Tag Archives: chocolate

Picture of a vegan chocolate cake

Simple vegan chocolate cake

Yoga Kitchen – Simple, healthy, and plant-based

Undoubtedly the easiest vegan cake ever

To make the dark chocolate cake below, you use a dead simple recipe that you can literally get done in an hour. Truly a cake for beginners with no baking experience.
The result is a deeply dark, juicy cake with the bitter flavour of dark chocolate. However, we do not use chocolate for it, but rather raw cocoa.

What ingredients do you need?

It is unimaginably simple. Just 5 ingredients, at least, if you leave out the water.

  • 200 g sieved flour
  • 130 g (or ml) of neutral-tasting oil you can fry with (e.g.: sunflower oil)
  • 70 g sieved (raw) unsweetened cocoa
  • 100 to 180 g whole, unrefined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 500 ml boiling water

About the sugar: The original recipe specified 180 g of whole cane sugar. I reduced that, as I often do, to almost half (100 g), and used coconut blossom sugar. So adjust that according to your preferences.
As for the flour: I used a mixture of semi-whole and white wheat flour. That way, you get still some extra minerals and fibre in the cake.

This is how to prepare it:

It couldn’t be simpler:

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (or 170°C for an oven with hot air circulation).
  • Grease a round baking tin of about 20 to 24 cm with some oil or line the bottom and edges with baking paper.
  • Mix the 4 dry ingredients flour, cocoa, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.
  • Then pour in the oil, stirring a little.
  • Finally, pour in the hot water and mix to a homogeneous, fairly liquid batter.
  • Pour the batter into the lined tin.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes at the bottom of your oven.
  • Let cool and remove from the springform pan.
  • Garnish with a topping of your choice

An example for a vegan topping:

For a luscious vegan top layer with chocolate and coconut flavouring:

  • Mix about 100 ml of canned coconut milk (17-23% fat content) with two tablespoons of cocoa and two tablespoons of agave syrup or whole (cane or coconut) sugar.
  • Spread this chocolate coconut cream on top of the cake.
  • Garnish with fruit such as berries or banana slices if desired.
  • Finally, put the cake in the fridge for one and a half to two hours.
  • Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

Simple as that. This vegan cake certainly rivals its traditional counterpart in flavour and is remarkably moist thanks to the water. The texture is somewhat reminiscent of a flan, another archaeological find from my Flemish childhood.
I found inspiration for this recipe at “The Happy Pear” from Ireland. Their website is full of delicious and healthy vegan recipes.

Do I need butter and eggs to bake cake?

The answer is no, of course.
Traditional cake such as the famous “quatre quarts” from French cuisine, always uses the following ingredients:

  • White flour
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Refined sugar

Okay, cake is not something you eat every day. It’s fun food. But the above list shows that the resulting classic cake is quite a chore for the body to digest as well as metabolise. The white flour, refined sugar and butter are high in calories but very, not to say totally “empty” of nutrients. The eggs provide a lot of cholesterol. We are so conditioned by the traditional pastries of our childhood. The above vegan recipe is very basic and consists of just 5 ingredients.
Opting for vegan pastries is good for your health, the environment and animals. It just takes the courage and initiative to step outside the known paths.

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Picture of vegan brownies

Vegan chocolate brownie

Yoga Kitchen – Simple, healthy, and plant-based

Brownies without eggs or dairy products

Black beans are the secret protein source of this recipe. If you are working with dried black beans, soak them for 24 hours and then boil them soft. For this recipe, assume about 80 g of dry beans. Put the beans in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Do not add salt to the cooking water.
Even better: use a pressure cooker, then they will be done in 25 minutes. In an ordinary saucepan, they need 45 to 60 minutes to cook. Add water now and again as it evaporates. But if you are a bit on the lazy side, you can also use canned black beans, which are soft, pre-cooked and ready to be eaten.

Why without eggs?

Who needs eggs? Eggs and egg powder are used abundantly in industrial pastry. Modern egg production is harmful and cruel to chickens, even if the eggs are supposedly from organic origin. Unless you care for your own chickens and entitle them to a dignified old age once they have stopped laying eggs, there are plenty of healthier and cheaper alternatives:

  • Like a simple banana.
  • Or apple sauce
  • Or a tablespoon of crushed flaxseed that you soak in two tablespoons of water.

The absence of eggs in this recipe means you can lick the leftover batter off your scraper without feeling guilty. There is no risk of salmonella infection, which can occur when you eat raw eggs.

With or without gluten?

You can also use a gluten-free type of flour in this recipe. Gluten-free flours such as millet, buckwheat, corn or soy are easier to digest for most of us. But you can also use a five-grain mix or whole-wheat spelt flour for a classic version with gluten. Many of today’s nutritionists say that modern, industrial wheat is best avoided. As far as pesticides are concerned, I agree with them. Personally, I think it is best to listen to your body’s reactions. Good wheat or spelt of organic origin (i.e. without pesticides) is OK in itself. Those grains also contain a lot of vegetable protein of good quality.

What you need for a small cake (approx. 350g):

  • One large, ripe banana. The riper, the better
  • Aproximately 120g rinsed black beans, soft boiled or canned. Aduki beans are also very good
  • 3 tablespoons of neutral-tasting vegetable oil that can withstand heating, e.g. high oleic sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ground vanilla (optional)
  • 6 soft mazafati or medjoul dates
  • 4 leveled tablespoons unsweetened pure cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 40 to 45 g flour (buckwheat or millet flour for the gluten-free version of this brownie)
  • a pinch of sea salt.
  • 1/2 cup (about 40 g) coarsely chopped walnuts (other nuts will do too)
  • 1/2 cup (about 60 g) vegan black chocolate drops (optional)

It is always a good idea to soak the nuts in water overnight. The nuts revive, the bitterness disappears and they taste like they have just been picked fresh from the tree. They are also much more digestible. Discard the soaking water and rinse the nuts well.

It is done in a jiffy, really:

Preheat the oven to 180°C/340°F.

  • Place the beans, oil, dates and banana in a food processor and mix well, first slowly and then at higher speed.
  • Add the vanilla and then the cocoa. Puree everything well. The result is a rather liquid, moist glossy dark brown mixture.
  • Mix together the dry ingredients: the flour, the baking powder and the pinch of salt.
  • In the food processor, gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until the mixture becomes a little drier, but still creamy and moist.
  • Spoon the contents of your food processor into a mixing bowl.
  • Then add the chopped nuts and chocolate drops. Mix roughly.
  • Finally, transfer everything to a low rectangular, square or round cake tin or baking tray covered with kitchen paper.

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. The brownie tastes best when it is still slightly moist inside. (A larger cake needs to bake a little longer).
Enjoy! With healthy and respectful ingredients like these, chocolate cake becomes healthy food full of love for the whole planet!

Black Bean brownies / Approximate nutritional value per 100 g of product:

Energy Carbohydrates Sugars Fat Sat. fat Protein Fibre Salt
1098,40 kJ/262,35 kcal 34,12 g 14,56 g 13,55 g 2,60 g 7,21 g 7,44 0,09 g

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