Chocolate Cake to Live For
- 1 cup organic whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup organic unbleached white flour
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ½ cup granulated whole cane sugar such as Sucanat or Rapadura, ground fine in a blender
- 2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil, preferably Arbequina
- 1 cup pure maple syrup, dark amber or Grade B
- 2 cups chocolate or vanilla soymilk, almond milk, rice milk
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 tsp. chocolate extract
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
For the Vegan Chocolate Ganache Icing
- 1 pound nondairy bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, at least 65%
- 1 1/2 cup soy creamer or soymilk
- 2 Tbsp. California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of crushed fleur de sel
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Oil the sides and bottom of two 9x3 inch round cake pans with California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil and line the bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit.
- Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the whole-wheat pastry flour, white flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the strainer, and sift the ingredients into the bowl. Stir with a wire whisk to aerate and distribute the ingredients.
- Whisk the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, nondairy milk, extracts, and vinegar in a separate medium bowl until very well blended.
- Pour into the dry mixture and stir with a whisk until the batter is smooth. This batter is meant to be fairly thin. Pour the batter into pans, dividing evenly. Tap the pans lightly on the counter to pop some of the air bubbles. Bake the cakes on the center rack for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are of the cakes are set, the sides have started to pull away from the pan, and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs.
- Cool the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife between the cake and inside of the pan, and invert each layer onto a rack. Remove the pans and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Invert again, topside up on a rack to cool completely.
- To protect the layers from cracking or breaking, slide a cardboard circle (or another flat surface) under each one. Wrap the layers with plastic wrap and refrigerate about one hour or until cold before filling and frosting with vegan chocolate ganache icing
- Put the finely chopped chocolate into a medium-size heatproof bowl.
- Heat the creamer or soymilk in a small saucepan over medium heat to just under the boil. Immediately pour the hot liquid, all at once, over the chocolate. Swirl the bowl to submerge the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to begin to melt about 1 minute, then stir gently with a wire whisk until smooth. Whisk the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil and salt into the ganache.
- The ganache will be thick enough to spread on the cool brownies after 10 to 20 minutes at room temperature. Stir a few times but do not refrigerate or the ganache will become to firm to spread. Spread the ganache over chilled brownie for the shiniest glaze.