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Chocolate Orange Cake

For National Vegetarian Week

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© flavourphotos

Time to prepare: 30 minutes (plus time to allow the sponge to cool)

Time to cook: 30 minutes

Makes 8 slices

For the cake

240g/8½oz self-raising flour
125g/scant 4½oz caster sugar
1½ tsp bicarbonate powder
25g/generous ¾oz cocoa powder
50g/1¾oz ground almonds
130g/4½oz vegan margarine, gently melted
½ tsp almond essence
½ tsp vanilla essence
200ml soya milk
125g/scant 4½oz vegan natural yoghurt
Zest of 1 orange

For the filling

30g/1oz cocoa powder
100g/3½oz icing sugar
50g/1¾oz soya cream
½ tsp almond essence
½ tsp vanilla essence

For the chocolate orange topping

150g/scant 51/3oz dark chocolate
Zest of 1 orange

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F/gas mark 4.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add all of the remaining dry ingredients. Set to one side.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and combine.
  4. Fold all the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Divide the mixture into three lined cake tins and bake for 15 minutes. After this time the cake should have risen. To check it is cooked, carefully slide a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean it is done.
  6. While the cake is baking make the filling by combining all of the filling ingredients until smooth, then placing in the fridge. Once chilled, your mixture should have a thick consistency. If too thin, add a little extra cocoa powder.
  7. Next make the topping. Break the chocolate into a bowl and add the orange zest. Balance the bowl over a pan with a little water in it.
  8. Gently heat until the chocolate starts to melt.
  9. Once melted, turn the heat off but leave over the pan. This will allow the chocolate to stay melted for longer until ready for use.
  10. When the cake is completely cool, set the base layer onto your serving plate. Carefully spread half of the filling onto the top and add the second sponge.
  11. Repeat with the remaining filling and add the final sponge.
  12. Spoon the melted chocolate over the top and serve straight away while the chocolate is still warm.

Chef’s tip: Slice while the chocolate is still soft because once set the cake can be harder to cut.

The Vegan Baking guide can be downloaded free of charge from the Vegetarian for Life website where details of the vegan baking courses can also be found, or order a physical copy for just £2 plus P&P.

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