Sunday, February 17, 2008

Humphrey's First Birthday Cake - Not Before Time!

And now for something completely different!

Fans of this blog (yes, I know you are legion!) are accustomed to my ramblings about food I'm preparing for My Beloved and I, potlucks, various friends' dinners etc etc. But here is a first!

Deep breath!

The promised vegan doggie birthday cake!!!

I have adapted a recipe found in The Everything Cooking for Dogs - a nice little publication, but one which is not overtly animal-friendly if you don't happen to be canine, calling as it does for ground up turkeys and chickens' eggs. Not to worry, I thought, this can be veganized! And so I went to work....

Step 1:

Pour yourself a nice glass of wine! It's Sunday afternoon (in this case) and you are baking a cake for your canine companion - you deserve a nice glass of something!!

Step 2:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and then assemble the ingredients. You will need the following:

1 cup canned beets
2 bananas
1 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup of soy crumbles (cooked)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk

In this recipe, the bananas replace the 4 eggs you would have used and the soy crumbles replace the ground up turkey flesh of the original recipe. Think of it this way: no cholesterol for your beloved pooch and no-one - not man or beast - gets hurt in the creation of that special little gift for your beloved four-legged friend.  

Step 3:

In a food processor, blitz the beets thus:

Then add the oil and bananas and blitz until smooth, thus:

The mixture is now thick and creamy, mainly due to the mashing of the bananas.

Step 4:

In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together and form a well in the center.

Pour in the pink beet mix and stir until combined.

Step 5:

Stir in the grated carrots and the cooked soy crumbles. If you are unsure about the soy crumbles, this is what I used:

And it looked like this:

Step 6: 

The mixture is likely to be very thick, so now is the moment to thin it down a little with a scant 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk. I used soymilk, but ricemilk is equally good!

Step 7:

Lightly oil 2 8-inch pans and coat with flour and divide the mix between the pans.

Bake for approx. 30 minutes, or until a toothpicks comes out clean.

Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave until completely cool.

To finish the job, I creamed together some vegan cream cheese, a little powdered sugar, some additional grated carrots and a hint of non-dairy milk, sandwiching the cakes together like this:

And here is the almost finished result:

A close-up of that yummy beety-fake sausage-y mix...

I must say, it was a particularly odd thing to bake insofar as the kitchen smelled disturbingly like roasting pork. I have no idea to what I can attribute this happening - no pigs were involved directly or indirectly in the creation of this celebration. My Beloved was dog-proofing our last floor-level cupboard when he noticed it, and dragged me in to confirm he was not, in fact, completely losing his marbles. No, I verified, that really smells like pork crackling...

So if anyone out there in Blogland can explain this phenomenon to me, I would be especially grateful!

Humphrey and his brother Darwin are currently eating their dinner, after which they'll have a slice of cake. I'll document that as it happens, but for now...

Stay vegan, Friends!


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