Sunday, 19 July 2015

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Recently I was asked to make a birthday cake for a friend, since I love making cakes this was a very welcome request, until came the stipulation that it had to be vegan. oh... I've never made a vegan cake in my life! The idea quite baffled me I mean eggs and butter are pretty much a staple in cake. This would be quite a challenge! It also had to be sturdy enough to stand up to being carved and covered in fondant as they wanted a rollerskate cake (as a side note Renshaw Regal-Ice and Modelling paste is totally vegan!).

I set about researching in earnest for vegan cake recipes, there are a few out there, most of which use oil, I tried one of the highest rated ones. I don't know what it is about oil based cakes but they just don't do it for me, the flavour always seems to be lacking the richness that butter gives it and it just seems to taste flat to me, I also really don't like the texture. Maybe it's just me, but I really don't get on with those kinds of recipes! So 1 try down and it was just ick, fudgy to the point of cloying in your mouth, almost like unbaked cake batter.

But, I had an idea! You can buy vegan butter so that's a start, and eggless cakes are quite popular as well so maybe an eggless cake was the way to go and I could 'veganize' it from there. This was by far the best choice. I found a simple eggless chocolate sponge and adapted it from there with almond milk in place of skim milk and vegan butter instead of butter. I also divide the flour between self raising and plain for a bit more lightness and added in some dark chocolate to up the chocolate factor a bit. The result was deliciously rich, moist cake that was tasted pretty much like a normal sponge cake. 

I will say that a problem of vegan cake is that it is quite crumbly, probably due to the lack of eggs so I found it best to leave it to cool completely in the tin before trying to move it and then by using two plates to kind of flip it over so you're not lifting it out as it's likely to crack. It also is much more stable to next day when it's had time to settle but if you are using it for carving/decorating you do need to be a bit more gentle!

For carving the cake I layered it up with peanut butter frosting (vegan butter, icing sugar and peanut butter) and then wrapped it in greaseproof and foil and froze it before attempting to do anything with it. It actually worked out quite well with minimal crumbling, just make sure you have a very sharp knife. Before crumb coating it I chucked it back in the freezer for half and hour and made sure my frosting was not too cold or thick otherwise it would have pulled off the crumb. Then just proceeded as usual, chilling the crumbcoated cake before covering in frosting. It turned out quite well if I do say so myself! And went down quite a treat with the intended birthday person!
(I used this recipe for vegan royal icing)

Vegan Moxi Skate Cake
Vegan Chocolate Cake makes: 8" round
  • 170g Vegan Buter (I used Pure)
  • 50g Dark Chocolate
  • 160g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 2tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 250ml Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 100g Self Raising Flour
  • 70g Plain Flour
  • 55g Cocoa Powder
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/170c Fan/Gask Mark 4 and grease and line an 8" round tin with parchment paper. 
  2. In a saucepan melt together the Butter, Sugar, Syrup, Chocolate and Milk over a low heat, stirring to make sure its all combined. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. In a large bowl sift together the Flours, Cocoa Power, Baking Powder and Bicarbonate of Soda.
  4. Slowly pour in the wet ingredients and stir together until smooth and completely combined. (I find usign a whisk is really useful if you get any lumps.) It will be quite a liquid batter.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan give a little shak to even it out and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cook in the pan completely before transferring to a serving plate. (To remove the paper from the bottom I found it easiset to turn out upside down onto a plate, remove the paper than flip it back over onto the serving plate.)
Served on its own with a dollop of lightly whipped cream its completely delicious and rich. I paired mine with a peanut butter frosting for the cake

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