Dark chocolate cake with orange flavoured ganache (vegan)

The cold weather at the weekend had me craving for chocolate.

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I had seen this recipe from Gretchen a few weeks ago whilst checking out her YouTube channel. Gretchen has many great recipes, her videos are well explained and easy to follow. She is a trained pastry chef with more than 25 years of experience. How fantastic to learn from such a pro! She has been vegan for 8 years now and has recently changed her channel to a fully vegan channel to fit in with her beliefs. Good on you, Gretchen. Well done. Nothing is more soul breaking than doing something in which you no longer believe. She does still answer questions regarding her non-vegan recipes which is great.

What I find really fascinating is that for most of the basic vegan cake recipes you nearly always have all the ingredients at home. If you are not a musli lover like me then you might need to go out and get some flax seeds. I had to look up what these seeds are and found out that they are in fact linseeds. Just another name and I had a packet at home.

Just give the linseeds a good blast in a food processor and you have linseed meal which acts as the egg replacer to bind all the ingredients. Together with the hot water they turn into a thick paste. I couldn’t taste the linseeds in the baked cake. The chocolate definitely was on top together with the orange.

You don’t need a kitchen machine for this recipe either. A good whisk and some elbow grease is enough. I baked the cakes in two round 20 cm baking tins.

Cake recipe: Click here for Gretchen’s recipe:

Filling: I filled the cake with ganache which I made from soya cream (200 ml) and dark chocolate (200 g, 70% cocoa). I put the peel of one organic orange into the soya cream and let it stand for 2 hours on my work bench. Bring the soya cream to the boil and pour it over the chopped chocolate. If you were planning to ganache the cake from the outside I would recommend draining the cream to get rid of the peel as you won’t get a super smooth surface otherwise. But as a filling the little peel bits are fine. I also added 2 teaspoons of orange liqueur into the ganache for some extra flavour. Leave the ganache on your work bench to cool for a few hours and then whip it up briefly.

Cake assembly: I made a simple syrup from 20 ml water and 20 g sugar. Just heat in a saucepan until the sugar has melted. I also added 2 teaspoons of orange liqueur into the syrup.

Place one of the cake layers with the bottom facing up onto a plate, brush with the syrup. Fill the ganache into your pastry bag and fill the cake leaving a little ganache for decorating the top. You can of course just smooth on the ganache with a palette knife if you prefer. Brush the bottom of the other cake layer with syrup as well, turn over carefully and place onto the other layer. The top of the cake is facing up.

Decorate as you like. I piped a ring of small flowers around the cake and cut the organic orange into segments, taking the individual pieces out of the skin. This looks and tastes better. To match the snow outside I dusted the cake with some icing sugar. Do this just before serving as the moist cake will absorb it quickly.

This cake really is super yummy. Very moist and chocolatey.

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