This vegan hazelnut cake is clearly perfect for Christmas and holiday baking, too – just look at those festive photos! Adding the pomegranate was a last minute decision but as this cake is so rich I think it needs those little pops of fresh fruit. They help cut through the ganache a bit. If you’re making this at another time of year then go for berries, 100%.
The cake is a bit dense, almost like a brownie, because the hazelnut flour tends to weigh things down a bit. I really like cakes like this for the colder months. Hazelnut and chocolate is a classic combination, you can’t go wrong.
I baked this in a type of bundt tin, which I didn’t want to do, but I couldn’t find the other base for the springform. If you make it in a regular springform or cake tin, watch the cooking time carefully as a bundt obviously bakes a bit faster and you’ll have to increase the cooking time.
Vegan Chocolate Ganache
Coconut milk and dark chocolate make up the vegan chocolate ganache here, but I want to make a note on that. I used to always make it just with the cream from the coconut milk (like in my chocolate banana babka) but have since switched over to making it with everything in the can, water and all.
I had done it by mistake while testing these chocolate apricot tarts but it worked so well, and it’s a bit easier than having to carefully separate the cream. You’ll see much the same recipe in this chocolate raspberry cake too.
I find that making the ganache this way makes it a bit softer, and more like icing, instead of the consistency of chocolate truffles. There’s no need to whip it to make it spreadable either.
What if my ganache is too soft?
Depending on the type of coconut milk you use, it sometimes doesn’t solidify fully. I’ve had that happen with cheaper brands here, but never in Canada, I’m not sure why. Make sure you’re using a high-fat type of milk to start with, at least 70%, and use a dark chocolate, also at least 70%.
If that happens, and the mixture is staying in a pourable state, I just very gently reheat it. Then following the same method as making the ganache in the first place, I pour that warm mixture over another 50 grams of finely chopped chocolate and then let it cool again. It works every time.
So if you’re making this for the first time, I recommend making the ganache the night before or even a couple of days in advance just in case. Make sure you let it sit for at least six hours before panicking and adding more chocolate, though, because it might just not have cooled fully. Otherwise, go for cream only and follow the directions for this whipped chocolate ganache.
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Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Ganache
- 200 grams light spelt flour
- 100 grams hazelnut flour
- 100 grams coconut sugar
- 70 grams cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 375 ml non-dairy milk
- 125 ml olive oil*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 100 grams dark chocolate**
- 400 ml canned full-fat coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a 26cm (10 inch) bundt tin with coconut oil. Sprinkle some cocoa powder into the pan using a fine sieve to really make sure it won't stick.
- Sift the spelt flour, hazelnut flour, coconut sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.200 grams light spelt flour, 100 grams hazelnut flour, 100 grams coconut sugar, 70 grams cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the milk, olive oil, and vanilla.375 ml non-dairy milk, 125 ml olive oil*, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and gently stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin, then bake on the centre rack for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes before removing the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely before icing.
- Finely chop the chocolate and place it into a heat safe bowl.100 grams dark chocolate**
- Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and heat over low-medium until just simmering. Once it’s hot, pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds before whisking to combine.400 ml canned full-fat coconut milk
- Add the vanilla and check for sweetness. You can a teaspoon or two of maple syrup if needed. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until set, at least four hours.1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- To ice the cake, use a large spoon to stir the ganache to soften it slightly. Top the cake with it, using the back of the spoon to create a swooping pattern. Gently press hazelnuts and pomegranate arils into the top of the cake, and serve. It will keep, covered and in a cold place, for up to three days.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.