Thursday, 28 July 2011

Dairy-free Chocolate Fudge Cake

My brother-in-law came to stay a couple of weeks ago and we noticed that it was his birthday over the weekend he was with us. Now, when you reach your mid-fifties you tend not to make such a fuss about birthdays anymore, so we thought we'd make him a surprise cake. Even the 3-year-old managed to keep it a surprise and only referred to a 'special pudding' and at the end of dinner we duly turned off the lights, lit a few candles on the top of the cake and sang Happy Birthday to him. He was properly surprised, and and texted later to say he was really pleased we made the effort - which just illustrates the point that you're never too old for a birthday cake.

For my part, I was really pleased with the cake itself. I adapted it from my grandmother's recipe (which I will I'm sure blog about at some point - it is the family's chocolate cake of choice) to make it dairy-free and I have to say that I think this version may even beat the original.

Ingredients (cake)

8oz self-raising flour
3 oz sunflower spread
7 oz caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 cup (250ml) almond milk
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
4 tbsp cocoa

Ingredients (icing)

12 oz icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
2 oz sunflower spread
a little hot water

Method (cake)

Cream the sunflower spread and sugar, add the eggs and mix well. Then stir in the (sieved) flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Finally mix in the golden syrup and almond mixture. It will seem very runny - that's how it's supposed to look.

Makes enough for 2 8" sandwich tins or 2 7" sandwich tins and about 4 cupcakes.

Bake at 190 C for 20-25 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean. The cupcakes will take 8-10 mins.

Turn onto a rack and ice when completely cool.

Method (icing)

Beat the sunflower spread well, then stir in the (sieved) icing sugar and cocoa, using a little hot water to bring it all together. You shouldn't need more than a couple of tablespoons of water. Makes enough icing to sandwich the two cakes together and ice the top (as in my photo). If you want to cover the sides as well you'll need to make half as much again.


Keeps in the fridge for at least 4 days. If you don't like cold cake then I can heartily recommend popping a slice in the microwave for 20 secs or so - with amazing results.

I have used soya milk instead of almond milk with good results, but the taste and texture are superior with almond milk.

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