Four-Eyed Girlie Goes Vegan for a Good Cause!

This weekend, I was proud to be a part of the FNA Foundation‘s 1st ever Pop-Up Food Stand. My friends + I started this foundation to raise funds for various charities supporting better living through food and art, and also because we really wanted to bring cool and exciting events to a city we all love: Long Beach. We are lucky that one of our founding members is Joni Marie Newman, vegan cookbook author and chef extraordinaire – so we used all of her amazing recipes to create 9 unique menu items. We served three kinds of mashed potatoes (Avocado-Lime/Garlic Truffle/Wasabi), three kinds of tacos (Tempeh Adobo/Jackfruit Carnitas/Deep-Fried Avocado), and three kinds of desserts (Avocado Coconut Lime Tarts/Mexicannolis/Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake Truffles).

As you can probably imagine, I was especially drawn to making the desserts. All three were delicious, but my absolute favorite were the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake Truffles dusted with Cinnamon and Cayenne. These sweet treats have an incredible balance of super-rich and fudgy goodness, mixed with just a touch of heat. It was the 1st time I’ve ever baked a vegan dessert myself, and honestly — I’d dare anyone to try these and exclaim they’re anything but AMAZING. They are so good that I begged Joni to share the recipe with you here. You simply MUST try these! To make these, you’ll need all three components found below: the cake recipe, ganache recipe and the truffle-making instructions.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake Truffles
(adapted from Joni Marie Newman at

To make these truffles, you’ll need to first prepare the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake and the Chocolate Chili Ganache

  • Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake (see below for recipe)
  • Chocolate Chili Ganache (see below for recipe)
  • chocolate chips
  • cinnamon
  • cayenne pepper
  • In a bowl, smash cake together with ganache until well incorporated and doughy.
  • Form into balls (smaller than golf balls, bigger than a piece of See’s candy)  and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or parchment.
  • Insert a toothpick into each ball.
  • Place in the freezer.
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler
  • Once balls are cold/frozen dip in chocolate to coat.
  • Return to tray and freezer to harden.
  • Mix together 2 parts cinnamon to 1 part cayenne pepper
  • Once hardened, sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon cayenne mixture.
  • Place in a cupcake paper and serve!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake (adapted from Kittee Berns’ Chocolate Wacky Cake)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups cold water
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray pan with nonstick spray.
  • Mix together dry.
  • Mix together wet.
  • Add wet to dry and combine
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool to the touch before mixing with Ganache.
Chocolate Chili Ganache (adapted from Joni Marie Newman at
  • ½ cup vanilla silk creamer
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Heat creamer until it just begins to boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, extract and chipotle powder.
  • Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is silky smooth.
  • Allow to cool enough to touch before mixing into cake.
I was proud to be a part of this event and help execute all this amazing food for such a great cause! To find out more information about the FNA Foundation’s upcoming events, follow us on Facebook.

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