It’s hard not to think of chocolate on Valentine’s Day… and so, I choose to embrace it!
Did you know that in Medieval times, girls ate unusual foods on St Valentine’s Day to make them dream of their future husband? Isn’t that a hoot? I can’t help but wonder if chocolate was in the equation…probably not.
Everybody loves chocolate, right? For those of you making a love-filled dinner at home, may I suggest this wonderful Vegan Dark Chocolate Cake?
Vegan Dark Chocolate Cake With Ganache and Raspberry Filling
3 cups unbleached white flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (the better quality, the better your cake will be)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup organic canola oil (or coconut oil)
1 cup cold brewed organic coffee
1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
For the Ganache:
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
6 ounces 72% dark chocolate (I use Sharffen Berger bittersweet dark chocolate)
3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
For the Raspberry Filling
You can use raspberry jam ( about 1/2-3/4 cup)
My preference is to use fresh raspberries.
Cook 2 cups of organic fresh raspberries with 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Puree the raspberry mixture, then if you wish, press through a sieve to remove the seeds or leave the seeds in. Return to the sauce pan. Add 2 teaspoons of arrowroot or corn starch with a little water to become liquid. Add the corn starch mixture to the raspberry mixture and heat until the raspberry mixture become thick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
LET’S GET BAKING!
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking oil spray, then place a circle of parchment paper in each pan and spray again.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix the oil, water, coffee and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a spoon just until combined. Add the vinegar and stir just until it’s evenly distributed in the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until it springs back when lightly touched in the middle. Set aside to cool.
In the top part of a double boiler, place the soy milk and margarine, and heat together until the margarine melts. Add the vegan chocolate chips, continue to cook while stirring constantly until the vegan chocolate chips have melted completely and the mixture is very smooth. Use the ganache, warm, as a glaze for cakes or use as a dip or coating for fruit or nuts, or when cool, use as a filling for cakes and desserts. Store any excess in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be reheated in a double boiler as needed.
Yield: 2 Cups
Place frosting ingredients in a double broiler and heat gently and stir until the chocolate is totally melted and very smooth. For glazing the cake, use the ganache warm.
When the cakes have cooled, put a serving plate on the pan and and carefully invert. Remove the parchment paper. Spread a small amount of raspberry filling over the top. Place a flat plate on the pan containing the second layer, invert and remove the parchment. Repeat the process with another plate so the rounded side is up. Transfer it onto the bottom layer.
Glaze the cake completely (spreading to smooth the top) with the ganache, letting the frosting run down the sides of the cake.
For a nice touch, take several fresh, cleaned raspberries and place them on top of the cake for decoration.
Serve immediately or leave lightly covered at room temperature and serve later or the next day.
Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: