May 10, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Cake #ChocolateParty

This is my first time baking something vegan on purpose. I wanted to see what it was like in comparison to my usual chocolate cakes, whether flourless or not.
Whatever name you give to this chocolate strawberry mousse cake, one thing is for sure, it's really delicious and you don't have to be vegan to make it again. It's not one of those cakes that you eat because you can't have the real thing. Even then, it's an awesome choice.
By real thing I mean a traditional cake with butter, eggs and milk. This has none of that.

By definition - I looked it up of course - veganism abstains from eating any animal product, not only meats but also dairy, eggs and things like honey. And I get the idea of keeping animals from suffering, and understand that industrial ways are not intended to guard them. It's not my way of living at all, but I respect those who do. And even if it's once in a while, it always help.

Anyway, I'm not vegan, vegetarian or particularly anything. I eat things I like and avoid food I don't, like fish. I eat gluten free a lot of times because it makes me feel good and I love researching new flours. 
I try to eat organic and locally whenever I can too. 
For one, I don't think our bodies are made to abstain completely from certain food groups, medical conditions aside. That said, I respect everyone's idea of what should or shouldn't go into their bodies.

So this is just a vegan cake. From a book that is not vegan at all. The one that gave me that fantastic recipe for homemade vanilla marshmallows and the killer brownies.

I'm participating in Roxana's Chocolate Party, though I'm late for it of course, fashionably late I want to believe. The party started on monday, but hell, it's always a good time for chocolate and strawberries, don't you think? 

When you read the list of ingredients in this cake, it feels like some non-foodie editor forgot a piece of the recipe. But though it's common to replace butter for oil, the idea of replacing eggs with vinegar is mind blowing. For me eggs make up so much of a cake, not only in taste but in volume. Here they are omitted and not missed at all.

My cake sunk in the middle, because I have a habit of using only one pan. I lost all of my oven racks except for one, I suppose from all those moves, so one cake pan is the easiest way. The recipe called for two, and I guess that would've made it possible to have a layer cake. Filled and frosted with the chocolate mousse and fresh strawberries. 
Well, you get the same here, just in a different order. The order of things doesn't alter the product.

Chocolate mousse is a wonderful thing, but it can be time consuming to make and you end up with a pile of dirty bowls, and who wants those right? That is, on top of the ones you used for the cake. So this method of making a chocolate mousee I had seen a year ago. Just two ingredients, chocolate and hot water. Chocolate is ruined if you add a few drops of water, but not if you add a lot. 

It does work, so well and so simple. Melt chocolate, add hot water and beat the heck out of it over a bowl of ice water. It will suddenly start getting cold and stiff, like a mousse. Nothing will appear to happen for the first few minutes. But just wait and see. Chocolate mousse in no time. And perfect for filling. If it gets two hard you add a few teaspoons of hot water. And the chocolate flavor is absolute. So use a chocolate you love straight from the packet. In my case it's very dark and very semi sweet.
Perfect for the chocolate cake and the tanginess of the strawberries, because it's fall here and let's just say that these little red fruits are not in their sweetest mood.


from Tea with Bea, by Bea's of Bloomsbury

Yields 8 to 10 servings


For the cake:
2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
¾ cup (100g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 ¾ cups (450cc) soy milk
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 2/3 cups (320g) sugar
1 ¼ cups (315cc) sunflower oil
2 Tbs vanilla extract

For the chocolate mousse:
10oz. (280g) dark semi sweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup (190cc) hot water

1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
Powdered sugar, for sprinkling


For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Butter or grease a 8-inch springform cake pan.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, and salt. Mix a little to combine and make a well in the center.
Add soy milk, vinegar, sugar, oil and vanilla. Beat or whisk until very well combined. The batter will be quite runny.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for for about 50 minutes or until a tester comes out with almost no crumbs attached. It will feel springy to the touch.
Let cool on a wire rack and then unmold onto the serving platter.
Cover the top with the chocolate mousee and decorate with sliced fresh strawberries. Sprinkle with sugar and serve.

For the chocolate mousse:
Begin making the mousse right after the cake is cooled and unmolded. Have ready a large bowl with ice and some cold water, enough so that the bottom of the bowl where you melt the chocolate fits comfortably.
Melt chocolate over hot water or in the microwave. Transfer to a large bowl (or use a large glass bowl to melt the chocolate and mix) and add the hot water all at once. Put the bowl over the one with the ice water.
With an electric mixer beat at high speed. For a few minutes it will not thicken much, but it will start to do so unexpectedly. And it will thicken stiffly just after that.
If the mousse is too thick to spread, add a few teaspoons very hot tap water and beat until smooth. Use immediately.

