This heavenly chocolate cake is the moistest of them all. Like, we’re talking serious moistness. So moist that it sticks to the plate. But firm enough that it can keep its shit together. And then some of that smooth chocolate buttercream and the crunchy and nutty bits of praline, you know, just to prove that it’s not a joke. This cake is not messing around.
The Chocolate Cake
- 360 grams of spelt flour
- 350 grams of cane sugar
- 80 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 500 milliliters of almond milk
- 150 milliliters of extra virgin coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder
- 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
Preheat your oven to 175°C / 350°F. Mix almond milk and balsamic vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes while you place all the dry ingredients in a bowl; spelt flour, cocoa powder, cane sugar, baking soda, vanilla bean powder & sea salt. Add the oil to the balsamic milk mixture, stir, and then add to the dry ingredients to combine. Try not to overmix whilst still making sure there are no lumps of flour. Pour into two greased 20 cm / 8 inch baking pans and bake for 25 minutes or until you have successfully done the toothpick trick.
The Chocolate Buttercream
- 175 grams of vegan butter/margarine
- 500 grams of powdered sugar
- 50 grams of melted dark chocolate
- 50 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3-4 tablespoons of almond milk
- 1 pinch of fine sea salt
Start by mixing butter and most of the powdered sugar until pretty smooth. Mix in the cocoa and 3 tablespoons of milk. Add more powdered sugar and mix. Add the melted chocolate and mix. Pretty much just add everything bit by bit to adjust the texture and also the taste, obviously. It is okay to add more milk if needed, or more of anything else if needed. Remember that the chocolate will make the buttercream harden as it sets, so you may have to add a bit more milk than you feel comfortable with. Also remember that buttercream is the easiest thing in the world to fix if you screw it up.
The Hazelnut Praline
- 175 grams of cane sugar
- 120 grams of hazelnuts
- 4 tablespoons of water
Place cane sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Now turn on the stove to a medium heat and bring the sugar and water to a gentle boil. Let it do its thing for a few minutes, but watch it like a hawk as it can easily burn. When you see a change in the color and are able to detect a warm sugar smell, pour in the nuts and stir quickly. Take the praline mixture off the heat and pour onto a parchment paper lined baking tray to cool. When completely cooled, place in a plastic bag and smash it with something hard so that it breaks up into little pieces.
When the cakes have completely cooled and you’re ready to assemble your masterpiece of a cake, pull out your cake stand or whatever plate you wish to use, and add a little dollop of the buttercream to the center. This will prevent the cake from sliding around as it has something to stick to. Place one of the cakes on the cake stand, spread some buttercream all over it, sprinkle with praline and then add the other layer of cake upside down, so that you get a smooth top. Spread the remaining buttercream all over the top and bring it down onto the sides as well if that’s something you feel like doing. Sprinkle with more of the praline and do a little dance because you just made the best chocolate cake you will have ever made.