Sunday, February 12, 2012

Almond Marble Cake and 2 Year Blogaversary!


I can not believe it has been 2 years since I first started blogging.  So much has changed over the last two years and I have learned so much!  I first decided to start a blog because I was constantly sharing recipes on Facebook, and it seemed like blogging would be an enjoyable hobby.  Little did I know it would become so much more.  I can remember my first post, "Red Velvet Cupcakes with a secret ingredient".   They were cupcakes containing beets and they were quite delicious but I had a lot to learn about blogging and photography when I wrote that first post.  I started out with very few followers and never thought that my blog would amount to much, but then I joined Foozbuzz, a wonderful community of food loving fellow bloggers.  They made me feel welcome, helped me get my blog out there and become more confident about my blogging and recipes.  I have also changed my baking quite a bit since I first started incorporating more vegan recipes into my blog as I have changed the way I chose to eat.  I have had a few failures, but many successes in my baking experiments.  But those failures have always been valuable for future successes!  I decided to merge my two blogs this year as well, so a few savory recipes have been incorporated onto Fragrant Vanilla Cake from Garlic and Sea Salt.  I know it is far less savory than sweet on here, but what can I say it is my passion!  It has been a wonderful year of blogging, and I just have to say thank you to all of you have supported my blog!  Family, friends, fellow bloggers...you are all VERY important to me and I appriciate you all! 


Now, what is a blogaversary without a cake, so of course I baked one.  It took me a while to figure out what to make this year, but I knew it had to contain some vanilla cake...afterall, this blog is Fragrant Vanilla Cake.  What I finally decided on though, was a marble cake.  I haven't made a marble cake in years, and it sounded really good! 


I also knew that this had to be more than just a marble cake with vanilla frosting.  Simple is good but this is a special occasion afterall!  I decided to add almond to the cake because when I was younger my mother would always make dessert with both almond and vanilla and it reminds me of Birthday Cake!  The layers needed something delicious to sandwich them together as well. 


Some marzipan to up the almond factor would be perfect and some dark chocolate ganache to add just a little chocolate decadence but not too much. 


The cake layers themselves smelled wonderful while baking like a vanilla almond cookie crossed with a brownie. 


Decorating the cake was quite fun.  I always feel like a little kid when decorating, creating something and putting my own personal touch on it.  Since this was my two year blogaversary I decided to be a little playful and use pink frosting, girly sprinkle hearts and sprakly pink sugar to adorn the cake! 


I have to say the best part of making a cake is eating the extra frosting and filling... and I did plenty of that!  Have to make sure it is perfect afterall.


The finished cake was quite lovely!  But more importantly delicious.  The cake layers were melt in your mouth and fragrant with vanilla, chocolate and almond.  The rich dark chocolate ganache and nutty sweet marzipan were the perfect additions along with the sweet creamy vanilla almond frosting.  It was a cake fit for a queen, or to celebrate a blogaversary!  I am looking forward to another year of blogging and many delicious posts to come! 


Thanks again for all of your support, and if you would like to enjoy some of my blogaversary cake for yourself, here is the recipe!


Vegan Almond Marble Cake
Makes 1 6 inch 4 layer cake

2 6 inch cake pans

Cake:
2 oz vegan dark chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup maple sugar or granulated sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup lite organic coconut milk or almond milk
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
seeds of one vanilla bean
2 tsp almond extract
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Filling:
8 oz almond paste
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp full fat coconut milk
5 oz vegan dark chocolate, chopped

Frosting:
3 8 oz pkgs tofutti cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
plant based red food coloring (if desired)
colored sprinkles


