Chocolate Zoo Cake

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Decorating sugar free cakes for children is not easy, since many of the figures and decorations that you see on bakery cakes are made of sugar and coloring. However there is an easy way to go about it. Small rubber animals, that you find in a regular toy store along with sugar free candy from the health food store can help you create a a lovely “zoo cake”, or a “farm cake”. In fact any mini rubber toy can be used to decorate your cake, just make sure you get them off after the candles are blown and before the cake is cut.

This vegan chocolate cake is one of my favorite and standard cakes. The recipe is my version of Fran Costigan’s recipe The Chocolate Cake to Live For from her book “Great Good Desserts”

1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple sugar(I usually omit this since I can’t fi d this in Holland, or substitute it with coconut sugar)
1/2 cup of a neutral oil
1 cup maple syrup(I mostly use rice syrup, I prefer the texture)
1 cup soy milk
1 cup water
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
1 tbs vanilla extract

-mix dry ingredients in a large bowl
-mix wet ingredients in another bowl
-pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly (the batter will be thin)
-pour batter into two 9 inch round cake pans which have been greased on the sides and cover with wax paper on the bottom
-bake for about 25 minutes at 180* (350 F)
-the cakes are ready when you insert a knife in the center and it comes out clean
-cool

Frosting:

3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup maple sugar(or coconut sugar)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup maple syrup or rice syrup
1 tbs vanilla extract

-put all the ingredients int he blender except for the boiling water, which you will add slowly while the motor is running
-to make the frosting thicker and spreadable pour the sauce into a small pan and add 2 tbs of kuzu dissolved in 3 tbs water and cook at low heat
-add the kuzu mixture slowly while you stir softly
-when the mixture starts to thicken and bubble it’s ready.
-at this point the frosting is done, but I like to add a tbs of coconut oil for the texture
-let it cool completely

I like to put sugar free cherry jam between the two layers of cake before frosting it and decorating it with rubber animals and sugar free candy.

* use candy made with natural sugars and avoid aspartame !

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