First of all, welcome to the new site! What do you think? Do you like it?? It was about time I got a new, more professional looking site, so over the Christmas break I buckled down and got to work. I’m incredibly excited for this new chapter in the TermiNatetor Kitchen story. On this site, along with sharing some of my favorite recipes and photos, I hope to feature more videos, dabble in a few new projects, co-write with Momma Crawford on a couple of posts, and even open an online store where I will be selling prints! This is all very exciting stuff. I can’t contain my excitement. Quick, let’s take a moment and everyone scream at your computer screens. Ready? 1, 2, 3……*insert dinosaur noises*. Perfect. Moving on.
I’ve been on a two week hiatus from the blog. Thank you for not leaving me or forming an angry mob against me. I truly appreciate that. Now that I’m back, can we take a moment and talk about cake? Awesome. So January 4th was my 2nd Blogiverary. I wanted to get this recipe up in time for it, but it just didn’t happen, so I’m sharing it a week too late. But is there every a bad time for cake?? I think not! I made this cake to celebrate my 2016 year of blogging and all that I had done and my goals for the coming year. As previously stated, one of those goals was getting into videography. For this recipe, I’m excited to say that I have done just that. Check out the video below!
For my food videos, I want to do more than the typical Buzzfeed style food video. Don’t get me wrong, that style has worked extremely well for them and for many others, but I wanted to take a more cinematic, hipster-film school approach to my videos. Just like my photos, I want my videos to tell a story far beyond the plate. I’m no Wes Anderson, but I’m learning!
I was inspired by Tessa from Style Sweet CA’s recipe for her London Fog Cake. I loved the dark chocolate cake contrasting with the white buttercream, the little pieces of earl grey tea leaves scattered throughout like stars in an inverted night sky. It was beautiful and I knew I had to make my own version. My recipe is 1). Made with 6-inch cake pans to make an adorable mini-cake, and 2). It has a secret ingredient between each layer: chocolate cake crumbs! Bon Appetit has a recipe for a mini birthday cake where they put these crumbly, crunchy cake crumbs in between each layer. So brilliant! The crumbs create this wonderful texture contrast to the soft, moist cake and silky smooth buttercream. Plus, it’s all vegan! That’s right, my first recipe of 2017 is a vegan recipe. I like the challenge and baking vegan-style. It makes you think out of the box and use techniques and ingredients you wouldn’t otherwise use.
Anywho, let’s stop talking and get eating. A slice of this cake is calling my name. Cheers to 2017!
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with London Fog Buttercream
Original cake recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Cake crumbs recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Original buttercream recipe adapted from Chowhound
For the cake
2 ½ cups all-purpose
½ cup hazelnut or almond meal
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups coconut milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup coconut sugar or any organic sugar
For the cake crumbs
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup hazelnut or almond meal
½ cup coconut sugar or any organic sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the milk wash
¼ cup coconut milk + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the buttercream
¾ cups shortening
¾ cups vegan butter
4 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup coconut milk
3 pouches of Earl Gray, dry tea leaves
For the cake. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease five 6-inch (or two 8-inch) cake pans with coconut oil, dust with flour and tap out the excess. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, hazelnut meal, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, add the apple cider vinegar to the milk and whisk until it's frothy.
In another bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, vanilla, and sugar. Pour in the vinegar/milk mixture and whisk until combined. Add about a third of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix them together. Add another third, keep mixing for a few moments, and then add the final third. Be careful not to overmix the batter. You want to stir until everything is just combined then stop.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 20-25 or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a wire rack and allow the cakes to cook completely.
For the cake crumbs. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, hazelnut meal, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add in the oil and vanilla, and using your hands, mix until clumps form when mixture is pressed together between your fingers. Break mixture up into clusters and spread evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until crumble is slightly crunchy, 10–12 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
For the buttercream. In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the shortening and butter until fluffy and pale in color. Add in the sugar and beat for about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla, coconut milk, and tea leaves, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes or until light and fluffy.
For assembly. Remove each of the cakes from their pans. Place one onto your cake stand or plate. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. With a pastry brush, gently brush some of the mixture over the layer of cake. Evenly spread some of the buttercream on top. Toss a handful of the cake crumbs over the cake, arranging them in a single layer. Repeat this process, carefully placing the other cake layers on top of each other until the cake is assembled. Place naked cake in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cake is chilled. Remove from the freezer and ice the cake with the remaining buttercream. Transfer to a refrigerator to set for an hour. Garnish with the remaining cake crumbs and toasted hazelnuts.