Dark chocolate cake

This was a total experiment that came about when I needed a cake to take along to something but had just used up the last of my eggs. It’s alarmingly difficult to find free range eggs here (cage free is not the same thing!) and I didn’t have time to go on a hunt for them. I did have a few egg whites in the freezer however and I had successfully replaced whole eggs with coconut milk in my ginger cake (http://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/sticky-eggless-ginger-cake/) when I found myself in a similar situation. It had to be worth a try…and it totally was!

Sponge
200g plain flour
50g cocoa powder (really good dark stuff)
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
100g coconut milk
150g soft light brown sugar
50g butter (melted)
2 tbsp rum (optional)
70ml milk
3 egg whites.

Ganache
150g good quality dark chocolate (finely chopped)
150ml double cream
1 tbsp rum (optional)

Dark chocolate cake

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and very lightly grease your cake tin before dusting it with a little cocoa powder. Double sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Sifting it twice will get a bit more air into the cake. Stir in the salt. In a different bowl beat together half of the sugar and the coconut milk. Add in the melted butter, rum and milk and stir together. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks in a third bowl (sorry about all the washing up!). Whisk in remaining sugar in two batches to create a meringue mixture.
Beat the wet mixture into the dry ingredients using an electric mixer. Finally fold in egg whites to lighten the whole mixture. Pour into your prepared tin and bake it for around 40 minutes, testing with a skewer to check that it is cooked all the way through.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack to cool totally before decorating.

Dark chocolate cake

To make the ganache simply warm the cream (with the rum if using) and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Allow the chocolate to melt into the warm cream for five minutes and then stir it all together. Put this in the fridge to get really cold and thicken before using an electric mixer to whip it until it is thick and fluffy. Spread this all over the cooled cake using a metal palate knife. Keep the cake cool until serving as the whipped ganache is prone to melting easily, which does make it all the more delicious to eat.