December is a month of indulgence and as we are starting to think about January, we thought it would be the perfect time to share one of our favourite vegan cakes. Whether you make this as a launch into 'Veganuary' or just as a way of satisfying a sweet craving, we hope you enjoy our Silky Vegan Hazelnut Cake.
The cold weather seems to trigger our craving for sweet gooey foods. As the temperature outside has been decreasing here at MoaAlm, in the Austrian Alps, our sugar craving has been slowly increasing. Is nature trying to fatten us up to endure the cold for longer? Are we using more energy snowshoe hiking and therefore automatically leaning towards foods with higher calories? Whatever the reason, we are loving the sweet indulgence! We are happily content that our ski pants are a bit baggy and our jackets are designed to accommodate extra layers. We do however have some sense of healthy responsibility, so we are always looking for a few recipes that are lower in sugar, with healthy fat from nuts but still taste decadent and are of course vegan.
This hazelnut cake, with a silky layer, hits the sweet spot! The silkiness comes from using millet, a gluten-free whole grain packed with fibre, nutrients, and antioxidants. It’s the first time we had made a cake with millet at MoaAlm and we love the texture, and the natural sweetness. This cake doesn't actually have much added sugar and the sugar it does have could be replaced with a rice syrup. The cake is high in protein and fibre due to the hazelnuts and the millet (Does that mean we can have two slices?) We found this recipe originally on a website we discovered on instagram, vegan chef Paulina. It's the first of her recipes that we have tried, but we will visit her site again in the future.
To make this cake will need to use a blender and a food processor.
65g toasted hazelnuts
130g soft dates
60g maple syrup
2 tbsp cacao nibs
1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder
Big pinch of salt
90g toasted hazelnuts without skin
700g plant based milk
70g dry millet
60g brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4g agar-agar powder
30g coconut oil
35g maple syrup
1 tbsp cacao powder
Start by making the base. Blitz the oats in a food processor and add the rest of the base ingredients. Whiz until sticky. Line the bottom of 15 cm square cake tin with baking paper. Press the mixture into the tin and set in the freezer for half an hour.
While the base is in the freezer, start making the hazelnut cream. Put the millet and half of the milk into a saucepan and bring it to boil. Stir, cover the pan and simmer on a very low heat until the millet absorbs all the milk. The millet should be very soft.
In a separate pan pour the rest of the milk and add the agar-agar powder. Stir well and bring it to the boil , stirring all the time. Simmer on a low heat for a couple of minutes.
Put the cooked millet and the hot milk with agar-agar powder in a high speed blender, with the rest of the hazelnut cream ingredients. Blend until perfectly smooth.
Pour the hazelnut cream onto the base and spread it with a spoon. Smooth the surface with a palette knife. Set in the fridge for at least an hour.
When the cake is firm, melt the coconut oil and mix with maple syrup and cacao powder. Stir well to combine the ingredients. Pour the chocolate on the top of the cake. Set in the fridge for 15 minutes or until you are ready to serve. The cake cannot be frozen, but it will last for up to five days in the fridge.
If you would like an excuse to crave sugar because you are exploring the snowy Austrian mountains this winter, then check out our plant based snowshoe hiking and yoga holidays.
We also have another Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake on our website if you need extra nutty inspiration during January if you are looking for some vegan ideas for Veganuary.
Happy Baking and please #relaxinglyactive and #moaalmretreat if you love and share our recipes.
We would like to thank the wonderful Abbie, for her photos of our recipes.