Vegan Double Chocolate Cake

In honour of National Chocolate Day this week, I shared a pic on Instagram of a dairy & egg free chocolate cake I made recently. I had a few requests for the recipe, so here it is folks, enjoy!

Cake Ingredients

  • 340g self raising flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 240g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 400ml soya, almond or rice milk
  • 160ml light rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients

  • 75g dairy-free margarine
  • 75g vegetable fat (shortening)
  • 650g icing sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • Around 80-100ml soya, almond or rice milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Cake Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C (350’F / gas mark 4) and grease 2 round 20cm cake tins.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the cocoa powder, caster sugar and baking powder.
  3. Add the milk, oil and vanilla, stirring until just combined. Don’t overmix or you’ll knock any air out and your cake won’t rise properly. To stop the rising agents working too quickly, tap the bowl on your kitchen counter and you should see little bubbles popping.
  4. Spoon half of the mixture into each cake tin and tap the tins a final time on the work surface.
  5. Put in the oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes. You’ll know the cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in to the middle of the cakes, comes out clean. They should feel springy to the touch.
  6. Leave the cakes in the tins to cool for about 15-20 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack until completely cooled.

Buttercream Method

  1. Use an electric or handheld mixer to whip together the margarine, vegetable fat and vanilla, until creamy in texture.
  2. Add half the icing sugar, all the cocoa powder and milk, and continue to mix. Start slowly, then bring up the speed until combined.
  3. Add the rest of the icing sugar and mix for about 1 minute until you have a smooth consistency.
  4. If your icing is too firm, add a bit more milk; too thin, add a bit more icing sugar.

Finishing Touches

  1. Spread the bottom layer of your cake with a nice thick helping of buttercream.
  2. Place the second layer on top and smother with more buttercream, covering the sides too.
  3. At this point you can either leave with this simple finish, or perhaps decorate with iced buttercream flowers on top, or even vegan biscuits or chocolate pieces.


Depending on who I’m making this cake for, and whether I want to at least try making it a bit healthier (or just slightly less naughty), you can swap out the caster sugar  for coconut sugar, the self raising flour for a gluten-free self raising blend flour, and the cocoa powder for unsweetened cacao powder.


This is a rich and decadent cake, so I’ve also experimented with different buttercream flavours. If the double chocolate is a bit much for you, try using a simple vanilla buttercream instead – just increase the icing sugar quantity to 750g, remove the cocoa powder completely, whilst reducing the milk quantity to just 40-60ml.


Have a go and let me know how you get on!

Adapted from a Turkish Delight Cake recipe by Ms. Cupcake.

Peanut Butter & Banana “Cheesecake” – vegan friendly

Who doesn’t love a good cheesecake? Creamy, rich, indulgent… And you’d have thought that being vegan means giving up on decadent treats such as these, but you’d be wrong.

I love finding a dairy-free, vegan friendly alternative to some of my old favourites, and this one is sure to impress even your non-vegan friends.

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The perfect combination of deliciously crunchy base, created from homemade Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuits, and creamy smooth “cheesecake” topping of blended, protein-rich cashews and peanut butter.

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The banana element gives this cheesecake a hint of Banoffee Pie, which let’s face it, is never a bad thing!

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PEANUT BUTTER + BANANA “CHEESECAKE” WITH DARK CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVE BASE

Now obviously you could buy the biscuits for the base, and choose practically any type you want (Oreos – vegan friendly – work great!), but these digestives are so easy to make, and I like knowing I’ve created something entirely from scratch.

