Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vegan Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Let me start off today by saying that I suck at following recipes.  In the past few years, I have gotten into some bad habits when cooking savory meals. On the rare occasions when I do actually use a recipe, I will glance at it, figure out basic proportions, and then proceed to completely ignore the recipe.  This isn't a big deal when making savory meals because you can taste as you go along, but because baking is based on formulas and chemical reactions, it can cause some problems.  I have been extremely lucky so far.

When I made the recipe, I didn't intend it to be vegan.  It became vegan when I forgot to add the eggs and replaced the whole milk with rice milk.  It didn't burn, implode, or fail to rise, so I decided to keep it vegan.  At the bottom of the recipe, I will provide directions to de-veganize it, but it really isn't necessary.

3 3/4 cup Pastry (or All-Purpose) Flour
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 cup Unflavored Rice Milk (Unflavored Soy or Almond are also fine)
1 1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Rosemary
3 Tbsp Lemon Zest (I got bored with measuring and just zested 3 lemons)

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour the batter into a 9"x11" baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until done (it took nearly 35 for mine).

The cake is soft and very moist.  Because I live alone, I had a lot left over.  After forcing a large quantity on my classmates, I cut it into squares and froze the left overs.  Unlike most cakes, this cake stayed relatively soft in the freezer, and I was just able to eat the frozen squares for dessert for the next few weeks.  It also heats up remarkably well in the microwave.  Often baked goods will harden and dry around the edges when subjected to microwave torture, but this cake stayed pliable and moist and was warm after only 30 seconds.

**The de-veganized version replaces the Rice Milk with Whole Milk and adds three eggs. **

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