Purple Cake for a Purple Friend

Although Roman Emperor Aurelian was a great military commander and “Restorer of the World” (Restitutor Orbis), he was far from generous with his wife. Having “restored” the world by conquering vast territories and defeating armies of those who foolishly refused to be conquered,  he still begrudged Lady Ulpia a trifle – Tyrian purple silk shawl. Granted, the shawl literally cost its weight in gold because purple dye was made from a tiny mollusk found only in the Tyre region of the Mediterranean Sea (now in Lebanon), and it took about nine thousands of those critters to produce one gram of purple dye!

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The skinflint ruler undoubtedly could’ve afforded this bit of extravagance for Mrs. Emperor, but very few other people were rich enough to buy even a purple tassel or ribbon. Color purple became a mark of extraordinary wealth and stayed that way for many centuries.

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Thirteen hundred years later, Queen Elizabeth I issued the Sumptuary Laws which specified styles of clothes, fabrics, and even colors that could or could not be worn by different classes of British population. “Royal” purple was designated exclusively for the closest members of the royal family and forbidden to everyone else. It is with this thought in mind that I had promised a Purple Cake for Melinda the Purple Person of a funky and whimsical https://purpleslobinrecovery.wordpress.com/ as soon as she is finished with a Herculean task of decluttering her house. You have only to go see the “before and after” on her blog, Beautiful People, to be convinced that Hercules never labored this hard on the Augean Stables! I think Elizabeth the Great  is portrayed above holding a feather duster. Melinda, I hereby confer upon you the royal duster and crown you the Queen of Decluttering.  

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To tell the truth, it’s much more of a pie than a cake, but that’s only because it’s baked in a pie form. It’s most definitely chocolate, though (it’s not a dessert if it’s not chocolate!). Spelt flour, mixed with Smart Balance, cocoa powder, coconut milk, brown sugar, and a shot of rum for fun, makes soft dough which is somewhere between cake batter and cookie dough in texture. As this is a totally eggless cake, you’ll need some olive oil to bind it, as well as some baking powder. Vanilla extract for an extra accent enhances the richness of dark chocolate.

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Use your fingers to spread it in a pie form but don’t press too much; leave it room to breath. Put it in the oven at 350 F for 18 – 20 minutes and get busy with frosting.

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Faced with my own Herculean task of making this cake purple, I simply mixed beet juice with lemon juice and agave.

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Extra firm tofu, blitzed with that purple liquid in the food processor, made perfect light and creamy frosting.

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Here is your purple cake, Melinda, but in my opinion, it doesn’t look queenly enough. We definitely need more chocolate – the more chocolate, the better!

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The situation is promptly remedied by a simple swirl of chocolate syrup, with a juicy blueberry making a final point. Should we call it PURPLEberry?

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It’s a good idea to freeze it for a little while and then keep it refrigerated, if you don’t gobble it up right away. It is light, creamy, chocolaty, delicious, and Oh! So purple!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Smart Balance
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup rum (alternatively, replace with more coconut milk)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For Purple Frosting:
  • 16 oz package Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1/4 cup beet juice
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Chocolate syrup to garnish
  • Blueberries to garnish

PROCEDURE

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mist pie form with oil.
  • Beat Smart Balance with sugar and cocoa powder for 1 to 2 minutes, until creamy.
  • Add the rest of cake ingredients, mix thoroughly. Gently spread in pie form without pressing too much but make sure to cover sides.
  • Bake for 18  – 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan.
  • Drain tofu, process with beet juice, lemon juice, and agave in food processor or blender until creamy. Fill cooled crust.
  • Garnish with chocolate syrup and berries, if desired.  Place in freezer for 20 – 30 minutes, refrigerate afterwards.

Enjoy!

 

 

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71 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow what an awesome cake and the history behind it. Loved the reading. Thanks for the share. Looks yummy

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, dear Kamal, I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing how so many delicious foods came to be. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. True! Thank you for your kind comment.

