Mysterious!) if you want to serve it as cake, or leave it plain for breakfast bread, which is also awesome!...and don't expect any leftovers. 

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