I did a lot of debating if I should save this recipe till next Vegan MOFO or not. I do want to continue my Vegan MOFO theme of American Cake Off for 2018, but this one I wanted to post this year. Why? THERE ARE STILL ELECTIONS GOING ON IN THE UNITED STATES!
Some of these elections are big deals. In New Jersey we are voting for a new governor (thank god), state legislator, and freeholder. And in my case, I have the questions to vote on, and people who are running locally for the board of education. This election is a pretty big deal as it can get more democrats into the senate, possibly getting the majority.
Part of the reason why there isn’t much coverage about the election is because it really depends on where you live. I am voting for some stuff that no one else is voting on outside of my town. There are lots of important mayor elections, and not every state even has an election going on.
So let’s talk about this election cake! I first read about it in American Cakes, but there isn’t a recipe. Perhaps it is because most people steer away from fruit cakes, or because the author didn’t find it unique enough compared to other recipes? Not sure. But I was very excited about the idea.
Back before women could vote- ladies would slave away in the kitchen baking cakes. They would use this as a way to encourage men to go out and vote. And boy did the original recipes feed many men. An original recipe called for thirty quarts flour, ten pounds butter, fourteen pounds sugar, twelve pounds raisins, and my favorites one pint wine and one quart brandy. This might make your jaw drop but this was intended to feed MANY people.
For the 2016 presidential election OWL Bakery decided to start a campaign calls #MakeAmericaCakeAgain. The bakery posted a recipe on Google Docs for anyone to make, but sold the cake in their stores. Proceeds went to League of Women Voters, with many other bakeries across the USA contributing. There is already a vegan version of the cake out there by Yum Universe. But I don’t know about it, it is gluten free but uses bourbon to soak the fruit. Then she has the audacity to recommend tequila or gin to soak the fruit to make it 100% gluten free?! 1) not all gin are gluten free, and 2) what about wine based spirits?
The other problem with the OWL and Yum Universe recipes is that the cake needs the starter to go overnight. That is a lot of time. But I found a recipe from Food52 that only has your starter go for 3 hours. That is a lot more manageable, and the recipe looks a lot less scary in comparison.
This recipe isn’t perfect. I wish I tried using only oil in the recipe, but I had a lot of little bits of shortening and an almost empty butter container in the fridge, so I used a mix of the three. I also didn’t have sherry wine or brandy, so I used amaretto and marsala. You can use whatever you want, but I recommend something sweet. So if you aren’t using booze, maybe a juice, kombucha, sweetened tea, whatever. Think about what flavors will go with figs, raisins, and the spices.
- 1 cup dried figs
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup marsala, brandy, port, or fortified wine*
- 1/4 cup amaretto*
- 1/2 cup warmed full fat coconut milk (100° to 115° F)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 4 tbsp chia seeds ground
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cup vegan butter or non-hydrogenated shortening at room temp***
- 1/4 cup canola oil***
- 2/3 cup sugar
1In a bowl combine the figs, raisins, marsala, and amaretto. Let the mixture sit so the fruit soaks up the liquids. Occasionally stir so the top fruit can get to the liquids. You can let them sit for as long as you need. 2Combine all the sponge ingredients, and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 hour until the starter doubles in size. 3When the sponge is ready preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside. 4 In a bowl mix together the chia seeds and the water and let them gel up to make your "egg." Set aside 5In another bowl combine your dry ingredients, flour, cinnamon, coriander, and salt. Set aside. 6Using a electric mixer, beat the butter/shortening and oil with the sugar. You want it to be light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 7Add half of the chia gel to the fat-sugar mix. Beat until incorporated. Scrape down sides. Add the rest of the chia gel and beat until mixed in. 8Add the sponge mixture to fat-sugar-chia mix. Beat until well incorporated. You may need to stop and scrape down the beater, and sides of the bowl to make sure the sponge doesn't stay in one big clump. 9Mixing slowly, add the dry ingredients until just mixed. Then fold in the soaked fruit. 10Pour the dough into the bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes. Test for doneness by poking the cake with a toothpick, and seeing if it comes out clean. 11Let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes before trying to flip and remove from pan. Cool completely before serving. *These are liqueurs I had in my cabinet. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand. I suggest picking drinks that are sweet, so maybe stay away from bourbon, whiskey, etc. Using a juice or non-alcoholic wines are great options as well. **You could use a sourdough starter if you would like instead. I am personally not familiar with the process so if you try it out please contact me so I can update the recipe. ***The original recipe called for 1 cup butter, but I used a mix of vegan butter, vegan shortening, and oil as I was trying to clean out the fridge. You could probably get away with using 3/4 cup of canola oil or just 1 cup vegan butter or shortening.