Author: My Vegan Kitchen

Recipe Type: Dessert

Cuisine: Vegan

Serves: 8 – 12

Ingredients

BASE (makes 10 so you have some leftover for eating)

  • 170g wholemeal flour
  • 170g medium oatmeal
  • 150g cold vegan butter, diced
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 55g dark muscovado sugar
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 2-3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 150g vegan dark chocolate (optional)

FILLING

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup (or your choice of liquid sweetener)
  • ¾ cup peanut butter (your preference of smooth or crunchy)

CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING

  • ¾ cup vegan dark chocolate
  • 50ml coconut milk

 

Instructions

For the biscuits (if making):

  1. Preheat your oven to 170C degrees and in a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and oatmeal. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (best to get dirty and use your hands for this bit).
  2. Mix in the bicarb, sugar and salt, adding just a little almond milk to bring it all together to a dough-like consistency. Flatten in to a disk, wrap in clingfilm chill for at least 30 minutes (like pastry, this makes it easier to roll out and cut in to biscuit shapes).
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper and set aside. Roll out your biscuit “dough” between 2 sheets of clingfilm, to around 4-5mm thick, then cut out your biscuits. Arrange on your baking trays, leaving a small gap in between each, prick each one several times with a fork and bake for between 12-15 minutes. Baking time will depend on you oven and whether you prefer your biscuits to be soft or crisp (crisp is probably better for the purpose of your cheesecake base).
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, whilst you melt your chocolate (if using) over a saucepan of simmering water. Remember this step is optional, you may only want to coat the biscuits you won’t be using for the cheesecake base, but I did them all so my base would have little chunks of chocolate!
  5. To coat biscuits, dunk one side in to the melted chocolate, repeating to build up layers, set aside to cool.

For the base:

  1. If not still on, preheat your oven to 180C degrees and, using either a food processor or a good, old fashioned rolling pin, crush up 140g of your biscuit choice. Add 5 tbsp of melted coconut oil and mix together.
  2. Lightly grease a 20cm cake tin, either spring form or one with a removable base is best. Fill the bottom of cake tin with your crushed biscuit mixture, and use either the back of a spoon or a small cup to pack it down tightly and as evenly as possible.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes, remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Add you bananas, cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup and peanut butter to a blend a blend together until very smooth. This will take around 4 – 5 minutes and you’ll probably need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides to mix back together a couple of times.
  5. If your peanut butter doesn’t already contain salt, you may want to season with a pinch at this point. Also, if your mixture is too thick, you can add a little more coconut milk to loosen.
  6. Pour evenly over your cool biscuit base and set aside. At this point you can either put in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours – although overnight is best – or you can whip up whatever toppings and decorations you want to add. For example:

For the chocolate ganache:

  1. Heat 50ml of coconut milk over a low heat, bringing it to a simmer. Meanwhile break up ¾ cup of vegan dark chocolate (I like Green & Blacks) in a small heat proof mixing bowl and, once the coconut milk is bubbling, pour it over the chocolate. Then just leave it for 3 – 4 minutes, before stirring and mixing together. Have a taste at this point, as you may want to sweeten with a little maple syrup. I however I like mine a little bitter, to combat the richness of the cheesecake.
  2. Spoon your ganache over the top of your cheesecake, in whatever pattern takes your fancy. Go wild, be as creative as you like! Once you’ve exhausted your creativity, pop your cheesecake in the fridge to set, as stated above, for at least 3 hours.
  3. Once set, remove your cheesecake from its tin and serve! I like to serve mine with a bit of salted caramel sauce, veganised from this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s website, and any leftover ganache.

3 Ingredient Vegan Breakfast Cookies!

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I’ve always wanted an excuse to have chocolate for breakfast, and actually just recently I’ve been adding just a smidge of 90% organic dark chocolate to my breakfast overnight oats. So here’s a quick and easy “breakfast” recipe for you all. I’ve actually knocked these babies up this evening for a vegan dinner party I’m going to tomorrow night. I didn’t have many ingredients or time, but these treats don’t need much of either.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 x cup of oats (gluten free is you can find)
  • Chocolate chips (cacao nibs are ideal, however I mixed things up a bit and used 3 x packets of Tesco dairy free “chocolate buttons”

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EQUIPMENT (so minimal, just like the ingredients!):

  • A bowl
  • A fork for mashing and mixing
  • A baking tray
  • Cookie cutter, but not absolutely necessary