Today's 5 related recipes that are worth looking at:

Mexican Chocolate Cake (vegan) from Taste
Red Velvet Strawberry Chocolate Cake from Heather Cristo Cooks
Chocolate Dutch Baby with Strawberries from Two Peas and their Pod


  1. May I join the party?!! chocolate!!! siii!!! ;-)

  2. A very pretty vegan cake. Using red wine vinegar instead of eggs as a binder is not anything I have tried yet. Technically I have an intolerance to eggs. It is kind of hard to replace them. Did you know that even the powdered egg replacers are not gluten free. It is always something. I am looking forward to giving your recipe a go. Wishing you a super weekend. Take Care, BAM

  3. Vegan or not, my family will want your mousse cake! Decadent and GORGEOUS!!! xo

  4. This cake is lovely. I do see your point about the cows and the milk. I was once reprimanded by a vegan because I didn't know that you can't eat honey if you're a strict vegan. I guess I don't understand that. Won't the bees make the honey, whether people eat it or not? Seems like all that honey would just go to waste if we don't eat it...

    1. The honey are produced from the bees to the bees, it has simple has that. :)
      And, normaly in some honey productions they kill an elevated amount of bees in order to keep the production up.

  5. What a lovely cake and I feel pretty much the same about respecting the way people chose to eat. And your right it sure doesn't look like anything is missing from this cake it looks heavenly, great job!

  6. I've never tried baking a vegan cake and am in awe of your beautiful Chocolate Mousse Cake! It's a joy to know that a splendid dessert can be made without eggs and butter!

  7. I need this cake in my life, it looks spectacular :D


  8. Wow! What a gorgeous looking cake. I'm so intrigued by this idea of making mousse with just chocolate and hot water--can't wait to give it a try! Congrats on making such a successful vegan cake on your first attempt!

  9. I'm not a vegan either and I going to take you would that this is certainly looks like it is.

  10. So the frosting is made with chocolate AND water...!!!??? that is wonderful. When I started reading you post I was thinking on how you obtained the mousse in a vegan way, that is, without cream or milk.
    Looks sooooo good...!!!

  11. Isn't it amazing how delicious a cake can taste without dairy!! this looks so beautiful - I'd LOVE a large piece right now!
    Mary x

  12. Food philosophies aside, this is one must-have chocolate cake in my daily required nutrients =)

    Thank you, too, for the fantastico quick and easy road to chocolate mousse.

    FYI. Your tantalizing photos have been Pinterested!

  13. This looks so good! and its vegan! :)

  14. Love the contrast of the colours. The cake looks really moist and the flavours are divine.

  15. "I don´t think our bodies are made to abstain completely from certain food groups" - Amen!
    Your cake looks fantastic. And who cares if it sunk in the middle when you have all of that lovely chocolate mousse to fill it with. :)

  16. That mousse looks so deliciously fluffy, creamy and delicious! I can't believe that it's been made with just... chocolate and water?! Wow. I have a very similar food philosophy to you Paula. I have several friends whom, over the past year, have decided that they're either vegan, lactose-intolerant, gluten-intolerant, vegetarian or all of the above (after spending a perfectly normal 25+ years eating everything). I've respected all of their choices but I don't completely understand them. Lots more I could say on this topic but I'll abstain! Thanks for this gorgeous recipe!

  17. Paula, your vegan chocolate strawberry mousse cake looks like an ultra rich treat of a cake, perfect for any celebration or just because chocolate and strawberries go so very well together!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  18. Your cake looks utterly sensational!

  19. I am not vegan either but some people I know are and I am always intrigued by vegan recipes. This looks so decadent and decidedly un- vegan.

  20. I've never seen mousse made this way! I'm glad I found a vegan version. The cake is beautiful and looks delicious!

  21. paula i am like you - no eggs, no butter?? oil i can understand but vinegar? i too have been intrigued by vegan recipes, but also dubious, because i see weird substitution ingredients. but this cake is proof it can be done - and paula, i would of course trust you! it's a delicious looking cake no matter what label it has. thank you!

  22. I know of plenty of vegan chocolate cake recipes that are touted as being as good/better than non-vegan ones and I actually have one on my radar screen I want to trial! It's for cupcakes, not cake, but same difference.

    Your cake is gorgeous, vegan or otherwise!

  23. Gah! I want a piece of this cake so badly right now! Your desserts and dishes always turn out looking like beautiful masterpieces, Paula. I made a vegan chocolate cake this past summer and I absolutely loved it I couldn't believe it tasted so good so I don't doubt for a minute that this is mindblowingly delicious.

  24. That cake looks so unreal! And the fact that it is vegan is making me smile as wide as can be! I definitely need to try this!

  25. This looks delicious. I came across your blog through this month's chocolate party link up. Such a beautiful looking cake.

  26. How many calories brings a portion of 100g, is there any other substitute for the flour?

    1. Hi Natividad! You might try substituting the flour for a gluten free blend. I haven't tried it though.
      Regarding calories, I don't know. But less than with regular recipes with butter.

    2. Thank you very much I will try with a gluten free blend and share with you!


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