Chocolate for the Valentine

Chocolate comes in a few varieties - pure, dark, milk, white. They are made from different proportion of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk and sugar. The darker ones contain more cocoa solids while white chocolate contains none. Cocoa is believed to contain antioxidants. So eating chocolates (those with high cocoa but low fat content) can be good for health.


Recipe By Swan Café, 1220 N Forest, Bellingham, WA, (360) 734-8158

Makes one 9-inch cake


Ingredients

Cake:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

21⁄4 cups granulated sugar

11⁄2 cups cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt

21⁄4 cups filtered water

11⁄4 cups canola oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla


Filling:

1 cup plain soymilk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt

11⁄2 cup brown sugar

1⁄4 cup soy margarine

3 cups shredded coconut

11⁄2 cups pecans

1 tablespoon vanilla


Ganache:

2 tablespoons soy milk

1⁄2 cup nondairy semi-sweet chocolate chips


Process

To prepare the cake

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla.Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to blend.Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and bake until the cake tops spring back when pressed lightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out of the pans onto wire racks and cool completely.


For the filling, combine the cornstarch, soymilk and salt in a small saucepan and stir to dissolve. Add the brown sugar and margarine. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, stir in the coconut, pecans and vanilla, and cool.

To make the ganache, place the chocolate and the soymilk in a small saucepan.

Warm and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat. Place one cooled cake layer on a dessert platter and top with a third of the coconut mixture, spreading it evenly over the surface and out to the edges (so it will show between the layers). Drizzle a little ganache over the filling. Repeat with the second and third layers, drizzling any remaining ganache over the top.

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