Trust me when I say that my silence hasn’t been a break, but rather a sabbatical. A time to stop, to grow and to change some very important things in my life. New home, new routines and a new oven. One that has burnt several attempts of a fail-safe biscuit recipe to smithereens, with charred bottoms and pale lids.
My new (gas, non-fan) oven has taken some getting to know, taming and an occasional shouting at or two but I have finally got to the stage where I can take a cake out and know it’s ready and not directed straight to the bin.
Sometimes it’s more about instinct then we realise, and with that note you may want to ignore my timings completely and learn your oven. Because it’s a good friend to you, but only when you listen.
And with June having finally made an appearance, and my oven behaving (under close supervision) I itched to experiment, craving a cake that was both indulgent and guilt free. And so came the strange combination of avocado, chocolate and passion fruit. Rich, healthy(er) and with a refreshingly sweet topping. My obsession with vegetables in cakes is to some extent overloaded, but there’s something about adding an ingredient that just doesn’t fit and baking it in a not-so-perfect oven. Especially when it goes straight past the bin and onto your plate.
Oh and did I mention that it’s completely vegan?
Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake with Passion Fruit Frosting
380g plain flour
6 tbs cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
400g granulated sugar
60ml sunflower oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium or 2 small ripe avocados, mashed
2/3 medium sized passion fruits with the fruit scooped out
1 tsp lemon juice
6-8 heaped tbsp icing sugar
180 degrees celsius/Gas mark 4
Sift all of the dry ingredients (flour, cacao powder, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda) except the sugar in one bowl.
Then mix the oil, water, vinegar, vanilla extract and mashed avocado in another bowl. Restrict yourself from tasting this, even for a dare. But trust me that it will all turn out with smiles in the end. Now add the sugar and mix well.
Now tip the wet mixture straight into the dry bowl in one go, and use a hand whisk to beat until smooth.
Pour the mixture into two greased tins of identical size; I used 8inch round cake tins.
Bake for roughly 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your tins (& your oven).
Take out and leave to cool for 10 minutes or so before taking them out of the tins and cooling completely on a wire rack.
Start on the frosting whilst the cakes cool.
Mix the scooped passion fruit with the icing sugar one tbsp at a time until the mixture is runny enough to pour but thick enough to act as frosting. I kept the seeds in to give my frosting an extra texture, however you can do this without but I recommend adding another passion fruit at least. Add roughly 1 tsp of lemon to give it a kick; this stops it from becoming sickly-sweet.
Once the cakes are cooled spoon on half of the frosting mixture on top of one of the cakes, smooth over until even and sandwich the two cakes together. Use the remaining frosting on top, using a flat knife or spatula for even coverage.
Eat with fresh lemonade or an evening mug of fruit tea.