To the untrained eye, it might seem like I am trying to avoid redecorating the spare bedroom today, but since the oven was already hot from the Sunshine Marmalade Flapjacks coupled with the fact it gave me an excuse to use my lovely birdie cup measures, I decided to tackle an intriguing vegan chocolate cake recipe I found on the internet yesterday.
There are quite a few versions of this cake on various websites, but the Suzanne Martinson recipe I plumped for was highly recommended on a forum so I figured it must be a good one. What's handy is that you're likely to have all the ingredients in your cupboard already, even the egg substitute, which by the way is vinegar. Yep, I agree it sounds disgusting, but if you know me by now, this only made me more curious to try it. I already have quite a few cake recipes on the list for the next market so I thought I would try this recipe as cupcakes instead.
Try as I might, I just couldn't imagine how using cider vinegar in place of eggs in a cake recipe could possibly taste good let alone still deliver the indulgent richness a good chocolate cake really needs. But like Alice down the rabbit hole I went and if they were going to go wrong then nobody needed to know. The first thing I was pleasantly rewarded with was how simple and quick it was to make the batter - no bingo wing busting creaming butter and sugar, no worrying about the mixture curdling as you add the eggs, just sift together the dry ingredients, stir together the wet ingredients then mix. Easy peasy. Then finally add the magic ingredient of the cider vinegar which curiously fizzes up as it reacts with the baking soda and makes you feel slightly like a mad scientist. Then the only stressful bit is making sure you get the mixture in the oven as quickly as possible after adding the vinegar.
I was suprised that the cakes rose much better than I had expected in the oven, and just 20 minutes later I was rewarded with 11 brunette beauties (in hindsight a couple were overfull so this mix would make 12 comfortably).
Because I have the winning combination of being both greedy and impatient I had to try one while it was still hot from the oven. Curiouser and curiouser, these cakes are really good! Who would have thought it. I might even go as far as saying they are better than most chocolate cakes I've tried - they're moist, rich and chocolatey, not too heavy and you would never know they were made with vinegar instead of eggs. I also tried one once they had cooled down in the name of quality control and can confirm that yep they are still yummy.
I have to say though, the raspberry and chocolate glaze that Suzanne recommends for the top is pretty horrible and I'm glad I tasted it before ruining the cakes with it. I don't think it really needs a glaze in any case. I might consider adding some dark chocolate chips though for a bit of added texture.
So my only dilemma now is whether I promote these cakes as vegan on the stall - will this put non-vegan people off buying one? I'll have to put my thinking cap on again to come up with a good name :o)