Real Food Daily Double Chocolate Layer Cake with Raspberry Puree*

Enjoy the healthier, vegan version of this classic dessert favourite.

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This cake is moist and delicious – not too sweet, but rich and chocolaty. The raspberry flavour complements the chocolate beautifully. If you haven’t got time to make the puree, just serve with fresh raspberries. You can use this sponge recipe as the basis for any chocolate cake or cupcake. Serves 12

3 cups (450 g) barley flour
¾ cup (90 g) cocoa
¼ cup (30 g) instant decaffeinated coffee (or coffee substitute powder)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups (500 ml) soy milk
1½ cups (375 ml) maple syrup
¾ cup (180 ml) light oil, e.g. sunflower
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons cider vinegar

2 cups (400 g) chocolate chips
3 cups (720 g) firm silken tofu
1 cup (120 g) cocoa
¹⁄³ cup (80 ml) agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Raspberry puree
¾ cup (180 ml) water
¼ teaspoon agar powder
2 cups (200 g) frozen raspberries, thawed
¹⁄³ cup (80 ml) agave nectar
1 cup (100 g) fresh raspberries

Oven 170°C/325°F/Gas 3

Method - Cake

  • Grease and line the base of two 23 cm (9") pans with 4 cm (1½") high sides.
  • For the cake, sift the flour, cocoa powder, coffee powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt into a large bowl.
  • Whisk the soy milk, maple syrup, oil, vanilla and vinegar in another bowl.
  • Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just blended.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing equally.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean and the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans.
  • Cool in the pans on a metal cooling rack for 20 minutes.
  • Turn out the cakes onto the rack and cool completely.

Method - Frosting

  • Melt the chocolate chips in a bain-marie.
  • Blend the tofu, cocoa, agave nectar and vanilla in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the melted chocolate to the tofu mixture and blend well, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula if needed.
  • Transfer the frosting to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour, or until just firm enough to spread.
  • For the raspberry puree, combine the water and agar powder in a heavy saucepan and soak for 15 minutes.
  • Bring to a simmer over high heat and then decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the thawed raspberries and agave nectar and puree until smooth.
  • Pour the puree into a bowl and stir in the fresh raspberries.
  • Cover and refrigerate until the puree is cold. Stir before serving.

To assemble:
place 1 cake layer on a platter, spread with 1½ cups of frosting. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the sides and top of the cake using a spatula. Serve the cake with raspberry puree.

*Reprinted with permission from Ann Gentry, The Real Food Daily Cookbook: Really Fresh, Really Good, Really Vegetarian, Ten Speed Press, 2005.