This is a rich, decadent-tasting, and gorgeous cake. This scrumptious confection, topped with a luscious vegan chocolate ganache frosting, is ideal to serve as an enticing dessert at any gathering throughout the year.
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1¼ cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups chocolate- or vanilla-flavored nondairy milk, plus more as needed
¼ cup vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup nondairy milk (a thicker variety works best)
1 bar (3.5 ounces) vegan dark chocolate (snack-style bar, not unsweetened baking chocolate)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly coat a 9-inch round baking pan with vegan margarine. Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine. Put ¼ cup of the nondairy milk, vegan cream cheese, olive oil, and vanilla extract in a blender and process until smooth. Add to the flour mixture, along with the remaining 1¼ cups of nondairy milk. Stir until well combined and somewhat fluffy. The mixture will be stiff, but if it seems overly dry, stir in additional nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 3 tablespoons. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 15 minutes. Decrease the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If it seems that the cake is starting to burn during the last 10 minutes of baking, tent it with foil.) Put the pan on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache. Heat the nondairy milk in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat until steaming hot but not boiling. Chop the vegan chocolate bar into small pieces. Put the chocolate pieces, olive oil and sugar in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the nondairy milk, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, whisking vigorously after each addition, until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. Immediately drizzle or spread the frosting over the cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover cake will keep for about 2 days.
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