Chocolate Fudge Cake

Everybody loves cake & vegans are no exception!  The good news is, you don't have to miss out on sweet delicious baked goods just because you won't eat dairy or eggs.  So far, most of what I've learned about vegan baking has been from the uber-talented Ms Cupcake, my favourite recipes being her Victoria Sponge Cake & Chocolate Chip Cookies recipes.  Having had a little practice I decided to try my luck with my own recipe for a Chocolate Fudge Cake and with a stroke of luck, it turned out melt-in-the-mouth tasty first time!

260g self-raising flour
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
200g golden caster sugar
200g dairy-free spread (I use Pure Sunflower Spread)
200g plain, dairy-free chocolate (70% or more)
400ml sweetened soya milk (I used the blue Vive Soy as it has a beautiful vanilla flavour to it)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Ganache filling & topping: 
100g plain chocolate (70% or more)
100g icing sugar
160ml tin of coconut cream
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of dairy-free spread

For the cake:
  1. Pop the oven on to 180 degrees centrigrade
  2. Grease two 8 inch cake tins (I recommend you use springform tins if you can as these sponges have a delicate structure)
  3. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in one bowl and set to one side
  4. Melt the plain chocolate over a pan of warm water, and whisk together with the dairy-free spread, caster sugar, soya milk, & vanilla extract
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a metal spoon only until they are combined.  Warning - don't use an electric whisk and don't mix any longer than absolutely necessary - I really mean it when I say just enough to ensure the ingredients are combined.  Any lumps will work themselves out in the oven.  If you're new to egg-free baking then this may seem counter-intuitive but unlike traditional baking, you want to keep air out until the cakes are in the oven.
  6. Tap the bowl on the work surface to knock any air out of the mixture
  7. Spoon equally into each of the cake tins
  8. Tap each cake tin on the work surface to knock out any air you can
  9. Place the tins in the oven for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven 
  10. Remove from the oven & test with a knife to ensure fully cooked 
  11. Leave to cool as they are for 5-10 minutes then remove the sides of the tin & leave to cool entirely
  12. You should find that the sponges level off quite nicely so there'll be no need to slice off the top of one but if you need to, do so with care 
For the Ganache:
  1. Melt the chocolate, coconut cream, and dairy-free spread over a low heat
  2. Sift in the icing sugar and stir in gently until you have a smooth, glossy mixture
  3. Leave to cool enough to be firmer but not too firm so you can still pour over the top of the finished cake
  4. Spread some of the ganache onto the bottom sponge and gently place the second sponge on top
  5. Once the ganache has cooled enough, pour over the cake, using a knife to spread it evenly around the sides.  
  6. Garnish as you fancy, I did so with mixed berries as you can see!

Tip: Decorate the cake on a plate so that any excess ganache is caught.  You may find it helps to pop it in the fridge to firm up the ganache so you can go back over with a knife to improve the presentation on the sides.  If you're a real perfectionist when it comes to presentation (which I wasn't on this occassion), a knife warmed under the hot tap will help you to achieve a smooth & glossy finish when finishing off the sides).

Finally, slice & serve hot or cold either on its own or with some vegan ice-cream.  Yummy!


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