After a few try-outs to make a chocolate cake sans dairy and eggs, this could be a keeper because after the morning coffee-break I found a mystery note lying on the kitchen counter that read;
Later someone was surprised to hear it was egg and dairy-free as she thought those kind of cakes can sometimes be quite dry (and my first attempts certainly have been). This one was not. I reckon it must be those darned preserved cherries in syrup that kept it moist and succulent!
Make sure the chia seeds soak in the wet ingredients first before adding the oil, or else they may fail to swell and hold the cake together.
75 g (⅓ cup) sugar
350 g (1¼ cups) preserved cherries in syrup (usually comes in a glass jar)
240 ml (1 cup) reserved cherry syrup from the preserved cherries;
plus red grape juice or apple juice if needed
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chia seeds
120 ml (½ cup) sunflower or other oil
240 g (1½ cups) flour
50 g (½ cup) cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 190 °C (375 °F).
- Line a 25 cm (10”) square cake tin with a 18 cm (7”) wide sheet of parchment paper.
- Drain the cherries from the jar, reserving the cherry syrup for the next step. If there is not enough syrup, make up the difference with grape or apple juice.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, cherry syrup (plus juice), vanilla and almond extract, salt, and chia seeds.
- Stir in the cherries.
- Let the mixture stand for a few minutes to allow the chia seeds to swell up, then whisk in the oil.
- In a clean bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
- Using a large, shallow metal spoon or firm spatula, reach into the bottom of the mixing bowl and cut and fold the flour into the wet ingredients until just combined. Turn the bowl after each fold so that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Work quickly and lightly. Alternatively, beat for a few seconds with an electric beater on low speed and finish with a few folds using a spatula, reaching to the bottom of the bowl.
- Drop the batter into the cake tin. Spread out evenly with the back of a fork.
- Bake for 35–45 minutes, or until the edges of the cake pull away from the tin, the top bounces back when touched, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven.
- Wait four minutes, then remove from the tins, and cool on a wire rack.