Organic Cakes and Bakeries in the Bay Area
I was going to do this great in depth article on fluoridated water, but then someone mentioned cake. When it comes to cake, I’m rather like that sweet dog, Dug, in the movie “UP”, who can carry a train of thought just until he spots a, “Squirrel!” Diverted from my serious and informative article on our tap water, my brain shouted, “Cake!” And before I knew it, I was researching organic bakeries and cake-makers here in the Bay Area. It seemed only fitting (so distracted) to give you all the same break and talk about cake instead of water. For those of you for whom cake holds little or no interest, never fear, the fluoride article will appear. Unless I get sidetracked again by something sweet.
La Boulange Bakery – San Francisco, CA. Several Locations around the city.
Petite Patisserie – San Francisco, CA. 1415 18th Street. 415.794.0319
Vitale Vittles – Berkeley, CA 94702. 510-644-2022
My Most Favorite Organic Chocolate Cake Recipe:
Note: I often halve this recipe, as it makes a large cake, which is great for making a layer cake if you so desire.
1 1/2 C organic sugar
1 1/3 C organic all purpose flour
2/3 C fair trade unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C strong fresh-brewed coffee*
3/4 C hemp milk
1/2 C organic butter, room temperature
2 large organic, free range eggs
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325° F. Butter 17 1/4 by 11 1/2 inch jelly roll pan.** Line pan with parchment paper. Sift first six ingredients*** into large bowl. Whisk coffee, hemp milk, butter, eggs and vanilla in medium bowl. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients; mix just until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake cake until tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack. Using small knife, cut around edges of pan. Turn cake out onto work surface. Peel off parchment. Trim rough edges. Frost. I like to top this cake with fresh flowers from the garden. Edible ones are especially fun. Consult your library or local gardening expert before eating any flower.
* You may substitute hemp milk for coffee if you prefer.
** I have never used this size pan. I use a 9×9 square or round cake pan.
*** I have also never sifted these ingredients. Sifting is fabulous, and will lead to a lovely, smooth-textured, dense, yet light cake.
My Favorite Organic Frosting:
1/2 C + 2 tbs. (1.25 stick) organic butter (room temperature)
5 C organic confectioners (powdered) sugar
8 tbs. hemp milk (part, or all, of this can be substituted with a flavored liqueur such as coffee, orange, raspberry, etc.)
1 1/4 tsp. organic vanilla extract
3/4 C + 2 tbs. fair trade cocoa powder (if a non-chocolate frosting is desired, use powdered sugar instead of cocoa)
Cream butter and slowly add about 1/4 of the sugar. Slowly add hemp milk or liqueur while mixing. Add rest of sugar slowly and cocoa (if using cocoa). Add vanilla.
I made this cake last week, and in a moment of overindulgence, age a huge piece of it at about 9:30 p.m. I go to bed at about 9:30 p.m. and the combination of chocolate, sugar, sugar, sugar and coffee did me no favors while trying to get some sleep. In light of that, I highly recommend eating it for breakfast instead.
Headline Image © Steve Broyles 2010