Before January is out (at last!) I was keen to share a vegan recipe for Veganuary. Longtime readers may know that I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years, and often eat vegan. I’ve dabbled in vegan baking with varying degrees of success and have been searching for the perfect vegan chocolate cake for a while. At last, I think I’ve found it in Nigella’s ‘accidentally vegan’ chocolate cake: it’s dark, rich and moist – everything a chocolate cake should be – and simple to make to boot. You would never guess it’s vegan, and that’s my favourite kind of vegan and veggie cooking and baking – it just tastes that good and doesn’t need to shout that it’s vegan! To make the cake, you will need:
225 grams plain flour
1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
75 grams cocoa
300 grams soft dark brown sugar
375 millilitres hot water from a recently boiled kettle
75 grams coconut oil (90ml)
1½ teaspoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon edible rose petals, chopped pistachios or freeze dried raspberries.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and pop in a baking sheet at the same time. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. Put the flour, bicarb, salt and instant espresso and cocoa in a bowl and fork to mix.
Melt the coconut oil over a low heat, and mix in the sugar, water and vinegar.
Stir into the dry ingredients, then pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for 35 minutes, then leave to cool completely. Meanwhile, make a ganache icing: I used the one from this recipe, using coconut milk to keep things vegan and Nigella makes one with coconut butter in her recipe. Pour over the top of the cooled cake and sprinkle with your topping of choice.
Best enjoyed in a couple of days – if it lasts that long.