Archive for December, 2007


offline for a couple of weeks

hello all:
pie will be gone from pievcake for a few weeks, due to some real-world excitement (and a post-new year’s diet)
but check back here in the second week of january for new updates. i promise.

in the meantime, check out entertainment’s weekly year-in-review issue, where they proclaim 2007 as the year of pie.
take that, cake!


bakeoff champion

we have a bakeoff champion! of course, my camera broke down, and i don’t have photos, but i expect them today….stay tuned for the whole delicious story!


review: national gallery of art pumpkin cheesecake

this weekend, i was at the national gallery of art to check out the turner exhibit (which was meh – i’m not a big fan of landscape painting) and ended up at the cafe to enjoy some overdue new york times reading.

as i was in line to get a cup of coffee, i saw this:

yup. pumpkin cheesecake with white chocolate shavings on top. a true work of art in and of itself.

but did it taste as good as it looked?

like the turner exhibit: meh.

i liked the taste and consistency of the pumpkin cheesecake filling. i didn’t like the gumminess of the outer layer of the cake. i ended up breaking through that and trying to scrape out the sweet goodness inside.

and while i loved the hazelnut garnish on the top, the crusty pedastal upon which the cheesecake was based was crumbly and tasteless. it wasn’t much of a crust. i left most of that on my plate.


Vegan carrot cake recipe (thanks, Surabhi!)

Here’s the recipe for the cake pictured in the December 12th posting.


3/4 cup Florida Crystals sugar

1/2 cup Sucanat brown sugar

2 cups unbleached white flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups finely-shredded carrots

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup applesauce

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 Ener-G egg substitute

1/2 cup chopped nuts or currants (optional)

Other variations:

shredded coconut

finely chopped pineapple

orange juice and/or zest


1 package Mori-Nu Tofu Mates Vanilla Pudding

1 package Mori-Nu Silken Lite Tofu

Tip:  If using dried currants or dried coconut, soak in orange juice
some time to “plump” these ingredients before adding them to the

  1.. Grease and flour a 10″ X 9″ or square cake pan.
  2.. Stir together dry ingredients.
  3.. Beat together the wet ingredients.
  4.. Mix in dry and wet togther, until well mixed.
  5.. Stir in the nuts or currants, if used.
  6.. Bake at 325 F for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out
  7.. Cool on a wire rack.
For icing or to serve on the side, use Mori-Nu Tofu Mates Vanilla
with one package of Mori-Nu Silken Lite Tofu exactly according to

Vegans and non-vegans alike seem to welcome this smooth, rich pudding as a substitute for way too rich, way too sweet icing.

Recipe adapted from:


Vegan bday celebration, part deux


The precursor to vegan carrot cake was dinner from A Quest for Fresh, a raw food, African-influenced vegan restaurant in Mt. Rainier (near Glut Food Co-op). I had an avocado sandwich and split-pea soup that was super tasty, and their salads are a lot more substantial than the usual. Before I tried their food I wondered whether it would leave me craving my deep-fried fast food or MSG, but their offerings are flavorful enough that eating healthy isn’t a hardship–it’s a pleasure.

When they found out we were celebrating my birthday, they included a complimentary slice of their carob cake. It’s a no-bake cake sweetened with dates and other goodies. Yum! The texture reminded me a bit of halva.


Vegan bday celebration, part 1


This was the vegan carrot cake Surabhi made for me (pictured with Tom and Issa for moral cake support)–moist, fluffy and delicious. The vanilla pudding was a good icing substitute, since vegan icing can sometimes be too sugary and this was a lot lighter. In fact, the cake was so awesome that I just polished off the last piece for breakfast this morning! Stay tuned for the recipe.


vegan cakeoff TONIGHT

a reminder that those crazy vegan punks are at it tonight with a VEGAN CAKEOFF at the bobby fisher memorial building, as a benefit to renovate the bobby fisher building (and maybe fix up a bathroom, eh?)

here’s the details:
Vegan Cake off and show to benefit Bobby Fisher Mem
Wednesday, Dec 12th
6:30pm $3

The Max Levine Ensemble
AND A VEGAN CAKE OFF!! (rules and regulations below)

@ the Bobby Fisher Memorial Building
1644 N. Capitol St. NW WDC


For an additional $3 you get ALL YOU CAN EAT VEGAN CAKE and get to judge the cake bake off competition!

If you bring a vegan cake YOU EAT CAKE FOR FREE and eligible for FABULOUS and DELICIOUS PRIZES!!!

You can enter the separate competition for gluten free cakes!

All cake money goes to benefit the Bobby Fisher Memorial Building construction funds.


washington post pie contest

in case you missed it, the washington post magazine announced a pie contest this week.
send your recipe to
unfortunately, they are pulling this together for the 2008(???) holiday issue, so don’t expect the payoff for quite some time.

***Update from shutyerpiehole: Here’s one of the winning recipes, a bourbon pecan pie. It’s tasty, but you could probaby halve the amount of bourbon the recipe calls for. When I brought this into work (using the 1/2 cup bourbon as directed), it nearly knocked out some of my coworkers.***

Heather’s Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie (from The Washington Post):

Here you’ll find all the important food groups: sugar, butter and chocolate. Combined, they make a very rich dessert, although the subtle flavor of the bourbon keeps it from being unbearably sweet. Heather Kennedy says the pie is good with vanilla ice cream — and more bourbon. To store, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.


8 servings


  • • 1 cup pecan halves (about 4 ounces)
  • • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • • 1 cup light corn syrup, such as Karo brand
  • • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • • 1 9-inch homemade or store-bought unbaked pie crust
  • • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • • 1/4 teaspoon salt



Four to 6 hours before you are ready to bake, combine the pecans and bourbon in a small container; seal tightly and shake the container occasionally to promote even soaking.
Set a strainer over a small bowl to catch the bourbon; strain the nuts, reserving the 2 ingredients separately.
Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the brown sugar has melted and the mixture is well combined.
Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
Place the pie crust in a 9-inch Pyrex pie plate, crimp the rim decoratively and place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Place the soaked pecans on the bottom of the crust.
Combine the eggs, 1/4 cup of the reserved bourbon, vanilla extract and salt in a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Gradually add the slightly cooled sugar-chocolate mixture, stirring to combine thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the pecans in the pie crust.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the center of the pie has set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Recipe Source:

From Heather Kennedy.

645 calories, 31g fat, 12g saturated fat, 124mg cholesterol, 247mg sodium, 86g carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, n/a sugar, 6g protein.


bakeoff finalists are….

noah, with his flourless chocolate minicakes with raspberry garnish;
lauren, with her pumpkin spice cake; and
miguel, with his elvis cupcakes.

while these competitors have come this far based upon their cake-baking skills, they’ll face a challenge in the final match, where the format is PIE.


the bacon chocolate taste test

mimi has been trying to get everyone on the bacon chocolate bandwagon.

as a vegetarian, i may not be able to join in the taste testing (i’m waiting for the fakin’ bacon version), but i can certainly join in the fun of documenting the taste testing. our friends shannon and mel were the guinea pigs. photos after the jump: Continue reading ‘the bacon chocolate taste test’