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 175C
  2. Mash bananas
  3. Add mashed bananas and oats to a bowl and mix well
  4. Add cacao nibs, “chocolate buttons”, whatever sweet vegan treat you are using, and mix well again
  5. Grease your baking tray
  6. Place cookie mixture on your greased tray, about 1 x tablespoon of the mixture at a time – I used a heart cookie cutter to shape mine (though the boyfriend told me they looked like mice heads)
  7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes

Remove from the oven and leave to cool. You might like to “ice” your cookies with nut frosting or sift cocao powder lightly over them, it’s completely up to you. I’ve also added dried fruit in the past, or perhaps some cinnamon might be to your taste.

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Quick and oh so easy cookies.

Come back soon for more vegan recipes, tips, brands and products. In the meantime check out my Instagram – @isitveganuk.

Vegan Carrot & Walnut Cupcakes

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I have been meaning to tell you about my carrot and walnut cupcakes for quite a while, and promised I would do so in a recent post. This is a recipe that I’ve adapted and veganised. Originally I made it as a whole cake. This time around I wanted to give it a bit of the “cute” factor, and seeing as vegan cupcakes aren’t readily available at my local bakery or cake shop, I decided to do it myself.

I also intended to take them to share with my yoga foundation course girls, and I must say they went down a treat. A few of these lovely ladies have been asking me for the recipe; Mohini, Saffee, Harriet, Nicole – here it finally is. I hope it was worth the wait!

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INGREDIENTS:

For the cake:

  • 2 & ¼ x cups of brown rice flour (you can pick your own flour, but choose wisely. I went with brown rice as it makes my recipe gluten free!)
  • 3 x teaspoons baking powder (someone once gave me a great tip – always buy new baking powder when baking without eggs, don’t use the old stuff that’s been in your cupboard for years, or your bake won’t rise)
  • 1 x teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 x teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ x teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 x teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup applesauce (see my vegan recipe here : vegan homemade no added sugar apple sauce)
  • 1 x cup almond milk
  • 2 x teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 x cup unrefined cane sugar
  • ½ x cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 x large carrots, grated
  • 1 x cup walnuts, crushed

For the “icing”:

  • 1 x cup cashews
  • ¼ x cup almond milk
  • ¼ x cup maple syrup
  • 2 x tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 x teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 x teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ x teaspoon salt

Carrot and Walnut Cupcakes

EQUIPMENT:

  • High powered food processor, Magimix, Vitamix or similar
  • Kitchen Aid or similar
  • Cupcake baking tray
  • Cupcake cases

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 165C and place your 12 cupcake cases in your cupcake / muffin tray in preparation
  2. Sieve your choice of flour in to a mixing bowl and whisk together with the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt (I used a Kitchen Aid for this, but you can just as easily do it by hand)
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the applesauce, almond milk, vanilla, sugar and coconut oil
  4. And these wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the Kitchen Aid, or whatever you are using
  5. Fold in the grated carrots and crushed walnuts
  6. Fill each cupcake case about 2/3s  full with the cake mixture
  7. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes (when ready you should be able to pull a toothpick out clean)
  8. These little beauties need to cool completely before you “ice” them, so while they’re cooling, you can mix up the “icing”
  9. You’ll need a powerful food processor for this – blend all the “icing” ingredients together. You may need to add a little dash of extra almond milk to get it going. Start off slow and increase the blender speed as you go. Sweeten with sugar, or make it more tangy with lemon juice, it’s your preference.
  10. Keep blending until very smooth and then chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. You want it to firm up enough so you can spoon or pipe it on to the cupcakes
  11. Decorate as you wish. I used extra crushed walnuts to sprinkle on top, but lemon peel might also be a nice touch.

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Make sure to store anything you don’t immediately scoff in the fridge, or your delicious icing will likely melt. This will also keep your cupcakes fresher for longer.

