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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Faced with my own Herculean task of making this cake purple, I simply mixed beet juice with lemon juice and agave.
Extra firm tofu, blitzed with that purple liquid in the food processor, made perfect light and creamy frosting.
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!
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?
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!
- 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
- 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.