This is by far, one of my most favourite chocolate cake recipes It’s not too sweet, it’s super chocolatey and it has such a rich, delicious taste. This amazing chocolate cake is so incredibly moist and is sure to be a pleaser at any serving or occasion. The taste of chocolate with a light hint of orange goes so well together, and it’s exactly why this chocolate cake is so good. It’s dark, decadent, eggless and oil free. As an alternative to typical chocolate frosting or icing, I thought a homemade chocolate ganache would really make this cake special. The ganache is made with good quality ingredients, and is probably the best topping to a cake that I’ve ever tasted (I’m a major chocolate lover). To add a contrastive element to the cake, I thought to make a vegan cashew cream, which helps to break down the flavours of the rich chocolate. This cake is simple, and I’m sure you will love it as much as my family and I has.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup dutch cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup coffee (at room temperature)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups good quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2/3 cup butter (if using unsalted, be sure to add 1/2 teaspoon salt)
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (can substitute with other orange liqueur of choice)
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 cups cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours (overnight is best)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in coffee, orange juice, vanilla extract, apple sauce and apple cider vinegar. Mix well until evenly incorporated.
- Grease two 8x10 circular pans with oil or butter and make sure to lightly flour the pans as well. This is important to ensure the cake will easily slide out of the pan when done and cooled.
- Pour cake batter into pans and smooth out until it's evenly distributed.
- Bake in oven on a lower rack for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out dry from center of cake. Remove and let cakes cool before removing from pans.
- In a medium-sized saucepan bring milk, butter and sugar to a slight boil on medium heat. As soon as it starts to bubble remove from heat and stir well.
- Add chocolate and do not stir. Let sit for 1 minute. Then whisk until evenly incorporated. Stir in liqueur.
- Let cool, then place in the freezer for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The ganache will start to thicken as it cools. If you prefer to refrigerate instead, it will take about 3 hours to thicken.
- Using a spatula, coat both cakes with the ganache and stack the cakes. You can place toothpicks in each side to keep from sliding, but be sure to remove before serving. Once coated, store in fridge until ready to be served.
- Drain cashews and place in blender with orange juice. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. This cream is used as a drizzle for the cake.
* An effective way to remove the cake from the pan is to place a plate over top of the pan and turn upside down and with some light shaking the cake should come right out onto the plate. You can even use your fingers to gently pull the sides of the cake to unstick it from the sides of the pan, before turning the pan upside down.
* The chocolate I use for the ganache is half semi-sweet and half unsweetened.