      Like

  3. Garfield Hug says:

    So nice to have history served with cake 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Both are delicious, in my humble opinion! Thank you for your kind comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A splendid purple cake! Love the history too 🙂 xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Samantha, I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always love food stuffs that are alternative colours, although I was a bit disappointed with the purple potatoes we had here once…they turned out a rather washed -out blue, like an ink pen had leaked on them!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re so right about purple potatoes, but I am still trying to find purple carrots; they are supposed to retain color.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Ooh I shall look out for those!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Perhaps you can find them where you are. I have been unable to find them here.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You could always grow your own… 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Not even mentioning the fact that all green thumbs in the family went to my brother, not me, I live in a small condo with no place to grow even potted herbs. I raid my favorite farmer market once a week.

        Like

      7. Joëlle says:

        Hi Dolly, nice recipe! Coconut milk, cocoa, RUM, yum!
        We have tried purple carrots and not found them to be that special.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Hello, dear Joelle, and thank you! From what I hear the only difference between purple and regular carrots is the color, and I’d love to be able to diversify colors in my salads.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. spearfruit says:

    Awesome cake and perfect for the Queen of Decluttering! Happy Day! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Terry, have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Megala says:

    Nice to add coconut milk in this recipe, sounds delicious!
    And you have a nice collection of props! Really cute!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Megala, I am so glad you like it! The props are my miniature cat collection.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on purpleslobinrecovery and commented:
    Dear Dolly made me a purple pie, as a reward for decluttering my WHOLE house!!
    Thanks, Dolly!! It’s so scrumptious!! And purple enough for a Queen! The Queen of Decluttering that is, ME! of course!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging and a lovely comment! I wish I could serve you a real one, but meanwhile, this will have to do…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!
        Maybe someday you’ll come up, or I’ll mosey on down there….. I have been known to travel for food!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are always welcome, and place at my table is reserved for my purple friend! If we ever come up, I’ll pack some stuff for you, I promise!
        BTW I am wearing purple pants with a Kitty Cat pattern – there!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ok!! YAY!!
        (BTW, I have some purple undies with black cats. But I won’t be saying when I have them on! lol)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah, right – let’s be modest about it!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much reblogging.

      Like

  8. Sounds tasty! + I like that plate 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Pat! The plate also thanks you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. susieshy45 says:

    Dolly
    Thanks for making this cake for Lucy, our friend. She truly deserves it- she is truly the purple queen of our hearts- precious and rare.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She certainly is, and I love her, and I am so glad that there is a whole circle of friends who feel the same way!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! Another wonderful recipe. Thank you very much, especially for the teaching in history. You know so much about, i am really ashamed. 😉 Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh Michael, thank you so much! I am just a history fan, has been since elementary school. I love doing historical research.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hey, its great having you “on board”. 😉 Knowledge in history doesnt count to our smart skills. 😉 Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      4. During my long career in education, I never cared much for “smart skills,” but always promoted humanitarian education.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh, thats really better. Normally i “hate” the term “smart skills”, because it has something technical, but we are not robots. 😉 Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      6. In the US education system, it’s called Basic Skills, and unfortunately, the prevailing opinion is that people don’t need anything else to function at work. But is work all there is to life? What about the richness of the world history and culture? That is traditionally deserved for the elite who get their education in exorbitantly expensive private schools.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Oh yes, i know what you mean. In Germany since some years its the same. We had rebuilt our universities like the colleges and high schools in the USA. Only money counts. In Germany you can study more than 16.000 different things, then you will get a job paid with only **1.500.– Euro /month 😉 I prefered the old “studium generale”. Had to study theology, politic and law. At least they dont want me, i was over qualified. 😉 Now i am selfemployed since some years. I do my brainwashing by myself. 😉 Its not so expensive. [hahaha]