Some nut “icing” recipes will suggest you soak you nuts (cashews, macadamia or whatever) in water over night. I did this the first time I made this kind of “icing”, but have since found that as long as you have a powerful enough processor, and perhaps blend in batches, soaking isn’t really necessary and will actually only make it harder to blend your “icing” in to a smooth paste.

So there you have it. Another vegan treat recipe. As always, let me know how you get on. Any suggestions for recipe amendments, I’d love to hear them, all feedback welcome.

Come back soon for more vegan recipes, tips, brands and products. In the meantime check out my Instagram – @isitveganuk.

Vegan (almost raw) Chocolate Orange Tarte

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I made chocolate brownies not so long ago, and whilst I loved them – chocolate, what’s not to love, right? – the boyfriend wondered if they might have been better as a pie/tart/torte, something to do with the density. So I have created my Chocolate Orange Tarte and am going to share the recipe with you.

Although not strictly “raw”, this recipe doesn’t require any baking, but does involve some steaming and melting, plus some of the individual ingredients themselves already been cooked in their production.

INGREDIENTS :

For the “tarte” :

  • 500 – 600g sweet potatoes, steamed
  • 4 x tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 150g organic vegan dark chocolate, melted
  • 3 x tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 x pinch of salt
  • 1x handful pistachios, crushed
  • 1 x orange,  juice and zest

For the base :

  • 150g almonds, ground
  • 100g walnuts, crushed
  • 100g cashews, crushed
  • 250g medjool dates, blended
  • 3 x tablespoons coconut butter, melted
  • 1 x tablespoon maple syrup

EQUIPMENT :

  • Blender
  • 8 x small tart tins, or 1 x large tin
  • Small saucepan, to melt coconut oil
  • Steamer

METHOD :

  1. First make your base. You can actually use any combination of nuts that you so desire. I like to grind my almonds up to make a “flour”, whilst leaving the walnuts and cashews in bigger pieces, to give my base more of a crunch
  2. Grind or blend your nuts and mix together in a large bowl, adding the blended medjool dates, melted coconut butter and maple syrup
  3. Grease your tart tins, I used Pure Olive spread, and add your base mixture. You’ll need to push the mixture down firmly to form a crust
  4. Place your tart tins in the freezer and start to make your tarte mixture

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  1.  Steam the sweet potatoes until soft, this will take about 10-15 minutes
  2. Whilst your sweet potatoes are steaming, melt your dark chocolate and place in a big mixing bowl
  3. Once the potatoes are nice and soft, mash up and add to the melted chocolate, along with the rest of the” tarte” ingredients – cacao powder, maple syrup, salt, pistachios, orange juice and zest
  4. Mix all the ingredients together, take your bases out of the freezer and add tarte mixture. I’d recommend you pipe the mixture in as it will be quite thick. Piping will giving you a neater finish. I did not pipe mine and so, according to the boyfriend, they had a “rustic” look
  5. Place “tartes” in the fridge and let the mixture set

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Once these little beauties have set, it should be easy to remove them from their tins. I then dusted mine with more raw cacao power, crushed pistachios and orange peel.

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I didn’t use any flour in this receipt as I didn’t want to do any actual baking. However, next time I am going to try baking the bases before adding the “tarte” mixture, to give it a nice crunch and a bit of a different texture.

If you don’t eat these all at once – I tried, but they’re too rich even for me – they’ll need to be kept in the fridge or they will melt. Although, thinking about it now, they might be quite delicious as a melted mess, with a bit of vegan ice cream… mmmmm…

I took these to my yoga course this weekend and I think they were a hit. As promised guys, here’s the recipe, and the recipe for my carrot & walnut cupcakes (with cashew frosting!) will follow soon too!

So that’s that then, my Chocolate Orange Tartes. Make, eat, enjoy, let me know what you think.

Come back soon for more vegan recipes, tips, brands and products. In the meantime check out my Instagram – @isitveganuk.

