I started with Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Honey Bee Cake which I converted to gluten-free and veganized. Although my adapted recipe has far more whole grains then Nigella’s original – it is by no means ‘healthy’ – there is still a great deal of sugar and fat. But, it is a lovely cake for a special occasion. Its a dense, very rich, almost gooey cake with a beautiful chocolate taste and the floral notes of honey in the background.
This is an exceedingly easy cake to put together, especially in the food processor.
If you have a big sweet tooth, try the Sticky Honey Glaze (part of the original recipe). I found the honey glaze made the whole cake to over-cloyingly sweet for me. I much prefer the flavor of the Ganache, which is far more subtle; the beautiful flavor of deep dark chocolate is primary.
Elizabeth serves the coffee while Sandy and I scoff cake
Nigella and her kids of use marzipan to make little bees, decorated with the chocolate glaze and sliced almonds - I suppose if one has kids about, this might be fun… I say never mind about the decorations – just give me a piece of cake already!
If you don’t care about the vegan aspect, substitute 2 eggs for the golden flax meal and coconut milk and use butter. And, if you don’t need the cake to be gluten-free, substitute 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour for the sorghum flour, brown rice flour, and arrowroot flour.
I have shared a link to this post at Cybele Pascal’s Allergy Friendly Friday.
I’ve made this cake gluten-free & vegan; with wheat flour & vegan; with wheat flour, eggs, and butter – it tastes fabulous no matter which option.
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
4 tablespoons ground golden flax meal
6 tablespoons coconut milk
1 cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar (you can get by with less, it will still be plenty sweet)
2 earth balance buttery sticks (room temperature)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour (ground superfine is best)
3/4 cup arrowroot flour (or tapioca flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup boiling water
Sticky Honey Glaze:
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Chocolae Ganache (a less sweet topping then the Sticky Honey Glaze)
1/2 cup coconut milk
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
a small bit of cayenne pepper and/or cinnamon (optional, but try it, its wonderful!)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and oil and line the bottom (with parchment paper) a 9-inch springform pan. Also, because the batter is quiet liquid, I wrapped the pan with foil very tightly (although my pan did not leak at all). Also, place the springform pan on a sheet tray (if there is some leakage, you don’t want it all over your oven).
Combine ground flax meal and coconut milk and allow to sit for a few minutes (this is the substitute for 2 eggs).
Combine all dry ingredients: (sweet sorghum flour, brown rice flour, arrowroot flour, baking poweder and soda, salt, and cocoa) and whisk until combined. Note: its always a good idea to put the whole wheat pastry flour and the cocoa thru a mesh strainer to remove any lumps or large pieces.
In a food processor, beat together softened earth balance sticks and palm sugar until creamy, then add the honey, maple syrup, and melted chocolate and process another few seconds. Add half of the flaxmeal & coconut milk mixture and about 1/2 of the dry ingredients. Add remaining flaxmeal & coconut milk mixture and remaining dry ingredients. Add add vanilla and the boiling water. Mix everything well to make a smooth batter and pour into the prepared tin.
(don’t have a food processor? Do the same as above in a large bowl with a hand held mixer)
Cook for up to 1 1/2 hours, though check the cake after 45 minutes and if it is getting too dark, cover the top lightly with aluminium foil and keep checking every 15 minutes. Let the cake cool completely in the tin on a rack.
To make the Chocolate Honey Glaze, bring the water and honey to a simmer in a saucepan, then turn off the heat and add the finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate, swirling it around to melt in the hot liquid. Leave it for a few minutes, then whisk together. Add the powdered sugar through a sieve and whisk again until smooth.
To make the Chocolate Ganache, bring the coconut milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. When milk is hot, pour over chocolate and let sit for a minute, then whiskto melt and combine. Add cayenne and/or cinnamon, coconut oil, and vanilla and whisk. Taste, you might want to add more cayenne! Let cool in an ice bath or in the frig.
Choose your plate or stand, and cut out 4 strips of parchment paper and form a square outline on the plate. This is so that when you sit the cake on and ice it, the icing will not run out all over the plate. Unclip the springform pan and set the thoroughly cooled cake on the prepared plate. Pour the glaze over the cold cake; be sure a good deal of the glaze dribbles down the sides. The glaze takes awhile to harden, so give it least an hour before you plan on serving it.
- this cake rose beautifully in the oven, but then fell a bit in the middle (this is common occurrence with gluten-free baked things) doesn’t effect the taste, so it didn’t bother me at all.
- this recipe makes 18 lovely cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
- The cake is so deeply chocolaty, you could easily skip the glaze or ganache - with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar. its also nice with a puree of raspberries.