Black forest gateau, with a twist. This recipe is vegan.
What are your expectations of vegan baking? As a baker Veganism really goes against everything I know and trust. Eggs that add structure to a cake are banned, butter that gives a rich moist fluffy texture is also off the menu. Without these two key ingredients I was doubtful the outcome would taste or look good. Then we baked this recipe and the result was one of the best chocolate cakes i’ve ever tasted. If you need further confirmation that this recipe is amazing we entered our finished cake into a vegan baking competition at leicester vegan fair and we won! We adapted our recipe from this chocolate cake.
You will need:
- 3x 6″ round cake tins or 2x 9″ cake tins
- 300g caster sugar
- 165g vegan margarine (please note, standard margarine contains milk solids, for true vegan baking look for a soya based non-hydroginated alternative)
- 120g apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300g plain flour sifted
- 75g cocoa powder sifted
- 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 360ml soya milk
For the vanilla frosting:
- 220g vegan margarine softened
- 390g icing sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 10-12 whole cherries
- 100-200g green and blacks 70% dark chocolate
Begin by preheating your oven to 165°C, grease and line your cake tins. Using an electric handheld mixer cream together your softened margarine and caster sugar until light and fluffy, then add the apple sauce and vanilla extract, mix well. Next add alternate spoonfuls of soya milk and flour, mix these in gently with a spatular until well incorporated. lastly add your cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Distribute equal quantities or the batter between your cake tins and place in your pre-heated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean.We made three 6 inch cakes that we then stacked. We only had one cake tin the correct size so had to bake each cake individualy. This took quite some time, but the un-baked batter sat quite happily and wasn’t affected by having to wait around.
Once baked, place your cakes onto a wire rack, cool for a few minutes and turn the cakes out of their tins onto a cooling rack. Leave to cool completely.
To Make the topping place the softened margarine into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric handheld beater until light and fluffy. Add your sifted icing sugar and stir into the butter do not beat it until the icing sugar and butter are well combined, this will result in a really messy kitchen! Add your vanilla extract and beat together with the butter and sugar until you have a light fluffy buttercream like topping.
Once your cakes are cooled you can begin assembling by placing your base cake on an appropriately sized plate/board. Place 1-2 tablespoons of your topping onto the top of your base cake and smooth over with a palette knife. Repeat this for the second layer and then place the top layer on. It’s best to chill your cake in the fridge at this stage for a couple of hours to allow the buttercream to set. Then you can finish topping your cake by applying the remaining buttercream and smoothing with a palette knife.
Chocolate dipped cherries- As much as I love chocolate cake these are definately my favourite part of this cake! Melt and temper your chocolate, dip your cherries into your melted chocolate allowing the excess chocolate to drip off. Place onto a tray lined with silicone paper and place into the fridge to set, this should only take a couple of minutes. The chocolate we had left we placed into a piping bag and piped trees onto a baking tray lined with silicone paper. we then decorated the cake with the trees on the outside an a delicious heap of chocolate coated cherries piled up in the centre.
Our competition winning cake!