Chocolate layer cake adorned w. molded chocolate collar (Vegan)

October 11, 2010 § 9 Comments

I have been spending a bit too much time on baking desserts recently, and tend to use these sorts of dishes as bookends to my day. This simply means that I eat cakes and tarts for breakfast and then go back for a 2nd dosage at the end of the day for dessert. In the meantime, I’ve been kind of preoccupied with some issues here and haven’t been eating good foods throughout the day, in the pages so to speak. I noticed that I’ve been very lethargic over the past few days and I need to stop this spiral!!! So, I am going on a fruit and veggie diet for the next week. Check back for some interesting recipes (maybe?). Although, this week is about practicality, so I won’t be focusing on creativity, just getting back to nourishing my brain and my body! So, please enjoy this last sweet treat before my mini hiatus =)

Cherry Tea Cakes recently posted an awesome piece on chocolate collars with a how-to video link (see below). This inspired creativity is why I love the foodie community. The chocolate collars are molded chocolate strips that frame the outside of the cake to give it that ‘someone cared enough to dress me up and I belong in a serious pastry case’ look. I generally don’t bake without a couple of days notice, but after seeing this video and having recently vowed to make a vegan chocolate cake, I just got up and started baking within minutes, literally.

The vegan chocolate cake is a special calling, as I generally find the cakes I get from vegan restaurants to be dry and uninteresting. They make me wish I hadn’t entertained the idea of cake at all!! I decided to start with a basic recipe online. It’s pretty classic and posted just about everywhere (the one requiring vinegar). I made two small two-layer cakes, and only decorated one with the collar, the other is still waiting for my creative hand to receive inspiration from somewhere!!

The cake was, unfortunately, dry!!! I plan to try an applesauce or chocolate pudding variation in the future. In the event that it’s just impossible to produce a moist vegan cake (this just can’t be!!), layering is an excellent tactic. The more layers, the better. If one can construct multiple, perhaps 4+ thin layers sandwiching frosting, this would be optimal, as the cake layers would be too thin to detect the dryness, and that dryness would be infused with the moistness from the frosting. It would be sensory confusion, at least we can hope. For the frosting I just used a pre-made container, as I was kind of thrown off guard by this experiment and didn’t have vegan cream cheese on hand.

Making the collars

Note on the chocolate collar: the one I did here (pictured below) has what you can call a very ‘rustic’ look to it. I didn’t take much care to ensure the chocolate was spread evenly in making the collar, which is key if you are going for a very refined and classic look. I was just experimenting, and I quite like the rustic look. Taste wise, chocolate collars don’t add too entirely much to a chocolate cake. It does, however, add a variety of texture, which is paramount to inspired creative cuisine. I think taking this to the next level would involve flavored chocolate collars (think mint, cayenne pepper, etc..). Check out the video (below) for directions on construction.

When constructing the collars, start here. The cake should be lightly frosted so that the molded collars will stick to the sides of the cake.

              For a cake this size you will need only a handful of chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli dark chips). I heated them in a microwave in my glass tart dish, originally trying this experiment with tupperware. FAIL!!! Within one minute the thing was fried and the chocolate had died, leaving an ugly stench in its wake. So, if you do go the microwave route, stick to a very durable dish, porcelain preferably, and keep your eye on it like a hawk. You’ll want to warm the chips until they’ve just begun to melt. They will still retain the general shape of the chips, but that’s fine. Once you stir them, the mixture will become smooth, and if not, just keep zapping them at 15-ish seconds. It’s better to be cautious with chocolate!

Vegan Chocolate cake:
(makes two mini 2-layer cakes)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/6 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup coffee (at room temperature)
1/3 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsps vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the dry ingredients. It’s best to sift them so as not to let pass any dry clumps. Add the wet ingredients (sans vinegar) and mix with a fork until fully incorporated. Once incorporated, mix in the vinegar. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.


§ 9 Responses to Chocolate layer cake adorned w. molded chocolate collar (Vegan)

  • Monet says:

    What a stunning dessert…and a stunning blog! I’m so glad that I stumbled upon your stuff tonight. I have been wanting to make a vegan dessert for a friend of mine, and this looks like it just might be the one! What a lovely end to a dinner party this would be. Thanks for sharing!

    • theveggie says:

      If you’re going to make the vegan cake, I’d go for the applesauce version of the recipe. This one was a bit bland, or you can go hardcore on the layers. The collar though is brilliant isn’t it. Thanks to cherry tea cakes for that! And it’s quite easy to put together.

  • Kristen says:

    What a beautiful presentation with the chocolate collar. I am always so impressed with vegan desserts.

  • Jenny Nguyen says:

    I bet that was as delicious and moist as it looks! 🙂

  • Rob Williams says:

    Precision Plastics Inc. is a manufacturer of plastic cake collars located in the greater Vancouver area, Canada. Precision Plastics can run any size or gauge clear collar that is required with extremely competitive pricing. The reason for this email is to see if we can quote on supplying you cake collars for your distribution.
    I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.

    Rob Williams
    Sales and Marketing
    Precision Plastics Inc.

  • I want to to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little
    bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff you post…

  • education says:

    I’m not sure why but this site is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

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