Doron Petersan’s recipe for Little Devils, taken from her cookbook Sticky Fingers’ Sweets: 100 Super-Secret Vegan Recipes, which was recently re-released in paperback, will remind you of the naughty post-school treats you’d buy at the counter before your Mom could scold you about snacking before dinner. Except she’s veganized the hell out of them and made them somehow yummier. Here’s the hows and whys from Doron;
The only thing missing from these lovely little mouthfuls of bliss is the thin foil wrapper I remember from once when. This is a completely selfish re-creation of one of my favorite bakery snacks from when I was a teen. They never get old, go out of style, or lose their zip. Still a best seller in our store today, these were my first try at treat re-creation. We cut ours into a handy 2 by 4-inch hand-held sweet. The prototypes were 4 by 4-inch squares. Preposterous, but I could eat the entire thing.
Makes 10 devils
- 2 2/3 cups (13.4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (2.6 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 2/3 cup (11.5 ounces) sugar
- ½ cup (2 ounces) cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups water
- 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (recommended: apply cider vinegar)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Creamy Vanilla Filling (*recipe below)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line a 17 by 11-inch baking sheet or baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the water, oil and vanilla, and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth.
- Fold in the vinegar until you begin to see streaks. Do not overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until the cake bounces back to the touch.
- Place the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely while you make the frosting.
- Turn the cake out onto a cutting board or work surface lined with parchment paper, with the bottom side of the cake facing up.
- Cut the cake in half horizontally so that you have two pieces that are about 10 by 8 inches.
- Spread the vanilla frosting across one of the halves, bottom side up.
- Place the unfrosted half on top of the frosted half, making sure that the top side of the cake faces up and the bottom side of the cake faces the frosting.
- In a double boiler, heat the chocolate chips until melted and smooth; spread the melted chocolate evenly over the top of the cake.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set up just a bit. Do not leave it in the refrigerator too long, or the chocolate will get too hard to cleanly cut.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the cake into 10 smaller cakes that are about 2 by 4 inches each. To get clean cuts, wipe your knife clean with a towel each time you run it through the cake.
*Creamy Vanilla Filling
Makes 2 cups
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (recommended: Earth Balance)
- 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (recommended: Earth Balance)
- 1 1/3 cups (6.25 ounces) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ to 1 tablespoon soymilk, as needed
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the shortening and margarine and whip with the paddle attachment until completely combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
- On low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar a little at a time.
- Add the vanilla and then the soymilk, and mix on low speed until the liquids are incorporated and the desired consistency is reached. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and mix on medium-high speed until all the ingredients are combined and the frosting is fluffy, about 2 minutes. To make the frosting go further, let it whip a little longer, adding some air for lift.
With a degree in Dietetics from the University of Maryland, Doron Petersan was determined to unlock the secrets of creating vegan counterparts to traditional guilt-laden foods. Since opening in 2002, Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats has been making waves. Accolades include being voted ‘Washington City Paper’s Best of DC’ bakery and vegan restaurant for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and ranking in The Washingtonian’s ‘Best Bites’. The Daily Meal also listed Sticky Fingers as one of the top 50 bakeries in the country. Doron and Head Baker Jenny Webb battled to claim Food Network’s Cupcake Wars grand prize twice. Doron has been featured on The Cooking Channel’s Not My Mama’s Meals as well as NBC’s The Today Show. Her first book, Sticky Fingers’ Sweets, was released in 2012, and was listed as a best-seller by The Denver Post.