Before people panic, this isn’t my new years resolution, it is in fact a declaration that I have done more cake experiments! Hahaha! Unfortunately this post doesn’t come with a photo, as I didn’t get a chance to get a shot at all during either the testing phase or the final bake. So I have found the above photo instead! However, this cake was such a success I couldn’t resist posting about it regardless for this FF. It was picked to be a birthday cake at a joint birthday party for my partner Pete, and his friend Jacqui, who I’m also loving hanging out with. There were going to be a few particular allergies at the party, and so I thought the best thing to do was to opt for another gluten-free vegan cake. I’ve been having so much success with the cakes from Vegan and Gluten-Free Baking that I decided to stick with it again, and went for their Raspberry Chocolate Cake.
Now, you might be asking where the experimentation comes in. For one thing I needed to test what kind of jam would work best in this cake, as the original recipe recommended seedless, but I know seeded raspberry jam has better holding potential and I wasn’t going to fuss with straining the jam either. I went through several brands of jam testing this cake, and time and time again it was proven that the jams with the higher fruit content were much better both in terms of flavour, and in terms of texture in the final product.
I also tested different cake tin sizes and cooking times, as at first I couldn’t get access to a 23cm cake tin. For some reason not a single kitchenware store in town seems to stock one for less than a small fortune, which I found ridiculous. Lucky for me a good friend leant me her 23cm cake tin just in time for the party. I was also curious to see how changing the tin and the cooking times would alter the texture of this cake. I soon discovered that although cooking time was the same between both a 23cm cake tin and the smaller 21cm cake tin, the textures differed greatly. The texture in the 21cm wasn’t unpleasant, but the cake itself was far more dense. Whereas in the larger tin it was much lighter and fluffier. I knew this was the case when baking with gluten, etc, but I wanted to see if it still held true for gluten-free and vegan cakes as well, and it did!
I also found that the original amount of icing was good, but not enough. So I soon doubled that. However, the thicker icing can harden quite considerably if left in the fridge for too long. So you might either wanted to serve it soon after icing and decorating, or you might want to take it out of the fridge a little before serving so as to give it time to soften. Also decorate it with the raspberries while the icing is still a little soft, that will help them stick to the top of the cake.
But the final verdict was a delicious cake, and as Jacqui later told me, it still remained quite soft and moist over the next day or so! Fantastic!
What Worked: Sticking to the recommended larger cake tin size, using jams with as high a possible fruit content, doubling the icing.
What Didn’t Work: Using a smaller cake tin, using jams with lower fruit content, leaving the cake in the fridge too long can cause the icing to become quite hard…
Adapted from Vegan and Gluten-free Baking’s
Raspberry Chocolate Cake
Serves: 8-10, Prep: 20 mins, Cook: 45 mins
- 300g gluten-free plain flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bi-carb soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 300g granulated sugar
- 375ml soy milk
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 7 tbsp raspberry jam
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 90ml soy milk
- 170g dairy-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces (option to use vegan chocolate here if preferred)
- 120g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Fresh raspberries, to decorate
- Pre-heat oven to 180C (160C) fan-forced, and grease and dust a 23cm with cocoa powder, and line the base with baking paper.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bi-carb into a bowl and stir in the salt and sugar.
- Pour the soy milk into a saucepan and add the oil, raspberry jam and vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat and whisk to combine.
- Stir the wet mix into the dry mix and combine thoroughly.
- Transfer the mix to the tin and bake for up to 45mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before attempting to ice.
- To make the icing: Heat the soy milk over medium heat until it reaches boiling point, then drop the chocolate into the pan and stir until it’s completely melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the icing sugar and maple syrup.
- Set the icing aside to cool for a moment, and then use to ice the cake.
- Finally, top it off with a few fresh raspberries while the icing is still a little soft, before serving!