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Rich, decadent, plant-based and gluten-free our Chocolate Cherry Celebration Cake is our go-to bake for those special occasions when you want to spoil yourself or someone special.

We think this Chocolate Cherry Celebration Cake is the perfect alternative to a festive fruit cake (although we’ll be making both) and definitely a cake recipe for those of us who love our dark chocolate almost more than anything else.

We’ve made this cake into 4 layers before to give it some real wow factor – we’ll take a picture next time…

 

Serves                         8 to 10 slices

Prep time                    25 minutes

Cook time                   30 minutes

Ingredients

For the cake

120g gluten-free flour

100g cacao powder

200g golden caster sugar

180ml unsweetened almond milk

150ml kombucha (raspberry & elderflower – your choice)

100g 75%+ dark vegan chocolate

80g glace morello cherries, cut into quarters

75g coconut oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing

150g 75%+ dark vegan chocolate, grated

80g glace cherries, cut into quarters

To top

50g Glace cherries

 

Method

To make the cake

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line the base and sides of 2x 15cm diameter cake tins with baking paper. Make sure you have 10+ ice-cubes ready in the freezer to create the icing.

Add the almond milk to a jug with the apple cider vinegar, stir and set to one side while you prepare the rest of the cake.

Sift the flour, sugar and cacao powder into a large mixing bowl.  Add the baking powder and stir together to combine.

In a saucepan, gently melt together the coconut oil and dark chocolate. Remove from the heat and set to one-side.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the almond milk and apple cider vinegar mix. Then pour in the melted coconut oil and dark chocolate and add the vanilla extract. Stir thoroughly to combine.  Pour in the kombucha and stir until the cake mix is silky and smooth, add the chopped glace cherries and fold through.

Divide the chocolate cherry cake batter evenly between the cake tins.

Place the tins onto the middle shelf of the oven. Bake at 160°C for 30 minutes, until there is a light bounce in the centre of the cakes when pressed gently with a finger.

Remove the cakes from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before carefully turning the sponges out of the tins. Leave to cool fully on the wire rack.

 

To make the icing

You will need two mixing bowls – a medium-sized bowl that is heat and microwave proof and that will fit inside a larger mixing bowl.

Add the grated chocolate to the medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour over the boiling water and stir thoroughly until the chocolate has completely melted and becomes smooth.

Put the ice cubes into the second larger mixing bowl and set the bowl with the melted chocolate directly on top and start to stir, tip in the chopped glace cherries. The chocolate will slowly start to thicken, once this starts to happen remove the chocolate bowl from the ice.

Note: if the chocolate thickens too far and becomes stiff place the bowl in the microwave on a low heat for 10-15 seconds and stir.

Remove the chocolate bowl from the ice and use a palette knife to spread the icing onto the top of the base layer of cake, then place on the top sponge layer. Spread the rest of the chocolate cherry icing generously over the top of the cake and finally pile on top the remaining glace cherries.

Store the cake in an airtight container and eat within 3 days.

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