Inspiration comes from many sources. It could be reading an article, taking a walk, eating vegan comfort food or crossing something off your bucket list like visiting the Grand Canyon. I did a little of each this week. Maybe that’s why I was inspired to make Vegan Chocolate Pudding Cake. Or maybe it just sounded good. It’s hard to say.
What does vegan comfort food and the Grand Canyon have in common?
Do you give up?
They both make me really happy! And I enjoyed them both last week. I went with my hubby this week to visit his parents in Phoenix and while we were there we went to my favorite vegan comfort food restaurant, Green, in Tempe. Chef Damon really knows his stuff so if you’ haven’t been there, you should seriously consider checking it out.
And since Phoenix and Tempe are only a few hours’ drive to the Grand Canyon we decided to go there as well. It was a busy week full of grand experiences.
It was actually kind of chilly (or downright cold) there so we had to pile on the layers…and huddle closely to stay warm. Huddling also looks better in photos too. Besides, I would get cozy with this guy any day of the week!
Julia Cameron describes in her Artist’s Way book series how important it is to refill our creative wells. That it’s easy to give and give until the next thing you know, the well’s run dry. One way of filling up an “empty creative well” is by getting away from the day-to-day grind and taking in the awesomeness of nature…especially when the Grand Canyon is involved. At one point I sat on a well-worn tree stump and listened to the sounds of nature around me. I imagined many people had sat here before me, all of us taking in the view, the smells, the sounds. A source of inspiration indeed.
And what do I do with all that bottled up inspiration? I make a cake. Go figure.
Of course, it’s not just any cake. One could refer to it as the grand canyons of cakes, but you might have to try it first and let me know if that title works.
Vegan Chocolate Pudding Cake
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- ¾ cup cocoa
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup margarine (dairy free), softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips, dairy-free
- Pudding: Combine the coconut milk, sugar, and corn starch in a microwave-safe bowl and stir to combine. Microwave for one minute, then remove and stir some more. Repeat this until the mixture thickens. Then add the chocolate chips and stir until they are melted. Add the vanilla and then set aside to cool.
- Cake: Heat your oven to 350F. Spray a 9 X 12 cake pan with vegetable spray.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In a separate, large bowl combine margarine, oil and sugar. Use a mixer to mix
on medium speed until nice and smooth (about 2 minutes). Add the ground flax seed, vinegar, soy milk, water and vanilla and mix again until well combined.
- Pour the flour into the margarine mixture and mix again until all the ingredients are combined and continue mixing for another minute or so. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until a dry piece of spaghetti inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. (I’m not a big fan of toothpicks) Once the cake is done, sit it on the counter to cool.
- Use a chopstick or something about that size to poke holes in the cake every 1/2 inch or so evenly across the cake. Don’t worry if you hit the bottom of the pan (as long as you’re not worried about scratching the pan). Pour half of the chocolate pudding sauce over the cake and let it soak in for about 20 minutes or so. Reserve the remaining sauce to pour over the cake immediately before serving.
- Top each slice with a little touch of vegan whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Your guests will be impressed!