Thursday, July 23, 2020

Sourdough Snacking Cake

If you are craving a rich, dense and decadently chocolatey dessert, this vegan snack cake is for you! While it is definitely sweet, the addition of sourdough starter (which I know a lot of you have lying around!) adds a hint of tang and lightens up the recipe, enticing you back for more!

While I didn't hop on the sourdough bandwagon as much as some people did during the last few months, I was definitely inspired to break out my (often neglected) starter to get some use out of it after all the articles cropped up online. I had made sourdough chocolate cake once before so I knew it was a sure-fire winner, but never recorded the recipe I used. Thankfully, many other people had the same idea I did, and not only that but some of the vegan community did as well!

This recipe was a combination of a few recipes I had saved, with my own twists for good measure. I only had oat-based creamer at home (I don't drink "milk" so I rarely buy any) and I had the end of a bag of spelt flour to use up, so those went into the mix. I knew I wanted to add coffee to heighten the chocolate flavour (especially since natural cocoa isn't as "deep" as Dutch process) but I only had French Vanilla flavoured instant - in that went! After all, I figured, all those things work with chocolate, and it was worth a try.

All in all, these changes served to make (in my opinion) a richer, nuttier flavoured cake with a solid "mocha" note, almost like those cappuccino mixes you used to find in the 90's. The tang from the sourdough was present but not overwhelming, almost like a red velvet cake, and I think you could definitely make red velvet cake out of this recipe by adding food colouring and frosting! For weeknights (or, lets face it, Blursday afternoons), this cake, unadorned, is perfect as is. I would suggest adding the chocolate chips halfway through the baking process or right after, as when I added them before (as written in the recipe), they settled into a layer in the middle. Not a bad thing - just not a layer of gooey goodness on top. Or you could do both - there are no rules!

Sourdough Snacking Cake
Serves 8
1 cup sourdough starter (mine was about 75% hydration), fed or unfed
2/3 cup non-dairy creamer (I used oat)
1/4 cup natural cocoa powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp instant coffee (I used French Vanilla flavoured)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup spelt flour, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda
miniature chocolate chips, to top (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sourdough starter, creamer, cocoa, sugar, coffee, oil, vinegar, vanilla and 1/2 cup of the flour. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
  2. Heat the oven to 350F and grease a 9" square pan
  3. Add the remaining flour, salt and baking soda, stirring well.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and top with chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before enjoying.

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