Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cake with Berry Sorbet

Makes about 12 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups white spelt flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup chunky all-natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup cold Earth Balance
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup hazelnut milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ vegan semisweet chocolate chips

To serve:
Berry Sorbet (recipe follows)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10-inch square pan. (If you don’t have one, use a 9-inch pan and bake a couple of minutes longer.) In a large bowl use an electric mixer, combine the flour, brown sugar, peanut butter, Earth Balance, and salt, blending at low speed until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture. Stir well to combine, but do not overwork.

In a small bowl, with a small whisk, whip the flax seeds with ⅓ cup water until frothy. The mixture should resemble egg whites in texture. Add the whipped flax seeds, hazelnut milk, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla to the crumb mixture. Stir well to combine, but do not overwork.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top, and sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let cool to room temperature, then cut; serve with Berry Sorbet



Berry Sorbet
Make the base; let it chill as long as possible, preferably overnight, to intensify the flavors, then freeze in the ice cream maker 2 to 3 hours before serving. The amount of agave you use can vary, depending on how sweet the fruit is. Adjust as your palate desires; just remember that flavors tend to mellow after freezing.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (16-ounce) bags frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or a combination), defrost in the bags
  • ¾ cup agave nectar, or to taste
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon just (add less if your fruit is very tart)

Directions:
Put the berries and their liquid, along with 1 cup water, the agave nectar, and salt in a blender and puree until well blended.

Taste, then add the lemon juice and more agave nectar, if desired; blend again to briefly combine. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds. You should have about 4 cups of strained fruit liquid. Taste again, and adjust the sweetness and lemon juice if necessary.

Pour into a covered container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to the freezer to firm up if necessary, and let the sorbet sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften before serving.

Makes about 1 quart

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