Sweet Chocolate Cake with Cherry Sauce

Like an elegant Black Forest cake but easier to make, this dessert is sweet, slighdy bitter, oily, and heavy. It reduces Vata and Pitta and increases Kapha. The tofu and banana make it especially nourishing for body tissues. It can be made as an elaborate layer cake with a Rich Quick Chocolate Mousse filling, or simply in one layer topped with warm dark cherry sauce.

Makes one 8-inch layer cake or a single sheet cake

FOR THE CAKE

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

3 ounces sweet baking chocolate

2 cups unbleached flour, sifted

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa (the best quality)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 pound tofu 1/2 cup milk

1 small ripe banana

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

FOR THE CHERRY SAUCE

Makes 2 cups

1 package (16 ounces) frozen dark, sweet cherries, defrosted

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon cool water 1 teaspoon almond extract Rich Quick Chocolate Mousse ( 229)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and dust with flour two 8-inch pans or a 7 x n-inch sheet pan.

2. Melt the butter and the chocolate in a small pan over low heat. Stir until blended, then set it aside while preparing the other ingredients.

3. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together. Blend the tofu, the milk, and the banana in a food processor or with an electric mixer until it is thick and creamy.

4. Combine all the ingredients, including the vanilla and nuts, and pour the batter into the pans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the pans to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the cakes. Cool before filling.

5. Meanwhile, make the Cherry Sauce. Heat the cherries in a saucepan over moderate heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Turn the heat to low and mix the cornstarch with the water in a cup, then stir into the cherries. Return to moderate heat and continue stirring for about 1 minute, until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the almond extract. Cool for 10 minutes before using.

6. The single-layer sheet cake can be cut in squares and served with warm Cherry Sauce and whipped cream. Or prepare the more elaborate layer cake.

7. To assemble the layer cake, spread 1/2 cups Rich Quick Chocolate Mousse out to half an inch from the edge of the bottom layer. Gently place the second layer on top (this cake is very tender to handle), then spread the warm Cherry Sauce on top, allowing it to drizzle over the sides. Pipe the remaining mousse or plain, slightly sweetened whipped cream and shaved bitter chocolate over the top.

 

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