Friday, December 01, 2023

SIMPLE VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

One of my greatest moments in growing up was realising that one does not have to have a really special occasion to make and enjoy a cake, and that is what I wholeheartedly recommend even to this day. There is nothing better than preparing a simple everyday chocolate cake with ingredients that are already in the cupboard. Quick and easy to prepare, yet so very delicious.
Few things in life are as wonderful as enjoying some quiet time with a slice of cake, a cup of strong coffee, and a good book. And for those moments, chocolate cakes are simply the best.
With two layers of moist chocolate cake and a glorious mousse filling and frosting, this little weekday gem is just amazing as an afternoon treat. Truly best served with a cup of strong coffee, and some chopped nuts of your choice, for a lovely little crunch.


Ingredients
For the soft chocolate cake
150 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
100 grams granulated sugar
100 grams light brown sugar
big pinch of salt
120 millilitres hot water
2 heaping teaspoons instant coffee granules
35 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
60 millilitres oil
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 heaping tablespoons ground flaxseed
5 tablespoons cold water
150 grams vegan vanilla yoghurt
For the chocolate mousse filling
120 grams dark chocolate (80% cocoa solids)
200 millilitres plant double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


Preparation
Start by making the lovely chocolate mousse filling. Chop up the chocolate finely, add it to a medium saucepan, and pour in the plant double cream. Add in the vanilla and place it over medium heat. Gently stir with a spatula as everything melts together. As soon as it is all blended and ready, remove it from the heat, and let it cool down to room temperature. Cover the top with a piece of cling film or baking parchment, and place it into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably six.
To make the soft chocolate cake layers, start by adding the ground flaxseed into a small bowl, and pouring in the cold water. Mix very well and place it into the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes, until it starts to gel. Set the oven to preheat to 180°C.
Take another small bowl, add in the cocoa powder and instant coffee granules, and pour in the hot water. Mix well and let it sit for a few minutes, to bloom the cocoa.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl, add in both types of sugar and the salt, and mix well. Make a well in the very centre and add in the oil, vanilla, bloomed cocoa powder, prepared flax eggs, as well as the vegan yoghurt. Gently stir until the batter comes together. No need to mix vigorously or for too long, as the cakes need to be as tender as possible.
Prepare two small round baking pans (15 cm) by lining them with baking parchment, and then evenly divide the cake batter between them. This is best done by weight, but estimation works well enough, too. Bake them immediately, in a nicely preheated oven, at 180°C, for 18-20 minutes. Test them with a toothpick to make sure they are done. Let them cool in the pans completely.
When everything is cool and ready, proceed to assemble the cake. Level the cakes, if necessary, and set them aside for the time being.
Take the filling out of the refrigerator, and whip it into a mousse, using an electric mixer on the highest setting. It should be able to hold stiff peaks, and be quite dense and rich. Divide the mousse filling into two parts, one for the filling, and one to use as frosting.
Place the first cake layer on the serving platter, and carefully spread on the first portion of the chocolate mousse. Top with the other layer, and decorate the cake with the rest of the mousse. Place it into the refrigerator for at least eight hours. When ready, slice it into rich slices, and serve with additional dark chocolate shavings, toasted nuts of your choice, and strong coffee. Yields 10 servings.

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