Every year around the middle of May, our little town holds its annual Dogwood Festival, to celebrate our [State? Town? Not sure, actually...] flower / tree / plant like vegetation. It’s mostly just a place where artisans can sell hand crafted goods, people eat fried food, and smaller children can participate in the rather under-whelming carnival type games. Sound great, huh? Well, if that doesn’t just make you want to run out of the house and join in, never fear; It does get better. For the first time last year, the town decided to organize a little baking competition, in which anyone could enter home baked goods into two categories: Cakes and Cookies. In the 2005 event, I entered a cheesecake and took second in cakes. As the date approached for a potential rematch, I regretted my past decision and lack of confidence in vegan baked goods in general. There was no option for me to feel even slight redemption for my old submission: Enter this again year, but with a vegan cake.
I was chomping at the bit to get started, reviewing old recipes and skimming through new, collecting ideas, ingredients, and inspiration. It was all or nothing, take no prisoners.
Finally, after much painfully deliberation, I had created the ultimate cake, combining some of my favorite flavors and displaying a copious number of calories with reckless abandon. Yes, the Chocolate – Espresso Devastation Cake had been born…
Two layers of rich chocolate-esspresso cake, with a creamy smear of coffee “buttercream” frosting sandwiched in the middle…
…Smothered in two coats of decadent chocolate ganache, topped with crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans, and then garnished with more frosting around the edges, each dollop lovingly cradling one whole bean.
So, to sum it all up…
Devastation Cake. Not for the fat phobic or calorie counting. No corners were cut, nothing sacrificed or avoided, only this time, it was completely, 100% vegan. All things considered though, it still has no refined sugars or “bad” fats. Vegan food isn’t necissarily health food, and I think it’s time for the world to see just how sinful and mind-blowingly delicious it can be, when executed correctly.
With that in mind, I want to share this recipe with all of you, in hopes that you can open someone’s eyes to what it really means to be a compassionate cook, or at the very least, what a devine cake this is. I struggled for a long time, trying to decide whether I would post the recipe or keep it to myself, so I hope that someone out there appreciates it and enjoys it very much! After all, we all deserve to have our cakes and eat them, too.
Oh, and the results of the bake off…?
…. I stole first place this time around. No joke.