Sunday, 29 November 2015

Nigella's Not-Just-For-Vegans Vegan Chocolate Cake

In a recent episode of her new series Nigella shared a recipe for her "Dark and Sumptuous Chocolate Cake" that she says "might just be one of the best chocolate cakes you have ever eaten". There's a challenge if ever there was one. Better than her Chocolate Marmalade Cake? Better than a Chocolate Guinness Cake? And vegan?? Hmmm.

I'm always up for a challenge though when it comes to sampling chocolate cakes so, for the benefit of anyone who happens to read this, I thought I'd give it a try.

Vegan, of course, means no butter and no eggs (or any other animal product of course). Instead the recipe calls for coconut oil and coconut butter. Luckily I already had some coconut oil and managed to find coconut butter in my local Holland and Barrett. Beware though, this stuff is not cheap. A 250g jar is over £7 but luckily I had a 20% of voucher to soften the blow a little. Add to that 150g of dark chocolate and you have a pretty costly cake.

So was it worth it?

In short, yes! Seriously, this is a pretty amazing cake. The cake itself is dark and moist but still light with just the vaguest hint of coconut in the background (but don't let that put you off if you're not a fan). Ultimately though, this cake is all about the icing. Obviously the fact that it contains 150g of dark chocolate is a big help and this, combined with coconut butter, sugar and instant espresso power, made for something pretty special. Overall it has a very dark, rich chocolatey flavour so if you like your chocolate cakes more on the sweet side then this may not be for you but it was a big winner for me.

You can find the recipe on Nigella's website here.

For the record...

* The expensive coconut oil and butter can be substituted for 90ml of any vegetable oil and regular butter or margarine.
* I was concerned that my cake tin wouldn't be watertight enough for the running mix so decided to line it with foil before greasing and lining the base with parchment. This worked just fine.
* It took around 15 minutes longer than the recommended time for mine to cook through to the centre.
*My icing was not very runny by the time the cake was cool enough but it was still spreadable so didn't cause me any problems.

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