Since it was my birthday, I chose to have a chocolatey chocolate cake. What else? The cake recipe was from veganbaking.net, topped and filled with a (not quite) double amount of Rich Chocolate Ganache from of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, p. 143, and drizzled with melted white chocolate. A friend helped with the strawberry arrangement. I would never have thought to stand them on end like that, but I was quite pleased with the result.
A few notes on the recipe:
- If you're looking for a rich vegan chocolate cake, this is a good one. You could look at it as a rich chocolate cake, or a light mud cake. Either way, it was good.
- The cake recipe explicitly said to use natural, not Dutch processed cocoa powder, and someone commented that they had had poor results using dutched cocoa. However, I bought a 5kg bag of organic fair trade Dutch processed cocoa powder earlier this year... The cake still rose as it should have. If you're Australian and confused about what I'm talking about, most cocoa in Australia is dutched.
- I didn't have any bread flour on hand, so I mixed vital wheat gluten/gluten flour into ordinary plain flour. Use 1 teaspoon per cup. I removed the equivalent amount of plain flour first, or, in other words, used 1 teaspoon of gluten flour for 1 cup minus 1 teaspoon of flour, though that may have been unnecessarily pedantic.
- I went easy on the espresso powder, because I didn't want a coffee flavour in my cake.
- There are two layers of cake here, sandwiched with chocolate ganache. To do this, I doubled the recipe and spread it between two cake tins.
- Be careful watching the cake towards the end. I tested mine at the minimum time, and it was still underbaked, but a few minutes later, the toothpick came out completely clean, and I was aiming for not quite clean to ensure moistness - and it was on the dry side, though not badly so.
- There is a lot of cake here. You could get at least 16 slices out of this.
- I need to figure out how to ice the sides of a cake without also icing the plate...
- To do the white chocolate drizzle, I used a small round icing tip. However, if you don't have any icing tips, you should still be able to get a good effect using one of these methods
- Just dip a spoon in melted chocolate and gently drizzle it from a height. This will produce a thick and thin result, but I've done it in the past for other applications, and it still looks great.
- Snip the corner off a ziplock bag, fill it with melted chocolate, and use the snipped off corner as make-shift piping tip. The hole should small, err on the small side, you can always make it bigger.