I get nervous about baking. Especially when I see a long list of ingredients or steps. I become flustered at the thought that I may mess it up or that I may invest time and energy into something which will turn out so-so. I promise that this cake is worth it. You don’t even use an oven. Granted, it’s not the simplest cake to make but your hard work will pay off. It is low in sugar, low in salt, lower in fat than regular cakes, and has no added oil [unlike most vegan cakes I’ve made].
You’ll need a tin with a bottom that pops out. You don’t want to flip this cake out of its tin. I also suggest that you line the sides with grease paper so when you remove the cake by punching through the bottom, the sides will remain intact until you peel the paper off.
A dark chocolate cake with a crunchy biscuit base and smooth textured filling. There is a subtle hint of coffee and orange that balances the creamy chocolate taste perfectly. You can serve it chilled as a mousse cake or barely thawed as a chocolate ‘cheesecake’.
Chocolate Mousse Cake Base
120g plain tea biscuits (milk-free = happy vegan)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 large orange zest (the outer orange rind only)
50 g dark chocolate (>70% cacao) in pieces
70 g vegan butter
2 tbsp powdered sugar
4 tbsp creamy coconut (the thick part obtained from a can of full-fat coconut milk- do not shake the can before opening)
1 shot of espresso coffee (25mls)
1 tsp rum essence
- In a blender, pulse the tea biscuits until they look like bread crumbs. The crumbs should be even in size with no large bits. Combine in a large bowl with the chopped walnuts and orange zest.
- Create a double boiler by filling a heavy lined pot (or pan) with boiled water and placing another bowl on top. The water is hot, but not boiling, and the second bowl (the one you will put your ingredients into) sits inside the pot on the water, like a little boat. It may seem traditional, but this is the best way to melt and combine the wet ingredients. Namely, the dark chocolate, butter, sugar, coconut, coffee and rum essence. Mix until the ingredients are runny, but remove from the hot water before they’re entirely melted.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Spoon the mixture into a greased tin. Use the back of the spoon to create a flat-even base and pop into the freezer while you work on the mousse. Resist the temptation to gobble the cookie dough.
Chocolate Mousse Cake Filling
200 g dark chocolate (>70% cacao)
1/4 cup agave nectar
3 tbsp creamy coconut (as above)
350 g firm silken tofu
1 tsp vanilla essence
15 blueberries or strawberries (optional)
- Pulse the tofu in a blender to ensure consistency. Set aside.
- Again, using your double boiler, melt and mix your chocolate, agave nectar, coconut and vanilla essence. Add to this your smooth tofu and fold together slowly (pictured above). As the colors mix you’ll see the beginnings of your cake’s delicious texture.
- Remove the base from the freezer and layer with blueberries or strawberries (optional). Then add the filler by the spoonful.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (overnight is best) until the mousse has set. I’ve also put this in the freezer for a few hours to achieve the perfect chocolate cheesecake. Serve alone, with vegan whipped cream or some fruit.
Tip: Vegan whipped cream can be made by freezing a tin of full-fat coconut milk, adding 2 tbs icing sugar, and whipping with an egg beater until the desired consistency is achieved.
I made three of these little devils for three different events (luckily I have a large fridge) tripling the recipe and making them all at once was easier than having to do them separately ~ and it’s so yummy you’ll want more than one slice.