Friday, November 12, 2021


When baking a simple, humble snack cake, affectionately called the everyday cake, it all comes down to the texture. The soft fudge-like cake, contrasted by the dense melted chocolate that is slowly setting over it, and the hard crunch of the abundant sprinkling of pistachios. A feast for all senses.
And when it comes to serving this lovely, wholesome cake – I generally prefer generous servings of any dessert, so I usually cut it in nine very pieces, however, it can be sliced into sixteen smaller pieces. That is particularly handy if it is served to the little ones or at a smaller gathering.
Regardless of how you decide to serve it, I strongly recommend glazing each piece separately, on the serving plates themselves, as that will ensure the chocolate topping will only barely start to set, giving this cake a wonderful texture experience. Serve it with cold milk, strong coffee, or even caramel brandy, and enjoy.

For the vegan snack cake
150 grams dark chocolate (50% cocoa solids)
120 grams vegan block butter, unsalted
150 grams light brown sugar
20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
150 grams vanilla soya yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
100 grams plain flour
small pinch of baking soda
For the orange caramel
250 millilitres orange juice, fresh or shop-bought and unsweetened
100 grams light brown sugar
small pinch of salt
For the chocolate topping
50 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
50 grams cooking chocolate (50% cocoa solids)
20 grams vegan block butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
chopped pistachios, optional

Chop up the chocolate into small pieces, dice the butter, and add both to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and let the mixture slowly heat up and melt until it becomes smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat, add in the sugar and the cocoa powder, and mix well. Add in the yoghurt and the vanilla, and once again mix well, until smooth. Finally, sift in the flour and the baking soda, and fold it through gently, until the majority of it has been incorporated, being careful not to overmix the batter.
Line a small rectangular baking pan (20x20 cm) with baking parchment, pour in the batter, smooth it out, and bake immediately in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 25 minutes. As every oven is slightly different, check the cake with a toothpick to make sure it is baked through, but not overbaked. If the toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached to it, the cake is done. Once ready, remove it from the oven, and let it cool down to room temperature.
While the cake is cooling down, make the orange caramel. Pour the orange juice into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, tip in the sugar, and gently swirl the pan, to all of the sugar is moistened. Place it over medium-high heat and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, and let it simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes, or until reduced to a third of the volume. Remove from the heat, add a pinch of salt, and whisk well. Let it cool down slightly, and evenly pour over the cake that is cooling in the pan. Once all of the caramel glaze is absorbed, let the cake cool down completely, and then place it into the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
When ready to serve, chop up the chocolate and place it into a small saucepan, or a microwave safe bowl. Add in the vegan block butter and the oil, and let it melt slowly, until perfectly combined. Slice the cake into 9 generous servings, glaze each of them, sprinkle them with chopped pistachios, if using; and as soon as the chocolate topping starts to set, it is ready to be served. Yields 9 rich servings.

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