The best dark chocolate cake ever!
My husband doesn't like sweet things in general, but he loves really dark high quality chocolate with red wine! That's his treat. I rarely bake desserts or sweet things since it's a challenge to find recipes that he likes, most of them are too sweet for him and then it just ends up with me sitting there and eating the whole thing up by myself. Not that fun :-) But recently I was introduced to this vegan dark chocolate cake recipe by Paul's mum, she said I had to try it, so I gave it a go and it was a real hit! We both really loved it!! It was totally spot on - the perfect chocolate cake for dark chocolate lovers!
The recipe is by Nigella Lawson and can be found on her own blog as well. It's very easy to make, the hardest for me was to convert all measurements from cups to dl etc, so therefore I have already done it below so you can use whatever units you are used to. I used less sugar as well, maybe 2/3 of what the recipe suggest below, just to be on the safe side :-) and we both thought it was sweet enough.
If you like chocolate - I promise you won't be disappointed! Just don't over cook it, I would only have it in for 20 minutes, max 25 minutes, although the original recipe says 30-35 minutes. By 30 minutes in our oven it wasn't gooey any longer, just like a regular sponge cake, so it's up to your preference. The gooier the better we think. Enjoy!
Serves: 10-12 slices
FOR THE CAKE:
1½ cups all-purpose flour (225g / 3.5 dl)
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa (75g / 1.8 dl)
1½ cups soft dark brown sugar (300g / 3.5 dl)
1½ cups hot water (3.5 dl)
6 tablespoons coconut oil (90ml or 75g)
1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon edible rose petals (optional as garnish)
2 tablespoon chopped pistachios (for garnish)
FOR THE ICING:
¼ cup cold water (60 ml)
5 tablespoons coconut butter (75g) (this is not the same as oil)
¼ cup soft dark sugar (50g / 60 ml)
1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (min. 70%), finely chopped (150g)
You will need a 20cm/8" round springform cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Start with the icing. Put all of the icing ingredients except the chopped chocolate into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil, making sure everything’s dissolved. Then turn off the heat – but leave the pan on the hob – then quickly add the finely chopped chocolate and whisk until you have a darkly glossy icing. Leave to cool but do give the icing a stir with a spatula every now and again.
Line the bottom of your springform cake tin (you will need a good, leakproof one as this is a very wet batter) with baking parchment.
Put the flour, bicarb, salt and instant espresso and unsweetened cocoa in a bowl and fork to mix.
Mix together the sugar, water, coconut oil and vinegar until the coconut oil has melted, and stir into the dry ingredients.
Pour everything into the prepared tin and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on how gooey you want the cake to be (see intro). This is a fudgy cake and you don't want to overdo it. Test with a sharp knife, if the knife comes out a little sticky it's perfect, if the knife comes out clean you have had it in too long...
Once the cake is cooked, transfer the tin to a wire rack and let the cake cool in its tin.
Turn to your icing, and give it a good stir with a spatula to check it is at the right consistency. It needs to be runny enough to cover the cake, but thick enough to stay (mostly) on the top. When the cake has cooled down, pour it over the cake and use a spatula to ease the icing to the edges, if needed.
If you wish to decorate, now is the time to do it. In which case, sprinkle joyously with rose petals and chopped pistachios or anything else that your heart desires; otherwise, leave it gleaming darkly and, indeed, sumptuously. Leave to stand for 30 minutes for the icing to set before slicing into the cake.
The cake saves very well in the fridge a few days.
It can also be made ahead and frozen, but preferably without icing. When cool, carefully wrap cake in a double layer of clingfilm and a layer of foil. To defrost, unwrap and place on a serving plate at room temperature for 3–4 hours, then make the icing and pour on top.