This is my favourite chocolate cake... for one of my favourite friends.
I'm sure I've said this before, but I'm really grateful that my friends and family are patient of my love of veganizing everything that normally is packed with butter and eggs.
One of my bestest buds had her birthday last week, and I personally decided to be in charge of her cake. (All hail Queen Jessica?) She's a special person in my life (my sister "adopted" her in high school, and I've totally welcomed this), so I really wanted this cake to be special. BUT I still can be so stubborn about how I like to bake. And - in all honesty - I haven't made a "normal" non-vegan cake in ages, so I was actually a bit intimidated about using a traditional recipe including butter and eggs - a hint given to me by the bday girl.
Luckily, way back last September I made this carob birthday cake. It was my favourite cake that I ever did make. When my galpal requested chocolate and coffee for her birthday cake, I knew the carob recipe - but this time with chocolate - would be perfect for her.
This cake is so dang good you won't even miss the eggs and butter! PROMISE! BUT if you are trying to please a special person, shove as much coffee flavoured ice cream as physics permits into the middle of the cake. Just a suggestion.
Chocolate Cake - What you need:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup white beans (I used canned, rinse them well!)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (around 1 large banana)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 grams of agar agar powder
- 100 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 cup hot freshly brewed coffee
Chocolate Cake - What you do:
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celsius (325F).
Prepare 3 16-centimeter (approximately 6 inches OR two 23 centimeter/9-inch cake pans) by greasing the pans with margarine or butter, and then coating the pans with flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Blend together the beans, vegetable oil, and banana in a food processor until completely smooth.
In a large bowl, add the sugar and the bean mixture. Beat well until everything is incorporated and smooth.
Add the vinegar and vanilla, and again beat well.
Place the chopped chocolate and the agar agar in a small bowl. Top off with the coffee and allow the mixture to sit until the chocolate melts. Once the chocolate starts to melt, whisk the mixture together until the chocolate is completely melted and the agar agar is dissolved.
Add the hot chocolate and agar agar mixture to the sugar/bean mixture. Beat the two together well. In 3 additions, add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir well after each addition. The batter should be smooth and thick.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake at 160C for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting. For the first time I did some level-ing action with first two cakes to help them frost well. I just cooled them completely and then used a serrated knife to take off the domed tops.
I took about a circle of the cake in the middle layer.
I filled it up with coffee ice cream.
I frosted it all up.
Do the same thing in a vegan version by simply using a banana "ice cream" (aka: frozen bananas blended until they reach an ice cream consistency) or your favourite chilled dessert. Even a chocolate mousse could work perfectly here.
I used a simple chocolate frosting for this cake.
Chocolate frosting - What you need:
- 1 cup vegan margarine or butter, softened (approximately 225 grams)
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2-3 tablespoons of milk (non-dairy for a vegan version), as needed
Chocolate frosting - What you do:
With an electric beater, whip the butter until soft and fluffy.
Add in the confectioner's sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the cocoa powder.
If the frosting is too tough, beat in one tablespoon of milk at a time until you've reached the desired consistency. The frosting should hold its shape well, but be smooth and spreadable.
This makes 3 10 centimeter cakes (6 inches) or 2 23cm (9 inch) cakes.
I had such a wonderful evening with the birthday babe. Toasts were made all around. We celebrated big. I'm really thankful to have her in my life. And I think she was happy with the cake - which makes me so happy!
And guys - this cake is seriously good... you wouldn't know it's vegan or hiding some white beans. I really recommend that you try it out!
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
I've been trying to find some good new rap/hip hop tunes. I came across this album the other day on one of my new favourite blogs, and I think it's pretty good! (PS: some bad language... beware!)
Sisphyus >>> a collab between Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, and Serengeti
And this is an attempted photo of my cake slice! I kinda forgot to turn on the flash, but whateeeevs. Cake is cake!