|Look at those poor lonely leftovers. They should get in my belly.|
I think the key to this recipe is using good quality cocoa powder. Yes, I am a cocoa powder snob. I really like the Penzeys' brand of cocoa. I can guarantee this cake won't taste nearly as good if you use Hershey's Cocoa powder. I think it has something to do with the amount of cocoa butter in the cocoa powder. I've also found, after using high quality cocoa powder, that even after sifting, the Hershey's brand results in a gritty, grainy baked product.
The cake is very moist and velvety. The texture of the cake in your mouth is very smooth. I was surprised that I liked it so much as I'm more of a fudgey brownie kind of girl. But this cake is nothing like a cake-y brownie. It's much too moist for that. I mean I really like brownies, but sometimes they are so dry and crumbly. The "crumbs" of this cake easily stick to your fork. The cake is also very rich. A "wedding cake" size slice was very satisfying. I suppose you could eat a larger slice, but you'd need a big ole glass of milk to wash it down.
Another surprise was that the cake was not oily. Sometimes I find that cakes with a lot of oil are greasy. I have had cakes that used the same amount of oil as this recipe and they were so oily that I thought I could wring the cake out and fry up some potatoes. Luckily, that was not the case with this cake.
I'm also a bit of a frosting glutton. I like a nice thick layer of frosting. This recipe does not yield a thick frosting. However, it really doesn't need it! Yet another surprise! While the frosting is thinner than I would put on a standard cake, it is smooth and rich as well. It turned out to be the perfect amount for the sheet cake.
As it has been so hot, the frosting never fully set up. I think this could be remedied by using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.
I just tried to keep the cake chilled to prevent the icing from sliding off. It was only at the end of the party where the frosting got a bit more viscous than it should have been. Mrblocko and I thought the cake tasted better right from the fridge anyway. The cake was moist enough to not get dried out from doing this either. Of course...the leftovers only lasted a day so I don't know how long the cake would remain moist.
Vegan Chocolate Cake from Penzeys Spices
3 C flour
2 C sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
6 T Cocoa powder
2/3 C vegetable oil
2 T vinegar
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 C water
4 T oil
4 T water
6 T sifted COCOA POWDER
2 C sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and COCOA. In a second bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, VANILLA and water. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Pour into the pan and bake at 350° until the cake is firm in the center and begins to pull away from pan, about 35-40 minutes.
Icing: Using a double boiler or a metal bowl placed over a pot of boiling water, heat the water and oil to boiling (it will not come to a rolling boil, but bubbles will appear). You may also use a heavy-bottomed, medium saucepan, in which the mixture will come to a rolling boil. Remove from heat. Blend in the COCOA and sugar. Beat until smooth. Pour over the cake, spreading the icing to the edges, and let it cool. The frosting may stick to the knife when cutting the cake, so dip the knife in warm water and wipe clean after each cut.