I am not vegan but the ongoing free-range eggs situation in Sydney is forcing me to come up with egg-free baking recipes. When you bake as often as I do – at least once a day – you go through a heap of eggs. And to paraphrase PETA, I’d rather go bake-free than buy battery hen eggs.
I am a total fan girl of Not Quite Nigella, a fab Australian food blogger, and when she recently blogged a vegan cake I was all ears, or all eyes, as the case were. Check out her incredible vegan raspberry rose cake: http://www.notquitenigella.com/2016/07/05/vegan-raspberry-rose-cake-vegan-seven-minute-frosting/
Using this vegan cake recipe as inspiration I swapped roses for lavender and omitted her raspberry flavouring. I also made a cheat’s icing of icing sugar and water rather than Not Quite Nigella’s beautiful aquafaba icing. Her recipe made two smaller cakes but I used a bigger tin so just had one cake.
I had not really baked anything vegan before and was sceptical to see how this cake would turn out but I was amazed!
When I took it to work, a colleague from another office was so excited to see my cake. Unbeknownst to me, she’s a vegan and misses out on the treats I take in so we were both excited for her to try some. Plus there were donations made to MSF (Doctors Without Borders) in exchange for cake, so everyone was a winner!
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
three lavender buds crumbled finely, plus extra whole buds to decorate
1 cup water
1/3 cup neutral vegetable oil such as canola oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
LET’S GET TO IT:
Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 15cm round, deep cake tin with non-stick paper.
In a medium bowl use a fork to whisk together the flour, sugar, bicarb and lavender buds in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
Use a large jug to measure the water, oil, vinegar, vanilla then slowly stir into the dry ingredients. Mix with a silver spoon until it just comes together – do not over-beat.
Pour into tin and bake for 65 – 70 minutes or until a skewer comes out dry.
Set aside for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
To ice, sift one cup of icing sugar into a large bowl and stir in enough hot water until it makes a thick paste. Drizzle over the top of the cake and encourage it with a flat knife to drip down the sides. Decorate with extra lavender.