I’m not one for celebrity chefs at the best of times and the programmes we have on over here where people compete to be able to run a restaurant, or try to cook better than one another (although my sister was on Masterchef last season so I did watch the episodes she was in), chefs who are rude to everyone they come across or chefs trying and change the eating habits of the whole nation under some misguided idea that they are somehow important enough to do so drive me incredibly batty. I did used to watch a lot of UKTV food when I had it, Jim loved the Barefoot Contessa (he’d call her the ‘big lady’) and my two personal favourites are Rick Stein (Jim also loves him, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Rick’s dog Chalky died, Jim loves Chalky and he still shows up on repeats) and Nigella Lawson (referred to by Jim as ‘the small lady’).
Now, Rick Stein is not an obvious choice for a vegan as he specialises in fish, along the same lines Nigella Lawson also isn’t the most vegan friendly cook (hell, she’s not even vegetarian friendly a lot of the time). What I love about these two people are their huge enthusiasm for all things food. I have learnt an awful lot about cooking in general from watching their shows and while I’d never buy a Rick Stein cookbook as veganizing fish recipes seems a bit complicated, I do own to date 4 Nigella Lawson books and I have enjoyed reading every single one of them (I believe I’m getting her Christmas book for a Christmas present from the soon to be ex Mother In Law).
You can veganize a number of Nigella’s recipes and this cake is one of them that is really easily done. I first made this when I was vegetarian but when I went vegan I simply started replacing the 2 eggs with No Egg and the cake comes out a treat every single time.
It isn’t much of a looker I know, but it’s very rich, dense and moist and hits you with a screaming ************CHOCOLATE***************** feeling whenever you eat it! I am not a sweet snacker, I go for the pretzels, crisps or peanuts every single time, but sometimes you need a little chocolate in your life and this is a great way to get it.
It’s very quick to put together despite the melting of chocolate (I use the Nigella method of throwing it in the microwave, no double boilers for me) and adding the boiling water and flour alternately bit by bit. It does have to cook for 45 minutes though and then cool completely before you can take it out of the tin so it’s not one to make when you’re desperate for cake right this minute.
This one is in order of the ex’s Birthday which was ealier in the week. Jim decided that he wants to have a Birthday party for his Dad who is visiting this weekend so I was enlisted to make the cake. I know the ex likes this one and I wasn’t in the mood to spend ages making a proper cake and fiddling with icing (seems a little bit too much effort for an ex no?) so this recipe came to the rescue. I will throw a candle on top and call it done and we will all enjoy chocolately goodness for pudding.
It’s also wonderful served with vanilla ice cream!