There is nothing more rewarding than creating something delicious and giving it to your friends and family. With longer and colder evenings approaching, it would be almost sinful to not use that time for baking.
With the current series of Great British Bake Off featuring a vegan baker, I thought I would share my own recipe for one of the easiest and the most complimented cakes that I make. It is marvellous but only suitable for those who love serious chocolate indulgence.
This is a simple vegan cake recipe. You can swap the strawberries for more chocolate, though I do think they add a little bit of contrast to the cake. Also, you can tick off one of your five a day.
This cake has been adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe, which I have simplified and, I think, made even more scrumptious.
- 250 grams plain flour
- 300 grams soft dark brown sugar
- 100ml sunflower oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon of espresso powder
- 80 grams cocoa
- 30 grams of raspberry jam
- 375 millilitres hot water from a recently boiled kettle
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 250 grams of strawberries for decoration
- 180 grams dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids)
- 80 millilitres sunflower oil
- 50 grams soft light brown sugar
It all starts with the delicious ganache, over a gently simmering pot of water, place a glass bowl and combine the chocolate, oil and sugar inside. Over the lightly simmering water allow the chocolate to melt by gently stirring. Do not allow the bowl to get too hot or the chocolate will burn and become grainy. Once melted, remove from the boil and place on the side to cool.
Set the oven to 180°C (fan assisted 160°C),
Prepare the rectangular baking tray by lining it with parchment paper.
In a separate bowl, mix together with a fork: flour, salt, cocoa powder, espresso powder and bicarbonate of soda.
In a separate bowl mix together: hot water, sugar, lemon juice and oil. Mix until the sugar has dissolved.
Combine the two by pouring the wet mixture into the dry mixture. This batter is very thin so please do not panic.
Pour into the baking tray, and bake for 35 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool completely. When cooled divide the cake in half. Smother one half of the cake with jam and cover with the second half.
Glaze the cake with the chocolate ganache and decorate with strawberries.
Serve and enjoy.