        Liked by 1 person

      8. What a great idea – DIY brainwashing! My great-grandmother was from Vienna, so I’ve heard a lot from her, and Russian gymnasia both before and after the communist nightmare have been modeled after the German schools with the old “studium generale” approach. In the US, it is only available to very few.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. “In the US, it is only available to very few.”
        — That is the problem. I think you cannot collaborate with ciitzens you brought to dumb persons. And you cant buy knowledge like a bottle of water. 😉
        Wow! Vienna is great. I love the historical environment there, also the special austrian lifestyle, with a not so strong law and order policy. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      10. From what I hear, Vienna used to be that way, in the 19th century. The beautiful architecture, the culture, and the Strauss waltzes are still there, but I don’t know about the policies.
        America has never wanted citizens to collaborate, historically, but only to follow orders. Excess of humanitarian education has been viewed as dangerous to society. Thinking people might think in unpredictable directions!

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I rember the policies of Austria very liberate. Ok, since they have the little bit right-winged foreign minister its a little bit difficult.
        Oh yes, citizens always should think the same. Its better for controlling them. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Exactly. I believe Bertolt Brecht wrote about the sheep who march to the drums.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Yes, this is the right interpreation of it. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      14. I am sorry I don’t remember the exact quote in German.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Hello, really no problem. Thank you for not beeing shocked too much in fact of my knowledge in the english language.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. Dear Michael, there is a joke among teachers here: What do you call a person who knows two languages? Bilingual. A person who knows three languages? Trilingual. And a person who knows only one language? American.
        Your English is so much better than my German that I am embarrassed to communicate with you in German! In Europe, we all spoke more than one language, and especially now, when English has become a language of international communication.

        Like

  10. Christy B says:

    Such fun! Purple is a beautiful color – and now we can see it in our cake 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Christie, i am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Tink and I follow Melinda as well, and a herculean effort like a whole house decluttering certainly deserves a purple cake (that looks like a pie!) This one looks wonderful – even without the purple addition, since I have no beets currently. However, it also looks light enough that the piece you so artfully photographed would probably start out larger on a plate of my own!

    I was aware of “royal” purple, but never knew the story behind it until I read it here. I swear, Dolly, maybe you are listed in the wrong category – I think maybe HISTORY could give cooking a run for its money.

    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Like

    1. Thank you for de-categorizing me! I’ve been a history fan since 2nd grade when I had a phenomenal teacher who sort of infected all her students with a history bug. The piece on the plate is small because the plate is small. Apparently, when they were making dessert sets in those times, cakes were served in small portions. The large serving plate of this set holds a 9″ round cake.
      I’ve just found several of your comments (as well as other people’s) in SPAM, so I’ll respond now, and I apologize for the delay.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WordPress has been doing that to me of late as well – and I hardly ever have time to check the spam trash because I get millions (according to Akismet’s spam counter and the *many* pages I have to search when I do go take a look).

        Only recently have I found more than 1 or 2, and then usually because they put several links in their comment – so I’m not sure what the Gremlin coders have been smoking lately as they work on their “improvements.” 😦

        Lucky you, btw – my history teachers were not so inspiring, so I’ve learned much of what I now know from blogs like yours (and Shakespeare, of course).
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “Beware learning history from Shakespeare,” – warned my 5th grade English teacher. Years later, I found out how right she was!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lol – better than knowing nothing at all, however!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am so glad you like it!

      Like

      1. Wen iI want to cook something special, c ur blog

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s so sweet of you – you made my day!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. oldpoet56 says:

    I really enjoy the way you write, always a very good story with a very tasty exclamation point. I am going to reblog this article for you Dolly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment and for reblogging. How are you, Ted? I hope you are doing well.

      Like

  13. Hello. The purple cake looks and sounds delicious. I’m glad you only pit the beet juice in the frosting, I’m sure it would have spoilt the yummy flavour of the cake itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment! Beet juice actually does not spoil anything if it’s just a tiny bit, and just a tiny bit gives you color.

      Like

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