Recipe: Gooey Chocolate Cake

If you haven’t read my last post then you won’t know that I went dairy-free for a week (for health reasons). So, when it came to eating or making anything sweet I was stuck for choice.

Then my mum came home with a reduced chocolate trifle from Tesco and all I could do was stare at it longingly. I knew then that the time had come for me to break out the baking tools and make myself my own sweet treat. Plus, the cake is vegan and can be changed to Gluten Free very easily.

Conversely to the photo above this was originally supposed to be a round cake so if you’d prefer that just change the choice of tin – be warned that the mixture is very runny so you need a springform or solid tin.

This recipe was based off of Nigella Lawson’s ‘Dark and Sumptuous Chocolate Cake’ available here.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 225g of Plain Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (Original recipe suggests fine sea salt)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Ground Coffee (Nigella suggests Espresso Powder)
  • 75g Cocoa Powder
  • 300g Dark Brown sugar
  • 375ml of Hot water (kettle)
  • 75g of coconut oil (90ml soft)
  • 1/2 teaspoons of Cider Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
  • Bunch of Raspberries to decorate

Icing

  • 226g of Dark Chocolate (around 70%)
  • Coconut Cream (1 box)
  • 2 cups of Icing Sugar (alter this on how thick you want the icing)
  • 2 teaspoons of Oat milk (or any other milk)

Method

1.Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180°C

2. Add all the dry ingredients besides the sugar into a bowl; Plain flour, Bicarbonate of Soda, Sea Salt, Coffee powder and Cocoa Powder.

3. Use a fork to mix the ingredients so they become fine, like below.

4. In another bowl you need to mix all the wet ingredients with the sugar; Dark Brown sugar, water, coconut oil and vinegar. Don’t stir until the coconut oil has melted.

5. Next stir this into the dry ingredients., it should look like below.

Tip: The mixture won’t be smooth but make sure you give it a good mix because a lot of the dry ingredients will stick to the bottom of the bowl.

6. Line your tray, a 20cm/8inch either springform tin or a solid tin, with baking paper. The mixture is quite runny so if it is not in the correct tin it may leak.

7. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 30-35 mins. Nigella advises checking at 30mins incase. 

Tip: It is supposed to be a gooey cake so the stick should come out relatively clear but don’t worry if there are a few crumbs on it. Make sure to check right in the centre.

8. Once cooked leave it to cool for at least 30 mins. The cake will need to be properly rested before taking it out of the tin as it won’t be stable enough. 

9. Now make the icing. Pour the coconut milk into a pan and heat up. 

10. While it is heating up place your chocolate (roughly chopped up if yours is a bar) into a bowl. When the milk starts bubbling pour the milk over the chocolate. 

11. Don’t stir the mixture, instead leave it for 5 minutes and then whisk it into a thick consistency. 

Half Iced Cake

Tip: If you prefer this you can leave the icing sugar out. However I added the icing sugar so the mix wouldn’t be so rich.

12. If, like me, you want to add icing sugar then this is the time to do it. I added roughly 2 cups but the best way to do it is until you get the required consistency. Add the oat milk (or normal milk if you don’t mind dairy) to loosen the mix up. 

13. Cover the cake with icing using a palette knife if you have one, a piping bag, a spatula or even a knife dipped in hot water. 

14. If you have done a square cake you can cut it into little mini cakes and top them with some raspberries. 

Alternative toppings can also include white chocolate (if you wanted to add dairy), pistachios or any additional topping which might cut through the rich sponge.

This cake is honestly one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve had and can be perfect for a celebration or just a treat. Plus for any family member who struggles to find puddings without dairy or are vegan this is perfect; it is tasty no matter your requirements.

On a side-note don’t be put off by the coffee or coconut, you don’t taste them at all once its finished. They purely just add to the consistency and richness of the cake/icing.

I hope you enjoy it and make sure to tag me/send any photos if you decide to make it!

Much love,

Sophie x


Going Dairy-Free for a Week

Image belongs to Sophiesedit.com

Now before anyone says anything I did not go dairy free because I thought it was ‘cool’. A lot of people don’t get to choose this lifestyle and I don’t want to disregard that. However, I did go on it for health reasons which unfortunately this didn’t help.

It was worth a try.

Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to share what I learned/made this week and what dairy-free products I enjoyed.

Day 1 – Tuesday

The first day I didn’t quite anticipate how ‘difficult’ (couldn’t think of a better word because obviously it didn’t hurt me but you get what I mean) this would be. More because my house (parents household) is full of things with dairy, in fact 90% of the things probably had the dreaded dairy in it.

