Last week was distinguished by Mr Bite's birthday. To celebrate, we had his usual dense chocolate mud cake. This year, though, his usual cake underwent a few adaptations to make it vegan. This wasn't Mr Bite's request (although he kindly let me experiment), but stemmed from the lack of family members to help us eat birthday cake and my recent discovery of vegan soy cream. I thought the cream would work in the ganache icing, and the other non-vegan ingredients were easily tackled using standard ingredient swaps.
I relied on Mr Bite's comments to compare this version to the non-vegan ones of recent years. He said that it tasted the same, but also that this one was fudgier - denser and less fluffy. This may stem from my use of egg replacer instead of eggs, or my UK oven being different to my Australian one. It may also have something to do with me halving the ingredients to make a smaller cake. Regardless, it was still pronounced good, and having enjoyed some slices myself, I can say it is definitely fudgy and mud cake-like.
I include the recipe for the veganised cake below, but the birthday celebrations extended beyond cake. We revisited Gourmet Burger Kitchen on Mr Bite's actual birthday, where I had their vegan 'dippy hippy' burger again (aubergine, alfalfa, tomato, onions, pineapple and a spicy tahini sauce) while Mr B ventured into meat territory to try the chicken 'pesterella' burger (chicken, mozzarella, mayonnaise, rocket pesto, relish and salad). I enjoyed the vegan burger even more for eating it within a restaurant, and without the need for home reheating. Mr B. liked his so much he rated it 10/10.
|Poorly captured but tasty GBK burgers|
On the weekend, we took the celebrations out of London to take in the countryside of Surrey. We were graced with the most incredible spring weather, and enjoyed the towns of Guildford and Haselmere as well as 14km of walking today. It has been a lovely couple of days, and I am grateful to Mr Bite for having a birthday to facilitate them. Happy birthday to him!
Vegan chocolate mud cake
A vegan version of this chocolate mud cake
Makes 1 small cake, to serve approximately 8
Author: Bite-sized thoughts, originally adapted from a Taste.com recipe
For the cake
100g good quality dark chocolate - I used 50g Waitrose 48% cocoa chocolate and 50g Tesco 74% cocoa chocolate
2/3 cup plain flour
1 tbsp good quality cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
110g non-dairy spread
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Egg replacer to the equivalent of 2 eggs (I used Orgran)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used sweetened hazelnut)
For the ganache icing
100g good-quality dark chocolate - I used 50g Waitrose 48% cocoa chocolate and 50g Tesco 74% cocoa chocolate
95ml Alpro soya cream, or equivalent
15g non-dairy spread
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 160'C and grease and line a small cake tin (mine was heart shaped).
Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over the stove top, or in the microwave on low power, stirring regularly. Set aside.
Beat the non-dairy spread and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg replacer gradually, continuing to beat. Pour in the slightly cooled chocolate and beat well.
Add ~1/3 of the dry ingredients and ~1/3 of the milk to the butter mixture, and beat until incorporated. Repeat until the dry ingredients and milk have all been added and mixed through. The batter will be almost mousse-like.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 28 - 32 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the icing
Melt the chocolate, soya cream and non-dairy spread in a heatproof bowl over the stove top, or in the microwave on low power, stirring regularly.
When melted, stir to combine and then allow to cool at room temperature or in the fridge for 30 minutes or until thick.
Spread over the cake and allow to chill in the fridge before serving.
|Mr Bite's birthday cakes over the years|