Monday, September 5, 2011

Vegan, Gluten-free "Almost-Entenmann's" Filled Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

Well hello old friend

Why is it that the foods we miss the most in life are the crap we had as kids? And, p.s., I'm using the word "food" loosely. At my school, snack-time meant Twinkies, Hostess doughnuts, and no-frills orange drink. On the school's dime no less. With nary a complaint by our parents who were still riding high on their Kennedy era values: Peace (kind of), love, and chemicals. Be a hippie and serve tofu at home, but at school, teachers know best so choke down that Tang and like it! And face it, those snacks were delicious. A little powdered sugar on your chin (or in my case, all over your navy blue uniform) as you plopped down in a ridiculously uncomfortable plastic chair made learning fractions that much more fun. A win-win as they say.

But let's get straight to the point - a point I've already made - and that's that, when it comes to true craptastic deliciousness Entenmann's reigns supreme. It's magical, edible crack and the kind of stuff that fun Candy Land-style dreams are made of.  That is, unless you're allergic to everything, or you're vegan, or you don't really want to eat EVERYTHING on the periodic table. Then, my friends, Entenmann's becomes a tantalizing little bombshell that will destroy you. I've seen it happen - over an All Butter Loaf Cake no less - and it was not pretty.

I've already posted Cybele Pascal's INCREDIBLE allergen-free crumb cake recipe which, I think, almost perfectly replicates the Entenmann's Original Crumb crumb cake. But then I was given a challenge: Re-create an Entenmann's Filled Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake but make it gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan (no dairy, no eggs, no animal products of any kind). A very interesting proposition. And here's what I came up with. And let me tell you, all modesty aside, it is pretty f-ing delicious as well as a decent replication of the Entenmann's bomb.

The basic cake recipe remains Cybele Pascal's (a true allergen-free cooking genius) except I added chocolate chips. I've adjusted her crumb top to better match the Entenmann's cake. The filling is my original recipe. SO good and even better the next day (after refrigeration) if it lasts that long.

Almost-Entenmann's Filled Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake(!)

To make Cybele's excellent gluten-free flour mix combine 4 cups superfine brown rice flour (I just used what I had which was a combo of both and sifted it), 1 1/3 cup potato starch (not potato flour), 2/3 cup tapioca starch or tapioca flour. Combine in a gallon Ziploc sack by shaking.

For the crumb topping:
3/4 cup flour mix (see above)
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (more if you like a more cinnamon-y taste to your crumb as I do)
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cold dairy-free shortening (I use Earth Balance buttery style)

Combine in a bowl until crumbly. Form larger chunks by pressing crumbs together. Set aside.

For the cake:
1/2 cup dairy-free shortening
2 cups flour mix (see above)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk yogurt
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup rice milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1- 1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life allergen-free chocolate chips

For the filling:
2 packages Mori-Nu vegan/gluten free chocolate pudding packs

2 packages Mori-Nu extra firm silken tofu
3/4 cup vanilla coconut milk yogurt
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (through salt). Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix yogurt and vinegar. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix egg replacer and rice milk. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat shortening, sugar, egg replacer mixture, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour in three additions, alternating with yogurt mixture, ending on the flour mixture. Add chocolate chips.

Pour into a springform pan that's been greased with shortening. Sprinkle crumbs over top. Bake in oven until a cake tester comes out clean. Check after 45 minutes. Mine took 55 minutes. 

Cool in rack for about 15 minutes. Remove springform ring and allow to cool completely. 

Make filling by combining tofu and pudding packets into a food processor and blending until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add coconut milk yogurt a spoon at a time. Stir completely. Mixture should resemble a smooth but spreadable pudding and should have a light hint of coconut flavor. 

When cake is completely cook, use a large sharp knife to carefully slice of the top (crumb half) of the cake (sorry I didn't take pictures of this). It's a delicate balance. Make sure you're slicing the cake essentially into two layers. Place a plate on top of the cake and invert so that the top half is on the plate. Add filling and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Carefully flip top half of cake onto filled half. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and dust with powdered sugar.

And here it is, all dressed up like it's 1977 (Thank you Instagram filters), which is the era in which I best remember this little beauty:

Party like it's before the Reagan era

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