Vegan, gluten free, dark chocolate coconut fudge cake

with vegan chocolate coconut ganache.

This recipe was for Adam’s birthday cake! An invention based on a chocolate version of the white coconut cake recipe I posted recently. It’s a double recipe, so would fill two 8 inch cake pans for a nice tall double layer cake (make extra ganache if that’s your plan!). I used a tall 5 inch pan for a little but high cake coated in ganache that more than served our table of 12. 


  • 2 cups almond milk (or soy)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract/essence
  • 1 tsp coconut extract/essence
  • 100g 70% vegan dark chocolate

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ¾ cup gluten free flour
  • 2 tsp guar gum
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut


Preheat oven to 170°C, line and grease two 8" round cake tins (or one tall 5" one!).

Combine the milk and apple cider vinegar, set aside and allow to curdle.

Sift together the flours, cocoa, guar gum, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the desiccated coconut to this dry mixture. 

Melt the chocolate in a med-large mixing bowl which will eventually contain all ingredients.

Add the oil to the melted chocolate, stir through, then add the extracts of vanilla and coconut. Ideally, the milk and apple cider vinegar combination should have been left to stand for around ten minutes and should be close to room temperature (or at least not cold). Add half of the milk mixture to the chocolate and mix together, then add the other half.

Next add the sugars to the wet mix and stir thoroughly.

Add a third of the dry ingredients, fold into the wet. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients, fold in, and then add the remaining dry mix to complete the batter. It will be slightly lumpy.

Pour into the prepared cake tin(s) and bake for about 45-50 min or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Or clean ish – it is a gooey fudge cake after all. Rest the cake(s) in their tin(s) for 10 min on a cooling rack before turning out to cool completely.

At this point you can put the cake in a plastic bag and freeze it, or put it in the fridge for a day or two before icing it. 

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Ganache

I used a bar of Green & Blacks Organic Dark 70%, and roughly 50% of the solids from a 400mL tin of “Family Choice” brand coconut cream. Tip – when buying coconut cream – shake the tin, if the contents move about a lot in there, don’t buy it. You want the practically solid stuff. The thicker, heavier and creamier, the better for this job. 

Before opening the tin for making this recipe don’t shake it! You want the insides to stay separated so you can scoop the “heavy” cream off the top of the tin.

I didn’t add sweetener to the ganache as the cake itself is quite sweet and the velvety texture is a nice complement to the cake without it’s own sweetness. The coconut flavour doesn’t actually come out as the chocolate masks it, you could add coconut essence or another flavouring though.


  • 100g vegan dark chocolate
  • 400ml tin coconut cream (full, not “lite”)
  • 1 tsp high quality vanilla essence


Break up the chocolate and melt it down in a double boiler, taking extra care not to get any water or steam in the chocolate. Add the coconut cream, vanilla, and stir until combined and smooth, then remove from heat.

I put mine in the freezer to cool, and stirred it intermittently until it was a nice thick consistency to spread over the cake with my usual offset spatula that I use for buttercream.

Spiced roast veges

For Alex.

Tasty variation on the standard roast vege fare. Substitute whatever you have – pumpkin, sweet potato, potatoes, garlic, shallots, spices etc. This is what I used in a dish for girlfriends here for Friday night potluck… Would be nice with pumpkin/sunflower seeds too.


  • 2 large smooth golden kumara (sweet potato), peeled and cubed to roughly 1in pieces (this makes it faster to cook)
  • ¼ small golden pumpkin seeded, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tin chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 medium brown onion, peeled and wedged
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp paprica
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam marsala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Canola oil


Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Combine the spices in a small bowl or cup.

Oil a large roasting dish, add the kumara, pumpkin, onion, and chickpeas, stir to coat lightly in oil.

Sprinkle ½ the spice mix over the veges, stir and then add the remaining spices. Stir to coat the vegetables in spices.

Bake in the oven, stirring every ten minutes and testing the kumara until it’s cooked – soft when tested with a skewer. I’d say at least 30-40 min.

Roasted Portobello Mushrooms on Spinach/Kumara Salad
For Lauren <3

This tasty recipe sounds harder than it is. I wrote it for the mushrooms and salad to be prepped together. I think it would serve two but as quite a light meal.

The dish would also work well with Pumpkin in place of Kumara (though pumpkin would cook a little faster). The mushrooms have a strong balsamic flavour, I think next time I’ll reduce the balsamic and increase the olive oil. Do what feels right to you.

Remove the feta or use soy feta (is that a thing?), and this recipe is vegan friendly. I used walnuts but pine nuts or pumpkin/sunflower seeds would be good too.

You’ll need a dish to roast the Kumara (sweet potato) and a brownie pan or other oven proof dish which will fit the mushrooms laid flat while in a little depth of marinade.

Check your oven racks are in a position capable of holding your mushroom dish and vegetable roasting dish at the same time, and preheat the oven to 200ºC.


  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine/cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, average/medium size 

Combine everything except the mushrooms to form the marinade.

After removing the stems, place the mushrooms in the marinade gill side up, and spoon the marinade over them. Cover with a sheet of tinfoil to prevent the liquids from evaporating in the oven and let stand for 10 min while you prep the Kumara.


  • 2-3 handfuls washed baby spinach leaves
  • 2 medium sized golden kumara
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • Rind and 1 tbsp juice of an orange
  • Salt to season
  • Optional – roughly 20g of chopped or crumbled feta cheese of any variety

While the mushrooms marinade, peel the kumara and dice it into 1" cubes. Lightly oil your roasting dish and toss in the kumara and the chopped nuts. Season with salt and place in the preheated oven with the mushrooms.

Leave for 20 minutes, then test your kumara with a skewer. They are ready when they are cooked (not crisp/crunchy) but still quite firm and holding their shape.

Your kumara may need a few more minutes depending on how large your cubes are etc.

When the mushrooms have been in the oven for 30 min, remove them and carefully take off the foil. Use tongs to turn the mushrooms over (gill side down) and put them back in the oven for ten more minutes. The kumara should be left to cool in this time (transferring them to a cold plate or bowl will help them to cool faster).

While the mushrooms finish cooking and the kumara and nuts cool, wash, dry and put the spinach leaves in their serving bowl. Prep the orange zest and juice.

Remove the mushrooms from the oven, add the cooled kumara to the spinach and top with feta (if using) and the orange rind. Drizzle the orange juice over the salad.

Plate up!

I chose to make the salad directly onto plates, then put the mushrooms on top prior to adding the orange zest. Any remaining liquid from the mushroom dish can also be drizzled over the salad, and a dash more olive oil would be fine if you like well dressed salad.

Coconut & Chia Spiced Oats

I’ve been eating oats for breakfast for a long time now, and am starting to play a bit more with what goes in them. This morning I was feeling like coconut, and this first try recipe is a hit!

  • Oats
  • Oat Milk
  • Vanilla Essence (1 tsp)
  • White Chia Seeds (1 tbsp)
  • Cardamom (1tsp)
  • Desiccated Coconut (1 tbsp)
  • Coconut Oil (1tbsp)

I always use a rough amount of oats so just use what feels right (a cup? Probably less…).

Add everything to your bowl, microwave on high for 2 minutes. I usually add a bit more milk or water after cooking to cool things back down. It will smell and taste delicious!

I think it’s pretty sweet as it is, but you could add a tsp of honey too if you’re craving something sweet.