After hearing about it for so long, I finally got around to watching Blackfish this weekend. I had actually taped* it when it aired on CNN, but kept putting off watching it since I knew it was going to be a heartbreaking documentary. I was not disappointed! I actually had to rev myself up for it; I was already watching Gasland 2 and I figured I’d have myself a little documentary night. Philip was just an innocent bystander in the matter and was just as depressed by the end as I was. In case you aren’t familiar, Blackfish is a documentary about the horrible reality of orcas in captivity, with the main focus being on entertainment based marine parks such as SeaWorld. I have always disagreed with the concept of animals being kept in captivity for profit, but hearing stories from various trainers who had worked at these facilities was both eye opening and devastating.
Overall I think it was an incredible documentary and I highly recommend watching it. Whether you’re for or against animals in captivity, I think it’s always good to hear both sides of the argument, it’s the same reason I like to watch Fox News from time to time….sure it usually ends with me screaming at the tv, but at least I’ve heard their opinion. I’ll admit that I haven’t seen a lot of the animal rights documentaries, I tried watching Earthlings once but had to stop since my eyesight turned into a blurry watering mess from crying so much. I like to think that I don’t need to watch these things but when movies such as The Cove or Blackfish come out, no matter how much I think I know about these subjects, there’s always something new to learn and strengthen my resolve for animal rights. Plus it gives me more of a voice when arguments are at hand, instead of going “I know it’s wrong but I can’t put into words why” I can now say “I know it’s wrong and this is why.”
To overcome the horrible feeling left in the pit of my stomach from watching Blackfish, I did what any logical person would do, I made cake.
Odd transition I know, but hey, it’s exactly what I did! I wanted to have a delicious coffee cake to wake up to the next day and with pumpkin in hand I got baking. I’m officially on my last can of pumpkin, I know, crazy right? And when I say last, I mean I’m refusing to open any more. I’ve got 2 to 3 more cups to use up and then I’m tucking the pumpkin away for another year since I’ve pretty much made myself sick of the stuff, and I’m sure you as well. The funny thing is that I still have 5 or 6 more pumpkin recipes I’ve made that I haven’t even posted on the blog yet! I’m thinking a round-up is in order when this is all over.
One of my favorite things about this coffee cake is that it’s filled with pumpkin but doesn’t scream all up in your face pumpkin, you know what I mean? It’s more of a subtle flavor. Philip’s feelings about pumpkin are pretty lukewarm but he ate it up and went back for more. Dude even accused me of using Betty Crocker mix! What the what? Ok, he wasn’t totally being serious because them there be fightin’ words, but according to Philip, it’s light and fluffy like a Betty Crocker cake, but ya know, fresh tasting. That Betty chick can make a mean cake, so as far as compliments go that’s pretty rad in my books.
The batter is pretty thick, so don’t for a second think you did something wrong and add more liquid, thick is what you want.
This cake is good anytime (duh) but even better when it’s slightly warm. With every bite you get soft fluffy cake mixed with crunchy sweet streusel, gah! So much deliciousness! Totally perfect for breakfast, dessert or directly after watching a sad documentary.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons non-dairy margarine, room temp
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon all-spice
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons non-dairy milk
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
- Preheat an oven to 350°F. Oil a 9-inch springform pan or a 9-inch cake pan with 3-inch sides.
- To make the streusel, in a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add the butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- To make the cake, in a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. In a larger bowl, whisk together the milk and apple cider vinegar, let set for a few minutes to curdle, then mix in the pumpkin, sugars and oil. Stir in the flour mixture, being careful not to over mix. The batter will be quite thick.
- Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Dollop the remaining batter over the streusel and spread the thick batter as best you can. Top with the remaining streusel.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove the sides from the pan and slide the cake onto the rack.
- When the cake has cooled make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, milk and extract. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Cut into thick wedges and serve.