Malibu Baking – Rum & Raisin Cake – Banana & Rum Bread

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My friends over at Mailbu HQ sent me a bottle of their original rum and asked me to bake something special for World Vegan Day – which is November 1st by the way, and kicks off a whole month of celebrating all that is good and vegan in the world, check it out :
I kicked off a weekend with a lovely little vegan rum & raisin cake recipe. I’d usually use rum extract in this recipe but this time I substituted it for the real stuff. I may have taken it a little easy with the rum, so feel free to add a little more if you really want to get that beautiful coconut flavour coming through nice and strong. A deliciously moist fat free vegan cake – give it a go. As delicious enjoyed with a cup of tea of as an afternoon snack, as with ice cream (vegan of course) for dessert.
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Vegan Malibu and Raisin Cake
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 ½ x cups brown rice flour
  • ½ x cup light brown sugar (I use Tate & Lyle as it’s vegan friendly)
  • 2 x teaspoons baking powder (this has to be fresh in order for the batter to rise)
  • 1 x cup almond milk (can substitute for other nut milks)
  • 1 x pinch of salt
  • ¼ x cup apple sauce (I use homemade, check out my post for the recipe – http://isitveganuk.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/homemade-no-added-sugar-apple-sauce/ )
  • 1 x cup raisins
  • 2 x tablespoons Malibu Original

METHOD

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
2. Line a loaf tin with baking paper
3. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and stir well
4. Add the almond milk and applesauce and stir again
5. Add raisins and Malibu and stir for a final time
6. Pour your batter in the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes
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Second on my weekend venture in to all things Malibu, was a variation on a classic loaf of Banana Bread – with added Malibu for good measure, obviously.
I went all out with this recipe and added in double the quantity I’d previously used in the Rum & Raisin Cake. I thought the strength of the banana and cinnamon would even it out. Indeed it did, once again you can probably add a little bit more if you so desire.
This recipe is seriously simple, I don’t like complicated bakes. Made with only a handful of ingredients it’s so easy to throw together, though it does take a while to bake.
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 Vegan Banana and Malibu Bread
INGREDIENTS
  • 5 x large over-ripe bananas
  • 1 x cup of almonds
  • 2 x cup of pecans
  • 1 x cup of brown rice flour
  • ½ x cup of maple syrup (you can substitute for agave syrup or similar, but the maple syrup adds to the sweet nutty flavour)
  • 3 x tablespoons flax seeds (you can swap for chia seeds if you prefer)
  • 2 x tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 x tablespoons Malibu Original

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METHOD

1. Pre-heat your oven to 150C

2. Blend the almonds and pecans in a food processor to form a flour. I had to do mine in batches, about a handful at a time

3. Once all your nuts are blended to a flour, put in to a mixing bowl and along with the brown rice flour, maple syrup, flax seeds and cinnamon, and mix everything together.

4. Peel and mash all the bananas the bananas until smooth, then stir into the bread mix

You’ll end up with quite a wet sticky mixture, don’t worry, this is the right consistency

5. Use coconut oil to grease your trusty loaf tin and pour the mix in

6. Bake in your pre-heated oven for about 1 hour

 

I use a toothpick or skewer to check my bakes are cooked the way through. Stick it in to the centre of the cake / load, if it comes out clean, you’re done. If there’s mixture or batter left on the toothpick or skewer when it comes out, pop it in for a little longer – this will have to be a judgement call.

I had a slice, ok 2 slices, of this delicious bread after dinner this evening, with a thin layer of Meridians Crunchy 100% Peanut Butter. It can however be enjoyed on it own as it has so much flavour, but always accompanied with a cup of tea.

 

So there you have it, my weekend spent indulging in Malibu, though not in the way I usually would! Try out these recipes for yourself and let me know what you think. Too much or not enough rum? That’s the important question!

Oh and just to note, I used brown rice flour in both of my bakes, as its naturally gluten free, but you really could substitute for any flour you like.

Come back soon for more vegan recipes and keep up to date with my vegan life in London on my Instagram page – @IsItVeganUK