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 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.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY MOUSSE CAKE
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
Six layer Chocolate and Strawberry Buttercream Cake from Sweetapolita
Sticky Orange Cake with Marmalade glaze (vegan) from The Kitchn
Chocolate Dutch Baby with Strawberries from Two Peas and their Pod