BLACK FOREST CAKE (PLANT-BASED)
This plant-based cake is hands down my favourite dessert with a recipe full of a bunch of my favourite concoctions. Moist, sweet, rich, and hella tasty! It looks intimidating AF but it’s really just a lot of parts that need to come together in the end. Just break it into steps and you’ll be awesome. Seriously, you’re an adult. You can do this.
This delicious plant-based dessert includes a few processed ingredients, so keep that in mind. You can swap ‘em out for healthier things (idea in the tips section below) but it won’t be quite as tasty.
Serves: However many slices you do - but probably 10-12 slices.
1 cup unsweetened plant milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (we use a gluten-free all purpose blend - it works super well)
2/3 cup of coconut sugar or organic cane sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce*
1 tbsp vanilla extract (use pure for best flavour)
1 cup boiling water
4 1/2 cups frozen or fresh cherries (basically one small frozen bag)
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 T arrowroot flour
4oz of dark chocolate (70% or higher)
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp unsweetened plant milk
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp (use pure for best flavour)
1/2 tbsp grape seed oil (or neutral flavour oil)**
1/2 cup plant-based margarine/butter, room temperature (I use Earth Balance)
1 tsp vanilla extract (use pure for best flavour)
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1-2 tbsp unsweetened plant milk
Pre-heat your oven to 350 F, LIGHTLY greased two 8 or 9 inch cake pans (unless you have silicon - use that if you got it!)
Mix vinegar and milk set aside to curdle.
In a big-ass bowl sift all your ingredients together and mix that shit up well until it’s all combined. This is important.
Add applesauce, vanilla and the milk mixture and whisk or mix together by hand just until everything is combined.
SLOWLY add the boiling water to that mixture and stir - this is the magic step and is what will make your cake awesome fucking moist. You’re going to look at the mixture and thing - holy shit - this is way too runny - I screwed this up. You didn’t. You did awesome (unless you didn’t follow the goddamn directions!)
Divide the batter into two pans, smack those things down hard to get the bubbles out. Bake them for 30-35 minutes depending on your oven. Do the toothpick test when it’s done to see if it’s cooked.
Let it cool in the pans for at least 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled wrap it in plastic and set it in the fridge or freezer to chill at least an hour.
Throw the cherries and water into a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Lower and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
Add arrowroot and stir till mixed. Let it thicken a bit and then turn off heat. Transfer in a large bowl and stick it in the fridge to thicken and cool.
Chop up the chocolate small and put it into a small heat proof mixing bowl.
Bring the milk to a light boil and then pour over chocolate, rotating the bowl so that everything is covered. Cover the mixture with a small plate and leave it for four minutes.
Grab a small whisk and whisk it from the centre out until the mixture gets darker in colour and comes together - you’ll know the moment just by watching. Mix in the salt, vanilla, and oil (if using) and combine. Leave to cool on counter for at least half an hour before using.
Add the plant-based margarine/butter to a stand-mixer and cream until smooth.
Mix in the vanilla and continue to stir, scrape down the sides with a paddle as needed.
Lower the mixture and add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time, then bring up to creaming speed until combined - repeat until all the sugar is in it.
If the icing is the texture you want it then you're finished! If you it a bit smoother then add the milk a splash at a time until it’s the way you want it. If you fuck up and add too much milk just add more sugar to fix it. Sugar fixes fucking everything.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE!
Get everything you’ve made onto the counter, it’s going to come together fast!
Get a large plate or cake stand - whatever you want to use to display this magnificent beast after it's done!
Unwrap the cakes and put one bottom side down on the plate. Spread half of your icing all over the top of the cake layer. If you need a little more than go for it. Set the rest aside.
Spread about 3/4 of your cherry mixture onto of the icing and spread it evenly across. Keep about an inch from the edge if you can.
Flip the other cake lawyer over so the bottom side is facing up. This gives you a nice flat surface for your top! Make sure the top and the bottom are lined up.
Take the rest of your icing and spread it around the outside edge, filling the middle crack between layers. If you’ve got a bench scraper using that to glide it along the edge to make it smooth - otherwise a big rubber spatula or a knife should do the trick. It’s okay if it looks a bit rustic.
The next step happens quickly! Take the ganache and pour it onto the middle of the top of the cake dump it all out and the plate and rotate it around so that thee ganache falls and drips around the cake. Do not use any tools if you want to give it a nice smooth look, gravity will do the work if you just pick up the plate and rotate it around. Let it drizzle over the edge - it’ll look fucking awesome!
Put the cake into the fridge to cool for at least 5 minutes or let it set on the counter for a few minutes longer until the ganache is set a bit.
Plop the rest of the cherry mixture onto the top of the cake in the centre.
Slice, serve, and SMASH IT INTO YOUR FACE!
*You can replace the applesauce in the cake for oil to help it rise a bit more but it adds a ridiculous amount of calories that, to me, just ain’t worth it for the mild improvement it makes.
**You can omit the oil but it gives the ganache a nice shiny glaze.