As much as I love a good, healthy, raw, vegan dessert; sometimes I just want a NORMAL cake. Full of chocolate, sugar and all things bad for me.
So much of being vegan or plant-based means that you don’t necessarily enjoy what you used to, or you have to settle with an ok version made with a crazy amount of nuts. Yes, I do adore these foods when you find THE recipe, but so much of the time it’s too good to be true and you’re left with a flavourless meal (that you really thought might taste like real cheese this time.)
Some vegans really don’t mind these knock-off versions of dairy-laden dishes, as do I sometimes. But I still love and crave dairy. I love the taste of meat, but I love animals more. So here I am, blasting through the world of dairy and meat substitutes.
One thing I can sure make is a vegan chocolate cake. This thing is what I’ve been waiting for! A cake with ingredients I recognise. Ingredients that I have in my cupboard. A cake crumb that’s moist and fudgey. AND IT DOESNT TASTE LIKE COCONUT! (You all know the wonders of coconut, but practically all sweet animal friendly foods taste like coconut, and I’m so sick of it.)
I honestly think this cake is just as good as a ‘normal’ sponge cake using butter and eggs. Everyone needs this recipe in their back pocket, armed for cake emergencies.
As the saying goes; a balanced diet is a chocolate bar in both hands. A slice of chocolate cake in each hand counts too right?
Ingredients – makes one x 8 inch cake
- 375g plain flour
- 70g cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 230g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 400ml almond milk (or other nut milk)
- 100g coconut oil, melted
- dash of vanilla extract
- zest of 2 oranges
Raspberry Chia Jam
- 150g raspberries
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- dash of maple syrup (or other natural liquid sweetener)
- 2 tsp. chia seeds
- extra raspberries for garnish (optional)
- 150g good quality dark chocolate
- 50g almond milk
- 1/2 orange, juice
Begin by pre-heating your oven to 170°C. Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins with baking parchment.
In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sugar. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the milk and cider vinegar until its slightly frothy. Add in the coconut oil, vanilla and zest of 2 oranges. Add the wet mixture into the dry in three additions, combining the cake batter each time. Once the mix has come together (don’t over mix it), divide it between your two cake tins and back for 20-25 minutes or until a cake skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tins for 10 minutes to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Whilst your cake is baking, you can get on with making the chia jam and ganache. For the chia jam, simply mash the raspberries with the lemon juice and maple syrup. Once completely mashed to a pulp, stir in the chia seeds and let sit until you’re ready to use (the longer the better to give the chia seeds enough time to plump up and thicken the jam.)
For the ganache, melt the chocolate and almond milk in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Whisk together to make a silky ganache. Gradually add in the orange juice. If it starts to split just place the bowl over the heat again and whisk until emulsified. Once the ganache is shiny and silky, either leave to thicken at room temperature or if you’re strapped for time, place into the fridge for a few minutes (keep an eye here as it make harden too much to spread.)
Trim the cakes on top if they aren’t completely flat, and layer the raspberry jam in between. Sandwich the top chocolate cake on top and lather the ganache over the top, letting it drip down the sides. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
*This cake freezes really well. Simply cut into portions, wrap and freeze. Defrosts like it was just baked!