Hello everyone! It’s Rita here. Today, we’re bringing you yet another spooky creation, just in time for your Halloween 2018 celebrations. Last year we concocted a Double Chocolate Halloween “Cheesecake”, and it was an immediate hit. This year, we’re hoping you enjoy this funky looking cake not only because it is attractive… but mostly, because it is darn delicious! We created a super fluffy and moist chocolate cake recipe (the pumpkin purée makes it extra gooey and scrumptious!) and a cashew “buttercream” that is flavoured with freshly squeezed orange juice and coloured with goji berries. All in all, this recipe is healthier than most you’ll find when googling “Halloween recipes”, since it requires natural ingredients that you can find in most supermarkets and grocery stores.
This cashew “buttercream” holds very well and it’s the perfectly balanced, rich yet light frosting to this chocolate cake. Please mind that you should freeze the cake briefly or refrigerate it after frosting it with the buttercream and before pouring the chocolate ganache and/or slicing it. We were on a slight hurry when we shot this and we didn’t, and the “buttercream” oozed out of the cake once we hit it with a knife. There’s nothing wrong about buttercream oozing out… André actually felt like it made it extra decadent and yummy. But trust us, after cooling down a bit more after frosting, this cake behaves just like the typically perfect cake from a professional bakery. The “buttercream” keeps to itself, the layers are perfectly distinct and the chocolate ganache sets into a sort of magic shell. The cake from the photoshoot is now far gone, distributed among friends and family members and devoured by none other than the both of us. But that’s not an issue – Halloween is still a week away and we can always bake more (and MORE AND MORE). Enjoy it folks! If we don’t get to see “again” sooner, we wish you a very spooky and cheerful Halloween! :)
Halloween Chocolate & Pumpkin Cake with Orange Cashew “Buttercream” (Vegan)
2 hours and 30 minutes | serves 12-16 portions
3 cups | 400 gr. white spelt flour
3/4 cup | 70 gr. raw cacao powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1 cup | 150 gr. jaggery (or raw cane sugar, or coconut sugar)
1 cup | 225 gr. pumpkin purée
1 cup | 250 ml. plant-based milk
3/4 cup | 180 ml. organic sunflower oil
1/4 cup | 60 ml. orange juice
1/4 cup | 60 ml. maple syrup
3 flax eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
zest of 1 orange
ORANGE CASHEW “BUTTERCREAM”
3 cups | 400 gr. raw cashew nuts (soaked in hot water for 1 hour or in room temperature water for 4-6 hours)
1 cup | 250 ml. refined, odorless coconut oil, melted but not hot
2/3 cup | 160 ml. rice malt syrup
2/3 cup | 160 ml. orange juice
1/3 cup | 40 gr. dried goji berries (soaked in hot water for 5-10 minutes)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
150 gr. vegan dark chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil
STEP BY STEP
Start by gathering, preparing and measuring all of the ingredients. This will improve your dynamic in the kitchen.
CHOCOLATE & PUMPKIN CAKE
Pre-heat your oven to 350 ºF / 180 ºC.
Line two round cake pans (we used pans with 21 cm in diameter) with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients.
Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and fold in gently using a spatula or wooden spoon, making sure there are no lumps (be careful not to overmix the batter).
Pour the batter into the lined pans and shake them gently to even out the surface.
Bake the cakes in the oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool for 15 minutes before removing them from their pans. Let cool completely (you can place them in the fridge to speed up the cooling time).
ORANGE CASHEW “BUTTERCREAM”
Combine all of the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 1-2 minutes or until you get a completely creamy and velvety mixture.
Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and place in the freezer for 45 minutes.
Remove from the freezer and whip with a hand/stand mixer on the highest speed for 2-3 minutes. Place in the freezer again for 20 minutes.
Whip again for a further 2-3 minutes and place in the freezer again, for 20 more minutes.
Whip one last time. If the cream has now become fluffy and spreadable, place in the fridge until the cakes are cool and ready to frost. If not, continue freezing for 20 minutes and whipping for 2-3 minutes until so.
You can make the “buttercream” one day in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
ASSEMBLY & DECORATION
Trim the top parts of both cakes, in case they’ve grown into a dome shape. Discard these pieces (aka enjoy them STRAIGHT AWAY).
Place the first cake on a cake stand or large serving plate.
Scoop a big dollop of cashew “buttercream” (about half of the total amount) onto the first cake and spread lightly with a spatula.
Place the second cake on top and scoop the remaining buttercream onto the cake. Spread the “buttercream” on top and all around the cake with a spatula.
Place the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes or the fridge for 30 minutes.
Melt the vegan dark chocolate in a double boiler and add the coconut oil. Mix to combine.
Remove the frosted cake from the freezer/fridge and pour the chocolate ganache on top, allowing it to drip down the sides.
Allow the ganache to set for a few minutes and enjoy (or store in the fridge until serving time).