On the other hand it was the first day I tried dairy free milk. I must confess, I have tried almond milk before and absolutely hated it. So, this time, with recommendations from other bloggers I went for oat milk. Specifically Oat-ly’s ‘oat drink’ and I highly recommend it.

The oat drink made porridge taste ten times better with its creaminess and tea didn’t taste horrendous (I still prefer semi-skimmed milk in tea I think, but if I had to go dairy-free for the rest of my days I wouldn’t be angry at drinking purely oat milk).

The one thing I noticed about dairy-free ‘milks’ in general is the shocking price of them. I had to get two cartons of oat milk for a week which were £1.90 each. So, compared to normal milk prices and the amount you’d get in them, it wasn’t exactly cheap. *My student self cringed deeply at the price.*

Day 2 – Wednesday

After the realisation that this would be a bit harder than I first anticipated, mainly because my family kept eating chocolate or ice cream in front of me, I was determined to get into a good routine.

For me that starts with breakfast. As you read above, Oat milk made my porridge A LOT better. Its creamy texture infused with honey (probably a bit too much, but I love the stuff) and topped with strawberries and….. more honey, made my breakfast a 10/10 experience.

Day 3 – Thursday

Lunches and dinner were never exactly a huge problem. Thankfully when I got some dairy free butter I could make decent mash potato and just had to ignore the cheese sitting on the table when we had pasta or fajitas (which was more difficult than I’d like to admit). However, if you want a lunch recommendation Lidl’s pulled pork put into a wrap, then toasted is very tasty and so is a sushi bowl (if you want the recipe or a blog post on lunches let me know).

Sushi Bowl

Day 4 – Friday

I thought I’d dedicate this day to telling you my thoughts on dairy free butter.

As you can see I used the Vitalite Dairy free spread, which after being a devoted lover of butter wasn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be. Mash potato didn’t taste any different, nor did sandwiches or toast. It did have a slight after taste but as a whole I would recommend. I didn’t try it in baking though so I can’t quite tell you how versatile it is.

Day 5/6 – Saturday/Sunday

Now snacking was the thing I struggled with the most. Considering my mum bought a chocolate trifle, opened matchmakers in front of me, and my sister ate crunchy rocks opposite me, I was desperate for a chocolate fix. Thus, I made one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve had/made and it was VEGAN. I’m sharing the recipe in a few days (hence no photos yet, I’ll leave you in anticipation) because I tweaked it but if you want the original its from Nigella’s ‘dark and sumptuous chocolate cake’ available here. It was just the right amount of chocolate and was lovely and moist. I highly recommend making it.

What I did miss with the cake was ice cream, something which I was scared to try considering texture and taste plays a huge part in the icy delight. However, mum found this ice cream in the co-op and I was surprised by how good it was, you definitely couldn’t tell it was dairy-free. (In fact when I stopped being dairy-free I continued eating this and also I didn’t want to waste anything).

Day 7/8 – Monday/Tuesday

I thought I’d put these last two days together so I can round off my thoughts down below while not boring you too much. Adding to the above I highly recommend Oreos and Chocolate Bourbons as some dairy free snacks, plus fruit of course. I think I went through 2+ packs of Oreos (which yes is shameful but I didn’t have much else).

Monday was the day I finally tried Tesco’s free-from ‘White Choc Buttons’, let’s just say I wish I hadn’t. My mum said exactly the right thing to describe them ‘they don’t have the silkiness of ‘normal’ chocolate and have a horrid aftertaste’. Severely disappointing – I know I shouldn’t necessarily expect much when it comes to dairy free chocolate but I wouldn’t recommend them at all, go for a chocolate biscuit (they taste much better).

I have to admit that this is one thing I have noticed when looking at the dairy free/free-from selection is that everything doesn’t look that appealing. Or it makes you feel isolated for not eating a certain ingredient. In my opinion it would be more helpful to compile brands that you wouldn’t think are dairy free/don’t advertise as free-from instead of plastering it all over the packaging.


Final Thoughts – I must say I didn’t feel any radical changes and I don’t weigh myself so I can’t say it altered my weight (which I don’t know how I would feel about promoting anyway) however on the first day I did feel particularly faint during the afternoon but I can’t clarify if that was related. I got hungrier a lot quicker especially before dinner and did get frustrated at how much things had dairy in it which I didn’t quite register before.

However, I did really enjoy the oat milk. Plus I am a very competitive person so even though it didn’t improve my health the way I wanted it to (which I won’t go into detail about) it did make me have something to stick to and think about.

If you have any dairy free recommendations which you’d like to suggest to anyone currently dairy free, please leave them below.

Much love,

Sophie x