Sonntag, 3. November 2013

Chocolate Walnut Cranberry Coffee Cake with Pistachios

Ah, another inspiration from the Vegan Food Magazine. On page 55 of their first issue, they published a lovely recipe ("Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Coffee Cake") by Fran Costigan. I changed it according to my taste, available produce and equipment. It turned out perfect! At least as far as I can tell. This is definitely my favorite fall/winter cake! It's super juicy, but the nuts give it a nice crunch, and the chocolate and maple syrup give it a wonderful rich taste! It is a bit costly because of all the awesome ingredients, but... that's okay.


  • a 28cm/11in springform pan
  • a scale
  • 2 cooling racks (or one rack and a plate)
  • 3 bowls (one small, one medium and one large bowl) 
  • an oven
  • parchment paper
  • a mixer or whisk
  • a knife and cutting board
  • a juicer (nothing fancy, just the thing that you use with citrus fruits cut in half)
  • a fine grater 
  • a spoon or two
  • a bain-marie and a small pot 

Ingredients for the crumb:
  • 120g of cranberries
  • zest and juice of 2 organic oranges (I wouldn't use the zest from non-organic oranges!)
  • 75 of walnuts
  • 40g of rolled oats (toasted)
  • 90g of unrefined cane sugar
  • 3 table spoons of olive oil
  • 30g of dark chocolate
  • 30g of pistachios

Ingredients for the cake:
  • 150g of all purpose flour
  • 120g of whole wheat flour
  • 35g of (Dutch-process) cocoa powder
  • 75g of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 55g of sunflower oil
  • 210g maple syrup
  • 180g soy (or oat or almond or any other plant) milk
  • either 1 table spoon of vanilla extract, or one vanilla bean
  • a few splashes of orange oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 35g dark chocolate

For decoration:
a handfull of pistachios, cranberries, and walnuts
35g of dark chocolate

Instructions for the cake:
  • Firstly, you should get a 28cm (11inch) springform pan and cover the bottom with parchment paper. The original recipe works with a smaller (9 inch/23cm) pan, but since I only had a 15cm (6in) and a 28cm (11inch), I decided to increase the ingredients by ca. 20% and went with the bigger pan. 
  • Chop the chocolate into small (pea size) chunks. You can also buy chocolate chips/morsels and use them instead. Since I only buy chocolate from fair trade sources, I use regular 70% chocolate and chop it up. That's usually also cheaper than buying chocolate chips. 
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. 

Instructions for the crumb:
  • Use the grater to get the orange zest, then juice the orange.
  • Soak the cranberries in the orange juice for 15 minutes or so.
  • Take the cranberries out of the juice (don't toss or drink the juice just yet!) and put them in a medium sized bowl. Mix with all of the other ingredients for the crumb (walnuts, rolled oats, sugar, oil, pistachios, chocolate, orange zest). You won't get any type of batter or anything, it's mostly nuts and chocolate chunks that stick together because of the sugar and oil. If this mixture isn't sticky enough, add a tablespoon of orange juice. 
  • Let the crumb wait for greater things to happen (while you're making the cake batter)!

This is what your crumb is going to look like for now.

How to make the cake:

  • Sift the flour (whole wheat and normal), cocoa, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, cardamon and salt into a large bowl. 

  • Mix everything well (so you get a little bit of everything in every part of the batter) and throw in your previously chopped chocolate chunks.
  • In a seperate (smaller) bowl, mix the maple syrup, sunflower oil, soy milk, vanilla, orange oil, and vinegar together. 
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. 
  • Fill half of this batter into the parchment-lined springform and spread evenly.
  • Crumble half of the crumb on top (evenly). 
Yay! Almost there!

  • Top with the other half of the batter. 
  • Crumble second half of the crumb on top. 
  • Chase significant other/friends out of the kitchen if they are trying to eat unbaked cake. Appease them by letting them eat the batter out of the nearly empty bowl. Since we're not baking with eggs, they won't get salmonella and you can finish your kitchen things without them sneaking in to steal things.
  • Bake cake for ca. 55 minutes at 180°C/350°F.
Before baking.

  • After 55 minutes you can push a tooth pick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean without any soft batter stuck to it, the cake is done. If not, leave it in the oven for a couple more minutes and try again.
  • Once the cake is good, take it out of the oven and place it on a cooling rack. 
After baking.

  • Cut around the edges to detach the cake from the pan. 
  • Open the latch of the springform tin and remove the metal belt.
  • Place another drying rack (or a plate) on top of the cake and turn it upside down. 
  • Remove the metal base of the pan. 
  • Carefully remove the parchment paper. 
  • Place cooling rack on top again and turn cake back around.

Works with two cooling racks or a plate and a cooling rack. 

  • Allow cake to cool down. 
  • Melt chocolate in a bain-marie (if you don't have one - it's definitely worth to invest in one! They're inexpensive and make baking so much easier when molten chocolate is involved!). 

Bain-marie FTW!

  • Once the cake has cooled down, sprinkle with molten chocolate and decorate with chopped pistachios, cranberries and walnuts.
  • Enjoy and share with people you love!

PS.: This cake is a bit pricy because of ingredients like nuts, fair trade chocolate and cocoa, etc. But it's still worth it! You can also half the recipe and do a smaller version in a 15cm/6 in pan. The baking time is probably going to be shorter, but you can always check if the cake is good with a toothpick!