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line two six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides with nonstick spray. Melt dark chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals (or however you desire) until smooth, stirring in between. Whisk flour, baking soda, sea salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk oil, milk, vanilla extract, vanllla seeds, and almond extract together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended. Divide batter into 2 bowls.  Whisk the melted chocolate into one of the bowls until blended.  Whisk in 1 Tbsp lemon juice to each bowl and stir quickly (pale swirls will be in the batter, which is the baking soda reacting with the lemon juice, which allows the cake to rise since there are no eggs). Transfer cake batter to prepared pans (drop alternating chocolate and plain dough in alternating 1/3 cup portions throughout the pans dividing evenly between the two pans and swirl with a knife to marble) and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto platter; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely, then place in the fridge to chill until very cold to make slicing easier (since cakes with no eggs crumble easier). When chilled, slice cakes horizontally in half so that you have 4 layers.
To make ganache, heat coconut milk until very hot (almost boiling), then add chocolate and whisk to melt until smooth, and set aside. 
To make frosting, whip cream cheese until smooth, then add agave, vanilla and almond and beat until smooth.
Divide marzipan into 3 pieces, and roll each into a circle the diameter of the cake (6 inches). 
To assemble cake, place one layer on a plate, and top with about ganache. Spread out over cake layer but not all the way to the edge, because you don't want it to ooze. Top with one marzipan circle, then spread about 2 Tbsp cream cheese frosting over marzipan.  Top with another cake layer and repeat, then the next 2 layers ending with a top layer of cake. To frost cake, spread frosting over top and sides, smothing out as you go. Tint remaining frosting pink (or whatever color you like) and use the remaining frosting to pipe decoratively onto the top of the cake using a pastry bag or plastic ziplock with a hole in the corner. I piped the frosting around the top edges of the cake, but feel free to be creative! Decorate cake with sprinkles and sugars and enjoy!

*if you would like a 4 layer 9 inch cake, double this entire recipe and bake in two 9 inch cake pans.

26 comments:

  1. Happy 2 year blogoversary! Your cake does look like a delicious way to celebrate. The more cake posts I see on your blog-the more I am becoming a cake lover. This one does look like a keeper-lovely marbled flavor. Also, it is an eye catcher the way you decorated it. Well done!

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  2. Wow, that is a heavy-duty yummy cake! I can just imagine how all those flavors came together in that delicious cake. Fudgy ganache, marzipan, almond marble cake - all sound like a recipe for finger-licking awesomeness to me :) Happy Blogoversary and here's to many more joyful ones!

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  3. Happy Blogoversary!
    The cake looks really pretty!

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  4. Happy Blogoversary, Amy! The cake is so pretty, I love the marbling! Hugs!

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  5. Happy Blogoversary! That cake looks too pretty to eat...but I'd make an exception :)

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  6. That is one gigantic cake. I love the decorations. So pretty! Congratulations on the anniversary!

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  7. Happy Blogiversary, Amy! I love how you celebrate - you have style!

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  8. Congratulations on two years! It's fun to look back at the old posts and see how far everyone has come since the beginning! Fabulous cake to celebrate with, it looks delicious.

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  9. Congrats on the 2 years!!! I love the look of this cake! Great job! Here is to many more years!

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  10. Happy Blogiversary, Amy!! I love this cake! It's so cute, and I bet it's super delicious!

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  11. Many happy returns on 2 years of blogging, Amy. What a way to celebrate with such an adorable cake.

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  12. Congratulations, Amy! This cake is so cute. I get really excited when I get to cover cakes in bright colors and glitter and sprinkles too.

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  13. This looks yummy..Perfectly made..

    Aarthi
    http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com/

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  14. Congrats! This cake looks awesome - I love that it has an almond paste layer. Yum!

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  15. Congratulations!! Awesome job on your blog, and what a cake! :)

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  16. Congratulations :) 2 years that's a long time~ And i can't believe this amazing cake is vegan! So nicely decorated I love the multiple layers!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  17. Happy Anniversary!
    Happy Valentine's Day!
    And Congratulations!!! on your Top 9!

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  18. Happy Blogaversary, you made a beautiful cake to celebrate with. Congratulations on Top 9 and Happy Valentine's day!

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  19. This cake looks great! I would love it if you linked up this recipe to my blog hop for a chance to win a cookbook prize package: http://bit.ly/wJSl1h

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  20. Tienes un blog fascinante! Estoy aprendiendo mucho con ntus recetas!
    http://cocinaros.blogspot.com

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  21. What a delicious way to celebrate your Blogaversary. Happy 2nd Blogaversary:)

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  22. Congrats on 2 years! This cake is gorgeous and the perfect way to celebrate.

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  23. Beautiful cake Amy! Congrats on 2 years of blogging and thank you for sharing all your awesome creations!

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  24. Oh happy two year anniversary! And here's to many many more =)

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  25. Well, congratulations on over 3 years of blogging and thanks for this recipe, my husband made it last night for my birthday and it is absolutely delicious!!! he said is his new favorite, that it will make a delicious wedding cake. it is beautiful and delicious. I'll send you a picture.
    Congratulations and thank you for all your great blogging

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much :)! I am so happy you enjoyed the cake, Happy belated B-day :)!

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