Recipes: Afro-Vegan: African, Caribbean & Southern Flavors Remixed

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  • Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas with Spring Herbs
  • Cocoa-Spice Cake
  • Fresh Peach, Banana and Warm Millet Smoothie
  • Afro-Vegan cookbook
  • Chef Bryant Terry
  • Summer Vegetable and Tofu Kebabs
  • Glazed Carrot Salad

Cocoa-Spice Cake

Coconut milk and mashed avocado add moisture and natural creaminess to this decadent dessert, while crystallized ginger bits and a rum-based chocolate ganache kick up the Caribbean flavor. Yield: 8 to 16 servings

Soundtrack: “Marcus Garvey” by Burning Spear and The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir by Staceyann Chin


- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for oiling
- 1  cup plus 1 tablespoon fine raw cane sugar
- ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6  tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Scant ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- ¼ cup packed mashed ripe avocado (about ½ medium avocado)
- 2  tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon dark Jamaican rum
- 1  tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3  ounces crystallized ginger, finely chopped (about ½ cup)

- 5  ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, finely chopped
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 5  tablespoons raw cane sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1  tablespoon dark Jamaican rum (optional)
- 12 thin slices crystallized ginger

- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Oil an 8-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides.
- Sift the sugar, flours, cocoa powder, bak­ing soda, salt, cayenne and nutmeg into a large bowl and stir with a whisk until well blended.
- Put the coconut milk, oil, avocado, rum, vinegar and vanilla extract in a blender and process until smooth (or put them in a large bowl and blend with an immer­sion blender until smooth).
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients and the ginger.
- Fold together until uniformly mixed. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Slide a butter knife around the edge, then invert the cake onto a rack and let cool to room temperature.
- To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
- Put the coconut milk, sugar, and cayenne in a small saucepan and heat until steam­ing hot (avoid boiling), stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Slowly pour over the chocolate and let stand until the chocolate is melted, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the rum and whisk until completely smooth.
- Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until slightly cooled but pourable, about 5 minutes.
- To glaze the cake, pour the ganache evenly over the cake and let stand until the ganache is set, about 30 minutes.
- Garnish with the ginger slices.

(Photo: Paige Green/Ten Speed Press)

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