To celebrate both Cecelia's birthday (we won't discuss ages here) and the birth of our blog, we decided that our Olive Oil Blackout Cake would be the perfect first bloom. This cake is everything a good birthday cake should be and more; we've carefully crafted this recipe to provide the most taste with the best ingredients for a final product that will be the best birthday gift you'll ever get (or at least we think so)! You may be looking at the ingredients and making a very long shopping list...but don't worry we've given you substitutes for some products and it's okay to use them. An exception is the coconut sugar because it's a huge part of this recipe and post. With birthdays and sugar-highs on the mind we wanted to give you a quick run down on the nutritional benefits and reasons we love this natural sweetener.
The Olive Oil BlackOut Cake
PREP TIME: 40 mins
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 30 mins
1 3/4 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat)
2 cups coconut sugar
3/4 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt (we used pink Himalayan)
1 cup "buttermilk" (1 cup coconut milk + 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, let sit for 10 minutes to curdle)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 6 Tbsp room temperature water (let sit for 5 minutes until gelatinous)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (we used a French press but any method is fine)
1 cup chopped walnuts (would also be great with pecans, almonds, pistachios)
1/2 cup shelled hemp seeds (optional)
2 Tbsp honey
1/3 tsp sea salt
Ganache Topping and Frosting
12 ounce dark chocolate (72% cocao or higher), finely chopped
3 heaping Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp coconut oil reserved for middle frosting layer
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat two, eight inch round cake pans with coconut oil and line bottoms with parchment paper, cut to size, to prevent cake from sticking to the pans.
Sift the dry ingredients together - spelt flour, coconut sugar, cacao, baking soda, baking powder and salt - into a large bowl. In a seperate bowl, combine the wet ingredients - "buttermilk", olive oil, ground flax with water, and vanilla - and add the dry ingredients to a standing mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and mix just to combine, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter will be pretty thin but don't worry, this is what you want. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, begin candied nut/seed mixture.
Roughly chop walnuts and add to saute pan. Add the remaining ingredients - hemp seeds, salt, and honey - to the pan. With the pan on medium heat, carefully stir mixture for 2-3 minutes until nuts are lightly toasted. Turn heat off and allow to cool. Begin preparing the ganache.
Place chopped chocolate in a double boiler and add 3 heaping Tbsp coconut oil. Allow chocolate and oil to fully melt, stirring often. Once fully melted, pour 1/2 of the chocolate mixture into a separate bowl and place in the fridge to completely cool, this will be use to create the frosting for the middle layer of the cake. Keep the remaining chocolate in the double boiler with the heat off to keep chocolate warm while you work on the frosting, this will be used later for the ganache topping. Once the chocolate in the fridge is cooled, scrape into a standing mixer with paddle attachment and add 2 tsp coconut oil. Whip on high for 3-5 minutes until a spreadable frosting forms, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula. If your texture is not spreadable continue to whip and possibly add 1-2 additional tsp coconut oil.
Carefully place one cake onto a cake plate of your choice. With a butter knife or offset spatula, evenly spread chocolate frosting on bottom cake layer (this may get a little sticky and crumbly but keep at it!). Sprinkle 1/2 of the candied walnut and hemp seeds over the top of the frosting, then carefully place second cake onto the bottom layer. Slowly pour the remaining ganache topping (still warm from the stove) over the top cake layer, allow to drip down the sides. Sprinke the remaining candied walnut and hemp seeds over the top of the cake. Allow the cake to cool/set 30 minutes before slicing......if you can resist the wait!
By now you've probably enticed all of your family, friends and neighboors with the rich, chocolately smell wafting from your kitchen. And by taste you would never know that this cake is 100% vegan (yes it's safe to lick spatula/bowls/spoons etc. as you work) and made with ingredients that not only taste good but provide nutritional benefit. So here's to a happy, healthy 29th year to Cecelia and a delicious start to our new endevour, The Green Blossom Kitchen. Please continue this journey with us!
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.