The BEST chocolate cake EVER! And it’s vegan

If you don’t eat cake, I don’t think we can be friends. Kidding! Not really ;) Today I want to share with you the BEST chocolate cake recipe EVER! And it’s vegan.

Cara is allergic to eggs, dairy and peanuts. It sounds a little more hectic than it actually is. Or maybe we’re just so used to it that it’s easy to get around it.

Cake isn’t always that easy though. We often bake muffins and cupcakes and then we substitute the eggs with bananas and use soy milk if the recipes calls for it (read: if it says add milk on the packet).

The BEST chocolate cake EVER! And it’s vegan

A proper cake is a different story. Then I remembered that we used to bake an AMAZING chocolate cake when I was a kid (thanks Tannie Elmari!). And it contained no eggs and no dairy! Yay for being vegan/vegetarian friendly.

I did a little search on the web and found similar recipes (this one is still the best!) and learnt that this cake is also called Depression Cake (the recipe originates from the Great Depression when eggs and dairy were a luxury), Crazy Cake or Wacky Cake. I just call it the yummiest and easiest cake in the world.

Chocolate Crazy Cake

The BEST chocolate cake EVER! And it’s vegan

Ingredients:

  • 750 ml flour
  • 20 ml baking powder
  • 500 ml sugar
  • 80 ml cocoa powder
  • 500 ml boiled water
  • 250 ml cooking oil
  • 10 ml vanilla essence
  • 50 ml white vinegar*
  • 5 ml bicarbonate of soda

*Not all white vinegar is vegan! I have seen white vinegar substituted with apple cider vinegar, but I have yet to try it. I’d love some vegan advice!

Pop over here for a handy conversions table from Huletts.

Steps:

Sift and mix the dry ingredients (excluding the bicarb) in a large bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients & bicarb in a separate bowl.

Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk lightly until completely combined and there are no lumps.

Bake in a greased dish at 180º for about 20 min.

The one I use is an approx 33cm x 25cm / 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish. It’s the ‘bakpan’ that came with the oven (damn, I think I’m ready for the Great SA Bake Off!).  If you know more about baking than I do, and I’m sure you do, you’ll now what to use. Trick: if the toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, it’s perfect.

And there you have the MOST DIVINE CHOCOLATE CAKE! And it contains no eggs and no dairy!

Let me know if you try it.

I’m going to have a piece now …

xoxo

Fresh, organic veggies grown locally now available in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs

I received word this morning that Harvest of Hope is now bringing their fresh produce to my valley as well. I am definitely going to give this service a go. Who can say no to fresh, organically grown veggies at amazing prices? Plus even more employment opportunities have now been created and more farmers have a permanent source of income. Sounds like an amazing project to be a part of.  Visit the Harvest of Hope website HERE to sign up and get your fresh greens.

GREEN MONDAY

Harvest of Hope fresh, organic vegetables Pretty Please Charlie

Harvest of Hope, iNkosi Eco Lodge and Abalimi Bezekhaya partner with Green Monday South Africa to now provide organically-grown veggies in Northern Suburbs

Abalimi Bezekhaya has partnered with Green Monday South Africa, a new initiative launched by Humane Society International (HSI) that aims to improve animal welfare, human health and environmental sustainability. Green Monday encourages consumers to leave meat, dairy and eggs off their plates for one day a week, and replace it with delicious plant-based alternatives.  

To help the Northern Suburbs take part in this fun and delicious movement, Harvest of Hope (HoH) will now also be offering fresh, organically-grown veggies to consumers living in the Durbanville and De Tyger areas once a week (on Tuesdays). Harvest of Hope already provides this popular service to a variety of other suburbs in Cape Town. Veggie lovers in the Northern Suburbs can now order and collect their fresh weekly greens at iNkosi Eco Lodge, who has also joined the Green Monday movement.

Harvest of Hope now in Northern Suburbs Pretty Please Charlie

Monthly or quarterly orders can be placed online for small (R99 per week), medium (R133 per week) or even combination bag sizes. Vegetables included will change on a weekly basis to offer a variety of meal options – ranging from carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach and lettuce to chives, peppers and basil (amongst others).

Harvest of Hope is a project of Abalimi Bezekhaya, a nonprofit organisation in Cape Town. Their aim is to teach and train township communities on how to organically grow their own food and use agriculture as a means to food security as well as income generation. Harvest of Hope guarantees the purchase of all vegetables grown by these farmers by distributing boxes of fresh produce to HoH members weekly. Farmers benefit by receiving more than half the value of the veggie bags each week. The organisation is not concerned with making a profit, but rather offering guaranteed and reliable access to markets for the small farmers.  More than a hundred farmers are part of the project, and providing the service in the Northern Suburbs will create even more job opportunities. Harvest of Hope is brining on more local farmers to cater for the added demand, and they are also hiring another driver and more staff for packing the produce.

Harvest of Hope farmers

The project relies on partners for drop off locations in various communities, this time joining with iNkosi Eco Lodge, De Tyger – the first of its kind in Cape Town. iNkosi Eco Lodge will run the pickup location for members and manage the distribution of vegetables, acting as a “local champion” for HoH. The Eco Lodge is green-friendly, serving guests with top quality service while creating little to no impact on the earth. The team at iNkosi Eco Lodge will host the launch of Harvest of Hope into the area from March 2016.

Green Monday’s vision is to help create a marketplace that provides food that enchants the palette, promotes better policies for animal welfare, and lessens our environmental footprint. By creating a more sustainable, animal-friendly, and waste-friendly marketplace, businesses will prosper, public health will improve, and there will be a decrease in the number of animals suffering on factory farms. With this project, Green Monday, Abalimi Bezekhaya, Harvest of Hope and iNkosi Eco Lodge hope to raise awareness around these issues and assist citizens to bring about positive change.

Leozette Roode, social media manager and community relations coordinator of farm animals for Humane Society International, Africa, says: “We’re honored to join Harvest of Hope in this great initiative. By becoming a Harvest of Hope member and joining the Green Monday South Africa movement, you will not only benefit your own health, but also support local farmers, lessen your impact on the environment, help save animals and promote food security for South Africa. You have the power to embrace a sustainable future – one green meal at a time! Sign up as a HoH member and join the Green Monday movement today!”

Humane Society International encourages consumers to practice the three R’s of eating: reducing your consumption of animal-based foods, refining your diet by avoiding animal products derived from factory farming, and replacing meat and other animal-based foods with plant-based options.

I’ll be signing up. And you?

xoxo