In order to put your mind at peace one might meditate, go for a drive, read a book or write in a journal. As for me, I love to bake. Their is something regal about being in the kitchen and inventing a work of art that will tantalize your taste buds. After a long day of thinking intellectually and conceptually about photography, I find the only way to calm my brain and put the thousands of thoughts that are bouncing back and forth to order is to use my creative talents in an alternative way. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I developed a passion for the culinary arts. In those few years I have documented my creations through photography by integrating them into my very own cookbook. I find that taking a break from the hectic life of being an MFA student and reverting my talents in a different form keeps me sane and allows my creativity to explore new venues.
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil plus 2 tablespoons
2 large eggs and 1 large yolk
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate juice
Chocolate Frosting with Orange Zest:
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons orange zest
Position racks in top and bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch cake pans, bottom and sides, with butter. Line bottoms of cake pans with parchment paper rounds, coat top of rounds with butter as well. In a small bowl combine almond milk and lemon juice. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. In a small sauce pan simmer blueberries until most of the berries burst and release their juice. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into large bowl. Combine water, almond milk/lemon juice mixture, oil, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients using an electric mixer to blend. Fold in blueberries. Divide cake batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes for 40 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely in pans on cooling racks. Run a butter knife around edges of cakes to loosen. Release cake and peal off parchment paper.
* While Cakes are cooling prepare frosting.
Cream butter in medium size bowl with electric mixer; about 3 min. Sift together cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Add gradually to butter mixing thoroughly with each addition. Add vanilla and heavy cream mixing well until fluffy. Fold in orange zest. You are now ready to frost your cake!
Using a small plastic spatular cover the top of one cake evenly; about 1 to 1 1/2 cup. Place second round on top and press down gently to level. With the remaining frosting cover top and sides evenly. Garnish top of cake with orange zest.