Valentine's Day is creeping up on us and our friend Nicole Derseweh has developed the most Devine, moist, and slightly spicy Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe! This cake has 3 decadent espresso chocolate cake layers smothered with a dairy-free chocolate mousse and covered in an espresso habanero ganache. and the cherry on top is really a candied habanero.
Spicy Mocha Layered Cake
- 16 oz. silken tofu
- 2 1/2 cups dairy free semisweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp. sugar
Candied Habanero Cake Topping
- 4-6 habaneros
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup finely ground coffee
- 3 tbsp. cinnamon
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350° and grease three 9" or 8" cake pans
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
- In another large mixing bowl, add milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside to curdle for 5 minutes before beating in oil, apple sauce and sugar, espresso coffee artisanal flavor , vanilla and habanero extract.
- Combine the wet with the dry ingredients and pour over boiling water, folding to combine. Divide among cake pans and bake for 20-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the pans and then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely before assembling. Ideally, chill overnight between sheets of parchment.
For the Mouse
- In the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender add silken tofu and sugar. Blend until smooth.
- Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate then pour into the tofu mixture immediately blend to combine.
- Transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.
For the Ganache
- To a microwave safe bowl, add milk, chocolate and vegan butter. Microwave on 1 minute intervals, whisking in between until the butter and chocolate have melted and the mixture is smooth and silky.
- Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer (or don't if using a hand mixer) and add 1 cup of powdered sugar, coffee and habanero extract. Beat with a whisk attachment then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up. You know its ready when you tilt the bowl and the mixture is slow to move.
- After chilling, beat in another 1 cup of powdered sugar and the cocoa power. If the ganache is too thin, add the remaining powdered sugar. If its too thick, add a tablespoon or too of milk until the desired consistency is reached.
- Take out the stalks and seeds, and cut spirally.
- Put in cold water and bring to the boil, let it boil for 1 minute, rinse in cold water, repeat 3 times.
- Make a saturated sugar solution (1 cup water : about 2.5 cups castor sugar)
- Place chilies in sugar solution and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Let cool for about an hour.
- String up chili strips with cotton and place in oven to dry at low heat – You don’t want to cook it, just let it dry out so it becomes tacky.
- Use a serrated knife to level off the cakes and discard the scraps. Place the first layer on to your cake board or plate with the flattest side facing up. Add about a cup of mousse to the center of the cake and spread with a spatula. Repeat with the next layer, saving about a 1/2 cup of mousse for a thin crumb coat or to fill in any gaps. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes before frosting.
- Make sure the ganache is at room temperature before frosting. Use an offset spatula to spread the ganache evenly over the sides of the cake. If the ganache isn't sticking to the sides, its too thick. Add a tablespoon or two of milk until its smooth and spreads easily. Top with candied habanero, coffee grounds and crumbs and refrigerate until ready to serve.