chocolate pudding cake & caramelised hazelnuts (or, the story of how I became addicted to caramelized hazelnuts).

You might have gathered by now that I've got a bit of a sweet tooth (more like an entire mouth of sweet teeth). But even I get sick of overly sweetened cakes and frosting sometimes. I was having a battle with myself all week, trying to find a way to make a cake that satisfied my desire for tooth aching sweetness but without feeling like I'd crunched my way through a giant bowl of sugar.

This cake was my fourth attempt. So many wasted ingredients this week in cakes that didn't rise, or burnt or tasted like nothing (that was the time I forgot to even add the sugar, such an idiot.) I had to come up with a new way to make cake because I'm a bit bored of how oily and not-very-crumby vegan cakes sometimes turn out. I remembered that Molly had given me some egg replacer a few months ago and it worked really well in this one. I think I might even start using egg replacer on a regular basis, recommended!

The frosting looks just like chocolate pudding and it's so tasty and thick but not too rich. It's got no icing sugar in it and you can either eat it after it's set in the fridge when it's just the right side of sweetly bitter thanks to the decent dark chocolate, or putting a slice in the microwave for 10 seconds gives you warm cake with gooey chocolate pudding frosting. I know which one I went for every 5 minutes.

I'd also suggest making double the amount of caramelised hazelnuts. Every time I went past the fridge I'd stick my hand in and pluck one off the top. The cake looked miserable after a day or so. Next time I'm just going to make a big bowl of nuts and eat them like popcorn.

To make one 9 inch-ish cake you'll need:
1 1/4 cups self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup soy milk
1/4 cup oil
2 tsp cider vinegar
1/3 cup egg replacer
1/2 cup water

In one bowl sift together all of the dry ingredients (flour-cinnamon).
Put the soy milk, oil and vinegar into a jug and leave to curdle a bit. Thoroughly mix the egg replacer with the water in a small bowl or jug until you've got a gross kind of paste. I know it says not to do this on the packet but it worked way better for me like this. Add the egg mix and the milk mix to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Try not to over beat it. Look at the mousse-y texture you get, such a nice change from the usual oily mix!
Grease your cake pan and bake the mix at about Gas Mark 5/190C/375F for 25-30 minutes.

To make the chocolate pudding frosting, you need:
a tube of glucose syrup, it comes out to between 1/3 of a cup and 1/2 a cup
1/3 cup vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup soy milk
2 x 100g bars of dark chocolate (broken into pieces)

Put the syrup, cream cheese and soy milk into a pan and bring to the boil.
Let it boil for a minute or so, then turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until it's all melted and then leave it to cool until your cake's ready.

To caramelise the hazelnuts, just put 3-4 tbsps of sugar and 1 tbsp of water into a pan over a medium heat. Heat until bubbling, then add a couple of handfuls of peeled hazelnuts and stir to make sure they're all coated evenly. Scoop them out and spread evenly over a silicone sheet until cooled.
When the cake's cooked be sure to leave it to cool properly before icing it so that it doesn't melt everywhere. When it's cool enough spread the puddingfrosting all over with a palette knife then add the hazelnuts while the frosting's still wet.

Look at that crumby structure! And gooey chocopuddingfrosting! Nommers!


Finding Me said...

This looks amazing.
I'll have to give it a go :)

Anonymous said...

Yummy. I think you meant to say to put the slice of cake in the microwave for 10 seconds, not 10 minutes.

aDeLiNe said...

Nom Nom Nom!

Kiersten said...

That is gorgeous! It sounds delicious too. I have never had caramelized hazelnuts before. I know what you mean, I have a big sweet tooth too but sometimes I get a little sugared out from baked goods. If I want to make something sweet, but not "too" sweet, I usually make muffins.

vegiebug said...

Goodness ME - this cake looks delicious! i too, have made that mistake of forgetting to add sugar and been furious with myself! This one looks like it turned out beautifully :D

Naomi Rose said...

Thanks lovelies, Kiersten, I definitely do that too! But now I'm all about the cupcakes again, swoon!

Vegiebug isn't it the WORST? Cakes with no sugar sure do taste crappy.

Tea and Sympatico said...

I'm a fan of warmed chocolate cake too! Like the idea of the caramelised hazelnuts, they sound delicious.

Vaala ◪ said...

Oh man, that looks so good!

Mihl said...

I love hazelnuts and chocolate!

The Voracious Vegan said...

This looks SPECTACULAR! Chocolate cake is my favorite, and the combination of chocolate and hazelnut is pure brilliance. Caramelized hazelnuts....YES PLEASE!

Amanda said...

oh my gosh this would have been so much better then my cherios for breaky....yumm!!!

ana b. said...

Oh man I'm hungry. Damn you, Naomi.

The Nervous Cook said...

Hi! I just stumbled on your blog from "Everybody Likes Sandwiches," and holy cow, my mouth instantly started watering at the site of this cake. I can't wait to follow more deliciousness on your blog!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Oh man, this looks great!