I had skipped over this cake previously, and I'm not sure why- in the book it falls between Chocolate Pound Cake and Cocoa Bread with Stewed Peaches. This is called "Wacky" cake because they made them during World War II when dairy products were scarce. Today we call such things "Vegan" cakes. On 2/2/14, I decided to make two versions, one with oil, like the recipe calls for, and one with applesauce.
The cake on the left is the one with oil and the one on the right was with applesauce. I could tell the difference out of the oven, but after they were frosted, I wasn't sure which was which.
With this cake, you put all the dry ingredients in, then make three holes in the mix- one for vinegar, one for vanilla extract and one for oil, or applesauce in my case. We had a friend try it who had not heard of "wacky" cakes but knew them as "crazy" cakes, and knew about doing the 3 holes in the dry mixture too.
The cake was very easy to make. The frosting was not.
I didn't have a double boiler, so I stirred the ingredients (egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, water and vanilla extract) in a stainless steel bowl and then put it in a pan of boiling water. I used an immersion blender for 7 minutes, and it didn't work, the frosting was still liquidy. Then my husband pointed out that the point of the hand blender is to whip air into it, which a immersion blender does not do (it's submersed), so I got out the whip and hand-whipped it for about 10 minutes. I wasn't able to do it very fast and therefore it was not thickening. Then he pointed out that the egg whites were probably well-cooked by now, so I could just use the kitchen aid. We got that out and kept it in the hot stainless steel bowl, making sure to hold it the whole time, and whipped it on high for about 10 minutes. It never formed the stiff peaks it said it would, so I gave up on it when it was about the consistency of marshmallow creme. I don't know if the look had something to do with it or not, but it kind of had the flavor of marshmallow creme too. It wasn't very good, and definitely not worth the effort, especially if you don't own a double boiler or a hand-held electrical whipping device! But, if you like the fact that it is a frosting with no butter or fat at all in it, and you like marshmallow creme, then by all means go for it! I'd rather sprinkle powdered sugar on top and serve it with homemade ice cream.
I learned that you can save the egg yolks (when making things like this that call for only the whites) in the freezer- label them w/ how many are in there, and you can use them in the future for cakes that only call for egg yolks!
Being Superbowl Sunday, I frosted (or cremed) the cakes and they looked pretty boring, so I put a "B" on one and an "S" on the other for Broncos and Seahawks. It turned out to be BS!
Vegan Healthy Chocolate Cake:
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups raw sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
2 t baking soda
After stirring together, make three holes and add to each one:
2 t vanilla extract
2 T vinegar
3/4 c apple sauce (or pear sauce)
Then on top:
2 c cold water
Stir and add:
1/2 c chocolate chips
Pour into two cake pans, well greased.
Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes, a toothpick should come out clean.
Let cool and add powdered sugar for the "frosting".
Don't cover or the powdered sugar will dissolve and disappear.
Since this is enough for 2 cakes, you could also stack them with frosting in between and on top and sides. But then you'd have to remove "healthy" from the title. Or, actually, you could still call it "healthy" cake, because the cake is healthy even if the frosting is not, right?