Offering up a recipe featured on my food Instagram account @rosie_cooks, this is my own recipe for vegan chocolate cake. For those looking to embody some bake-off flare without the kitchen stress, this is a good place to look for inspiration. Despite what you may think at a first glance, this is a super simple recipe, and really fun to bake. I have designed this recipe to keep costs low, but for the more inventive cooks, substitute in apple sauce or flax seed eggs instead of oil. As a serving suggestion, fresh fruit and coconut cream cut through the decadence of this very rich and dense cake.
For the cake:
- 275g plain flour
- 100g cocoa powder (the higher the quality
the more rich the cake will be – if you prefer
milk chocolate I’d suggest using drinking hot
chocolate powder, if you like dark chocolate
then use cocoa powder)
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150g caster sugar
- 170g brown sugar
- 450ml non-dairy milk (I use almond milk)
- 320ml sunflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the ganache:
- 50g dark chocolate (make sure its dairy free
Aldi has some good choices)
- 150ml non-dairy milk (again almond milk is
a good choice)
For the hazelnut praline and spun sugar (optional):
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- Handful of chopped hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 160 °C and prepare a cake tin by greasing the sides and putting some parchment paper on the base.
- Sift all of the dry ingredients into a bowl (flour, cocoa powder, bicarb of soda, baking powder) and use a whisk to combine.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the rest of the ingredients into this well (sugars, nondairy milk, sunflower oil, vanilla extract.)
- Start by whisking the wet ingredients together in the centre and then gradually incorporate all of the dry ingredients until you are left with a thick doublecream-consistency batter.
- Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for around 45 minutes. Test the cake is done by placing a sharp knife or skewer into the centre and check that it comes out clean. Your cake may take up to an hour to bake as ovens vary.
While the cake is baking you can get going on the decorations and ganache.
- Finely chop the dark chocolate and place in a bowl.
- Heat up the milk until it is steaming and then pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute or two and then stir to combine. The heat from the milk should melt the chocolate and leave you with a nice glossy consistency. If there are still some chocolate chunks, place the whole mixture in the microwave for 10 second intervals until it’s smooth.
- Set aside the ganache at room temp – it will harden to a spreadable consistency as the cake bakes.
(Making caramel is quite tricky but be patient and don’t worry if it takes you a few attempts.)
- Prepare your work surface by placing a large sheet of greaseproof paper on the bench.
- Cover the base of your pan with sugar and then add the two tablespoons of water and place on a low heat.
- Slowly swirl the pan, holding the handle to mix the two ingredients together and then let it darken in colour until it looks like caramel.
- You can test if your caramel is ready by dropping some in a glass of water and seeing if it floats.
- Once the caramel is ready simply spin it into some artistic shapes on your greaseproof paper and it will harden to a solid.
- Combine the remaining caramel with the chopped hazelnuts to make a quick praline to give your cake a crunchy topping.
To assemble the cake:
Make sure the cake is cool and turn it out onto a plate. Spread about a third of the ganache
on the first layer and then place the second layer on top and cover with the rest of the ganache. Use your decorations how you wish. I crumble the praline and place it around the edge and then I stick the caramel in the centre of the cake.
Whether you’re already an expert baker or only just dabbling, this is a wonderful recipe to try and also gives you an idea of how tasty vegan treats can be.