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A Scrumptious Chocolate Cake – Perfect for February

1 February 2011 One Comment Print article Print article

February and chocolate seem to go hand in hand, particularly if you’re thinking of cooking up something sweet for your Valentine. This month we are fortunate enough to have a recipe donated by Award-winning Vegetarian Chef Mark Shadle, owner of the infamous “It’s Only Natural Restaurant” in Middletown, Connecticut.  The following is a house favorite:


Vegan Friendly – Serves 10-12 – Prep time 1 hour

Wet mix:

1 cup canola oil

2 ½ cups organic maple syrup

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup apple juice


Raspberry Preserves

1 cup toasted hazelnuts crushed

Dry Mix:

3 Cups organic whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup cocoa powder

3 Tablespoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil and flour three 8 inch cake pans. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry mix- do not over mix. Pour equal amounts of batter into cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees on top of sheet pan for 20 minutes. Turn and bake 5-10 minutes longer. Center should be springy and cake should pull away from sides. Cool in pans and turn onto cooling rack and finish cooling.


Cut layers in half with serrated knife. Alternate raspberry preserves, then frosting  (recipe to follow) and chopped hazelnuts between all layers.  Garnish with remaining hazelnuts.

Chocolate Frosting:


3 boxes silken tofu (firm)

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 quart of vegan chocolate chips


Melt the vegan chocolate chips in a double broiler. Let melt, stirring as needed. Using a food precessor, process tofu until smooth and creamy. Add melted chocolate chips and process until smooth.

Let cool and spread with love and lots of chanting……. Shri Ram

Mark’s cookbook “Vegan Recipes from ION, It’s Only Natural Restaurant” is dedicated to Mark’s mother Carol Shadle, who passed away 3 years ago to cancer. Half of the proceeds of the cookbook will be donated to DYC. The book is available for purchase at the restaurant or send a check for 14.00 including shipping to Shadle Farm: 423 Haddam Quarter Road Durham CT 06422.  The book is in its second edition.

To read more about Chef Mark Shadle and his recent official visit to the White House please visit or about the organic farm that Mark and Ami share together. and the new VEGAN TRAVELING RESTURANT  on wheels they are launching in March 2011 called Gmonkey Mobile for more info contact Mark or Ami @ 860-989-5020.



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One Comment »

  • Renana Magee said:

    Actually, the Cookbook is by Renana Magee and Mark Shadle, co-owners of It’s Only Natural Restaurant, and orders should be sent to: It’s Only Natural Restaurant (I.O.N.), 386 Main Street, Mailbox #106, Middletown, CT 06457. Namaste

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