Zinemaker Karla Keffer recently veganized a recipe from East Village Inky/Zinester's Guide to NYC author Ayun Halliday. As big fans of vegan cooking and all-things-Ayun, we asked Karla if we could post it on our blog. The results are below. Oh, and keep an eye out for Karla's vegan bake zine, which she says will be finished around the 2012 elections. Without further adieu...
Crayunberry Upside Down Cake
Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the zine The
East Village Inky,
the Mother Superior columnist for BUST Magazine, and the author of
five pee-in-your-pants hilarious books (The
Big Rumpus, No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too
Late, Job Hopper: Confessions of a Down-Market Dilettante, Dirty
Sugar Cookies: Culinary Observations, Questionable Taste, and Always
Lots of Heinies at the Zoo)
with one on the way (Peanut,
to be released in spring 2012). She is also a pal and an inspiration
and a formidable online Scrabble opponent. This recipe is a vegan
reinterpretation of her cranberry upside-down cake (you can find the
carnivorous version at Ayun’s food
which is a reinterpretation of a recipe from her high school’s
cookbook, and I am fairly sure that recipe
is a version of someone else’s cranberry upside-down cake recipe,
so who knows how many times this recipe has changed hands. How
unsanitary! Okay, iss joke, ja. But really, you should wash your
hands before baking anything, especially if you too are a resident of
the fair city of Brooklyn, NY, because that oven can only do so much
on the germ front.
You will need:
1 teaspoon plus ½
cup canola oil or other light vegetable oil
2 cups fresh
½ cup plus one cup
of regular ol’ white sugar, sugar in the raw, or succanat. You can
use Stevia, too, if you so desire; alas, I can but vouch for the
deliciousness of the first three.
¼ cup shelled
walnuts or pecans
½ cup extra firm
silken tofu, blended with ¼ cup water*
A sprinkling of
Vegan sour cream (to
A 9-inch springform
pan (for baking, not ingesting)
And now, let’s
1. Preheat the oven
to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a
teaspoon of canola oil and sprinkle a handful of flour on top of
3. Give two cups of
cranberries a tad-more-than-cursory rinse, shake and/or pat them
dry(ish), and plunk them – with feeling! – into the bakeware.
4. Sprinkle a half
cup sugar over the cranberries. If the sugar doesn’t cover
them all, give the pan a jiggle and/or roll the cranberries around
until they’re all nice and sugar coated.
5. Measure out ¼
cup of walnuts or pecans, crush them in your paws, and then sprinkle
them over the berries. You can save yourself some time and effort by
purchasing pre-crushed nuts (ow), but then you’ll miss out on the
therapeutic quality of squashing walnuts in your hands and pretending
they’re your evil ex (or that you’re Rhett Butler in the infamous
dining room scene in Gone with the Wind – you
know, “I’ll smash your skull between them like a walnut, and that
will block him out.”)
6. If you bought
pre-crushed walnuts, you can get your ya-yas out by squeezing that
tofu out of its box and into the blender and pureeing the ever-loving
fuck out of it with ¼ cup water . Now take a deep, cleansing
breath and pour the mixture into a bowl or saucepan. Add one cup
sugar, one cup flour, and ½ cup canola oil. Mix well and prosper.
7. Spread the batter
over the sugar-berry-nut mixture so it’s all nice and covered. Pop
it in the oven and bake for 55 minutes or until the top is golden and
a fork inserted into the center comes out clean (except maybe for
some rogue cranberry juice).
some powdered sugar across the top. Serve with a dollop of vegan sour
cream**. C’est un fait accompli!
*If you can’t
find, or if you prefer not to use, the tofu, you can use one very
ripe, very well-mashed banana or ½ cup soy, rice, or coconut yogurt.
If you go with the banana, you’ll need to add ½ cup water to the
batter, and you will very much definitely taste it in the finished
product. I happen to like a nice strong banana flavor, but if you
want the full tang of the cranberries, use the tofu or yogurt option.
The cranberries also rise better because the batter isn’t as thick.
at most health food stores or from CosmosVeganShoppe.com or
other friendly vegan e-tailer.