My voice gets really high pitched when I’m nervous or overly excited. Like, really, really high pitched. So much so that now there is even a name for it: “HIGH PITCHED VOICE!”
This gets even worse in French. I hate speaking French. NOT that I hate French, or the French language, because I love it… but, when I have to speak it: j’ai peur et je n’aime pas. Jamais.
So. Imagine the decibel of my voice when I’m lugging back two bags of groceries (it is winter vegetable time!!!), rushing, because my laundry is at the laundry mat and I have this super weird laundry routine that NOTHING should EVER disturb, and I see a police man. Blocking a row of apartments. One of which is mine.
Insert high pitch voice.
Basically, there is a suspicious looking bottle of combustible gas. Located right in front of my building. Ok, well that’s a fun little Saturday morning adventure.
Mr. Policeman doesn’t care about my laundry mat routine. Imagine? French people. He did, however, find it extremely amusing that the bottle was RIGHT in front of my door.
Aye. Well, c’est la vie.
I went to go hibernate at the laundry mat, with my groceries in tow, and ponder about cake. The situation really could have been worse.
He was gone when I came back home with all of my things. Suspicious combustible packages and all.
The universe was once again aligned correctly, and it was cake time!
I had my graduation ceremony this week for my masters program from last year (yay!!!). Hence the need for champagne cake!!! (Total high pitched voice here, by the way.)
This cake is, err, interesting? (Ha, it was thought up in a laundry mat, after all.) I’ve tried the original recipe before… and it’s great! But, for kicks I wanted to try and veganize it. I ended up completely re-doing the entire recipe, except for the champagne bit… that was necessary. Obviously.
A lot of vegan recipes call for soy cream, soy puddings, egg-replacers, etc… and that’s fine, and I do use soy or almond milk occasionally, but there is a little part inside of me that feels like all of these products are cheating. I mean, they work! They make great cakes and sweets… but can’t we find more innovative ingredients to make things vegan? Like, instead of soy yogurt, let’s try WHITE BEANS! Well, at least I’m excited about this in baking. You can decide for yourselves.
Champagne Cake – What you need:
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cups oil
- 1 can white beans, with all the liquid drained (after draining, 250g)
- 2 packs agar agar (8 grams all together)
- ½ cup apple sauce
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cup champagne (I used very inexpensive sparkling wine… poor student vibes.)
Champagne Cake – What you do:
Preheat your oven to 180c. Grease and flour two cake pans. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a food processor blend the white beans and oil until completely smooth, for approximately 5 minutes. Add the bean mixture to a large bowl. Beat in the apple sauce and the agar agar. Scrape the bowl down, and then beat in the sugar. Add the vanilla extract and beat the batter well.
In three rounds, alternate beating in the flour and champagne into the bean/sugar/wet mixture batter. Scrape the bowl well after each addition.
Divide equally into the two prepared cake pans. Tap the pans on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake at 180c for 25 minutes, or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
When you remove these from the oven, you can actually hear the champagne! It makes tiny popping noises. I find this to be incredibly awesome.
Oh so pretty, and oh so nom.
I topped this off with the original frosting from the recipe which inspired the champagne cake.
The recipe is here: http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2010/12/sparkling-champagne-cupcakes.html, and you can also find the champagne custard... which I put in between the cake layers. Sadly, it wasn't vegan... but it was terribly tasty!
Champagne frosting - What you need:
- 225 grams margarine, softened
- 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon champagne
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
Champagne frosting - What you do:
In a small saucepan, bring the 1 cup of champagne to a simmer. Continue simmering until only 1-2 tablespoons remains. Allow the condensed champagne to cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat together the margarine and confectioner's sugar. Add the condensed champagne, plus the extra tablespoon of champagne. Beat well until smooth and fluffy.
Frosting cakes is my weakness. I'm trying to improve... very hard. I frost in 2 or 3 stages. Above: stage one. Below: final frost!
Champagne-inspired sprinkles are obviously a requisite.
Even more necessary... friends and wine! Some lovely graduates and I feasted on cake and macaron sticks.
We are nomnomnomnivoires... we eat everything delicious.
They're like macarons, but in stick form! These ones were standard almond macarons with some of the champagne cream filling in the middle.
Overall, I was really pleased with the cake! It was really dense, and there was no hint of white bean flavour. The only (constructive) criticism that I received was that it was a bit chewy. I personally love chewy, so it was good for me... but I could see where the comment was coming from. I'm going to DEFINITELY continue to bake with white beans, but I may only use one pack of agar agar powder next time! I will keep you posted.
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
Ok. This song is my biggest guilty pleasure at the moment. I hope you won't judge. So many dance parties have occurred lately due to this jam.
Mmm... and his voice makes my heart do sommersaults...