Ready, Steady, Bake: A Firm Favourite
Our culinary journey over the last 10 weeks started with a delicious low fat carrot cake and continued with a visit to a hearty wholemeal loaf, healthier ginger crunches and a low fat chicken and leek pie to name just a few. For our final recipe of the series we wanted to draw on the universally loved favourite: Chocolate Cake!
A Healthy Twist
For our healthy twist this week, we decided that rather than draw away from the ever so amazing flavour of this sumptuous treat, instead we would turn to a healthier lifestyle. Veganism has been reported to lower body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also said that those following the plant based diet tend to consume more vitamin C, vitamin E, fibre, folate, potassium, and magnesium. Do bear in mind that by only eating sweet vegan treats, you sadly wouldn’t be able to expect these benefits!
Our recipe uses dairy free spread instead of butter, a non-dairy milk (such as oat or soya) instead of cow’s and it is completely egg free. You should be fairly gentle with how you handle the sponges after they’ve baked because, whilst they will be amazingly moist and decadent, they will also hold together slightly less firmly than if you had used eggs to bind them. It’s still an absolutely delicious cake, and certainly one to add to the repertoire for a special occasion.
Vegan Chocolate Cake*
Prep time: 35 mins Cook time: 20 minutes
- 150g dairy-free spread, plus extra for the tins
- 300ml dairy-free milk, (oat, soya, almond etc.)
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 300g self-raising flour
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
For the buttercream
- 60g dairy-free dark chocolate
- 120g dairy-free spread
- 240g icing sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp dairy-free milk (as used earlier)
- A selection of berries
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Generously grease and then line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.
Put the dairy-free milk in a jug and add the vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes – it will split but don’t worry, this is supposed to happen. Put all of the other cake ingredients into a large bowl and pour over the milk mixture. Stir this well until smooth. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out cleanly. Leave it to cool in the tins for 10 mins then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely – be careful when handling the sponges as they are not quite as stable as cakes that use eggs.
To make the buttercream, put the chocolate into a glass bowl and slowly melt over a pan half filled with simmering water (or heat carefully in a microwave, stirring frequently). Leave the melted chocolate to cool for 5 minutes. Beat the dairy-free spread and icing sugar together with a wooden spoon then sift in the cocoa powder with a pinch of salt. Pour in the melted chocolate and dairy-free milk and keep mixing until smooth.
Once your sponges have cooled completely, sandwich them together with half of the buttercream then spread the rest on top and down the sides. Decorate with the fresh fruit… and enjoy!
*Please note, the image used here is from stock photography. For a link to the original recipe and their picture, please click here.