Thursday, June 30, 2011

Refried beans and a cake with balls

A cake with balls??? No, this isn't a typo in the title of this post, as you can see this cake does have balls. I felt it was necessary to put this photo at the top of the post to prove that I wasn't being rude. The title popped into my head and gave me a chuckle so I decided to stick with it.

It was the man's birthday earlier this week and due to his infatuation with my rum balls, choc-mint balls and jaffa balls, I had an idea a while ago to bake him a chocolate cake and adorn it with chocolately balls of different varieties. I decided to try the chocolate cake and frosting from The Joy of Vegan Baking; these recipes are detailed in the samples on the author Colleen Patrick Gordeau's website.

This cake was lovely and moist although I think the man would have been even more impressed if he was presented with one enormous jaffa or choc-mint ball!

As we are going out for dinner on the weekend with family, the man was happy to dine at home on his birthday night so I allowed him to choose whatever he would like to eat. It was no surprise to me that he selected Mexican as the cuisine although I wasn't expecting refried beans to be his request.

Naturally I decided to use my beloved Viva Vegan for the recipes and selected the standard refried beans, cilantro-lime rice, cashew crema, guacamole and winter salsa. The winter salsa uses tinned tomatoes and is a variation on the fresh tomato salsa recipe which I hadn't noticed before. Terry's explanation for this recipe variation sums up how I feel about tomatoes right now. Every time I stroll past tomatoes at the fruit & veg shop or supermarket I feel disgusted with the price and disappointed with the lack of quality so I keep on walking.

Once again, it was another successful Mexican night thanks to Viva Vegan and the man was happy with his choice. As I am such a thoughtful wife, I also made something special for dinner the night before his big day so he could have the leftovers for a tasty birthday lunch. This will have to wait until next post. For now, I will leave you with this easy peasy but tasty tomato salsa that works so well when you don't have any fresh tomatoes on hand. 

Winter Salsa (Adapted from Viva Vegan)

1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes
10 slices jalapeno peppers, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Drain some of the liquid from the tinned tomatoes and place them into a bowl. Stir through the other ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve. 


  1. Love cakes with balls - did one for Sylvia's christening and when we gave it to the hotel where we had the reception with berries to serve with it they piled them in the centre and they looked really impressive. Mexican sounds like an excellent birthday culinary theme esp in your household - hope you had a good family dinner too

  2. Thanks Johanna, when I was planning the cake I thought about covering the top entirely in balls but then decided it would be overkill. This cake has nothing on your awesome creations! We did have a nice family dinner as well, thanks.