Friday, January 20, 2023


When I was very young, we had a milk chocolate bar that was filled with rum fondant, and it still is, hands down, my favourite bar of chocolate. It has been discontinued since, sadly, but my love for the combination of rum and chocolate remains.
Caramel, I find, is one of the additions to chocolate cakes and chocolate in general, that pretty much everyone enjoys. The rich flavour of cooked sugar combined with the chewiness of the caramel itself is a true delight all on its own, but it can also give such a wonderful depth to any cake, especially a chocolate one.
Chocolate rum fudge cake, topped with homemade caramel sauce, a layer of dark chocolate ganache, and finally, a billowy cloud of whipped cream. Absolute indulgence on a plate.
It is best served with strong coffee, to balance the sweetness, but a small glass of rum will always be welcome, of course.

For the chocolate rum cake
150 grams plain flour
50 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
80 grams granulated sugar
100 grams dark brown sugar
180 millilitres soy milk
40 grams vegan vanilla yoghurt
20 millilitres dark rum
1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
80 millilitres vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
For the homemade caramel sauce
150 grams granulated sugar
150 millilitres plant double cream
40 grams vegan block butter, diced
¼ teaspoon salt
For the dark chocolate ganache
150 grams dark chocolate (75%)
200 millilitres plant double cream
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the decoration
100 millilitres plant double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
chocolate shavings, optional

A few hours before making the cake, make the vegan caramel sauce. Pour the sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and place it over medium heat. Let the sugar heat up slowly, only gently swirling the pan, without any stirring. Let the sugar slowly melt and cook, but not burn.
Once the sugar becomes amber in colour, remove the pan from the heat and immediately add in the diced butter, being very careful, because it will bubble up. Stir vigorously until blended, and add in the cream and the salt. Whisk until everything is combined well, returning to the heat for a few moments, if necessary. Remove from the heat and transfer to a safe container so it can cool down completely.

To make the chocolate rum cake, sift the flour into a large bowl, sift in the dark cocoa powder, and add in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk briefly, add in the sugars, and whisk well to incorporate. Make a well in the centre, pour in all of the wet ingredients, and whisk until blended. Line a rectangular baking pan (20x20 cm) with baking parchment, and immediately bake, in an oven preheated to 180°C, for about 15-20 minutes. Check the cake even before the 15-minute mark, to make sure it does not overbake. Take it out of the oven, and let it cool down to room temperature.
As the cake is cooling, make the chocolate ganache. Chop up the chocolate and bring the cream almost to a boil, then pour it over the chocolate and set it aside so it starts to melt. Mix the ganache vigorously with a spatula until everything is melted, then let it cool down to room temperature, so it is cool to the touch, but still pourable.

To assemble the cake, if you have taken it out of the baking pan, return it, or place the cake onto the serving platter, and close a cake frame around it, and pour the caramel sauce all over it. Tap the pan onto the counter a few times, to settle the caramel, and then pour the ganache over it. Place the cake into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Before serving, whip up the plant double cream, top each serving, and enjoy. Yields 9 rich servings.