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Dairy free (vegan) chocolate cake with rasberries

The cake is best eaten very fresh or even slightly warm. You do need to use a good quality dark chocolate for the icing, though it does not need to be as high in cocoa content as for other recipes. A sweeter chocolate works better because of the bicarbonate of soda which can otherwise leave a slightly salty aftertaste.

Serves 12

Cake
150ml/16fl oz espresso coffee
75ml/3fl oz water
75g/3oz vegetable margarine
75g/3oz caster sugar
15ml/1tbsp golden syrup
200g/7oz plain unbleached white flour
5ml/1tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g/1oz cocoa powder
45ml/3tbsp soya milk
2.5ml/1⁄2tsp vanilla essence

Icing
75g/3oz plain chocolate
25g/1oz vegetable margarine
275g/9oz icing sugar

Topping
250g/8oz frozen or fresh raspberries
30ml/2tbsp caster sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm/8in round cake tin.
Put the coffee, water, margarine, sugar and syrup in a pan and heat stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the dry ingredients and beat well.
Stir in the soya milk and vanilla essence.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes until set.
Slice in half and allow to cool on a wire rack.
To make the icing, place the chocolate and margarine plus 45ml/3tbsp water in a dish or pan.
Set this over a saucepan of boiling water until melted.
Stir well until amalgamated and sift in the icing sugar, beating the mixture until smooth.
Allow to cool slightly, then spread some onto one half of the cake and sandwich together with the other half.
Spread the remaining icing all over the top and sides.
For the topping, place the raspberries in a pan with the caster sugar and heat very gently until the sugar is melted and the raspberries are just beginning to dissolve.
Allow to cool slightly and spoon over the centre of the cake only, leaving a surrounding area of cake uncovered.

Source: The New Cranks Recipe Book

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