Deliciously rich, moist and intense chocolate cake with a hazelnut truffle buttercream filling and covered in chocolate ganache, it’s perfect for any special occasion. No one will ever believe this is dairy free!
Is there any cake as universally loved as chocolate cake? Certainly not in my experience, and what’s wonderful about chocolate cake is the huge variety you can make. A chocolate cake can be light, sweet and perfect for an afternoon treat or it can be rich, dark and decadent. This cake without a doubt falls into the second category.
The chocolate sponge gets its depth of flavour and soft texture from some surprising ingredients – melted chocolate, coffee and coconut yoghurt. The chocolate and coffee provide the intense chocolate flavour – be sure not to skip the coffee, you really can’t taste it but it helps bring out the chocolate flavour like nothing else. The coconut yoghurt is added to help the cake stay soft and moist and it provides a slightly tangy unsweet flavour which works well in such a rich cake. You could use any type of plain non dairy yoghurt but I preferred coconut. You can’t taste the coconut flavour, but it provides the tang of normal yoghurts which I find most non dairy yoghurts lack.
The hazelnut truffle buttercream filling has to be one of my favourite things about this cake and no words will do it justice. Naughtily smooth, sweet and chocolatey but less rich than the ganache, it is the perfect filling to provide sweetness to the rest of the cake. It’s called ‘truffle’ filling because you could refrigerate this buttercream and when cold, spoon it into little truffles… Not that I did that of course…
To finish off the cake I’ve covered it with chocolate ganache and chopped roasted hazelnuts. Ganache is just chocolate and cream but it makes the perfect cover for a special occasion cake, shiny and smelling divine it makes the cake irresistible to all… even to those rare people who say they don’t like chocolate cake!
Makes one large cake, 10 – 12 generous slices
- 100g chocolate
- 100g dairy free butter
- 300g light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 250g tub of coconut yoghurt (I used Co-Yo)
- 225g plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Ganache and Icing:
- 150g chocolate
- 180g soya cream
- 3 tbsp light brown sugar
- 60g dairy free butter
- 1 tbsp cocoa
- 6 tbsp golden icing sugar
- 1 tsp hazelnut syrup
- 20g roasted, chopped hazelnuts for decoration if wished
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line two 22cm cake tins with baking paper.
- Make the sponges – melt the chocolate until smooth. Beat together the sugar and butter, and then add the eggs one at a time until well combined.
- Add the coconut yoghurt, vanilla and melted chocolate and mix until smooth. Don’t worry if the chocolate appears slightly grainy at this point.
- Add the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt to the batter and mix until just combined.
- Split the cake batter evenly between the two tins, and then bake for 25 – 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.
- Once baked, leave to cool in the tins.
- Make the Ganache – Add the cream and brown sugar to a pot and heat until almost boiling. Break up the chocolate, slowly pour the cream over it and mix until smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Leave to one side for 15 – 20 minutes until cooled and thickened – it should be shiny and slightly warm but when you move it about with a spoon it should hold it’s shape.
- Add three generous tablespoons of the ganache into another bowl and add the butter, cocoa, icing sugar and hazelnut syrup. Using an electric or freestanding mixer beat until thick and smooth to make the truffle icing.
- Once your two sponges are completely cold pick the flattest cake as your top sponge and set aside. Place the other sponge onto a serving plate and smooth the truffle icing over it.
- Place your reserved sponge on top, and then cover the whole cake (top and sides) with the remaining ganache using a pallet knife.
- Sprinkle the hazelnuts evenly over the top of the cake and then serve.
Note: Eat the cake within 3 days and store in an airtight container at room temperature (do not store in the fridge, it will make the ganache firm and crumbly, plus it will lose it’s shine).