Impossible Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake

"Impossible?" you ask. "Why? How?"
"Well," I reply, "let me explain. Not only is this cake impossibly fudgy and impossibly rich and impossibly chocolatey, not only is it impossibly easy and impossibly quick, not only is it also impossibly not that bad for you, but it's also impossibly hard to say no to. Try it for yourself. You'll see."

And off you gallop to get to work making this impossibly delicious masterpiece.

I'm only just starting to appreciate this cake now that half of it has been eaten - flu for the past seven awful days has rendered my tastebuds not only useless but actively working against me. Everything I loved, quite frankly, tasted like rubbish. I served a generous slice of this drool-worthy creation to dear Madre, and after she duly proclaimed its deliciousness, I set to with a slice of my own. Big mistake. The cruel tastebuds had conspired against me and made something as failsafe and reliably tasty as chocolate cake taste decidedly questionable. Thankfully though, the storm has now passed and it tastes just as scrummy as I was sure it would (and should).

Speaking of storms, BIG NEWS!!! TODAY IS THE DAY: STORM IMOGEN IS HERE. This is wildly exciting because, if you weren't already aware, the British MET Office have been naming storms since late 2015, due to them being deemed raucous and havoc-wreaking enough to warrant a name. We have had eight storms so far, alternately girl and boy names starting with each letter of the alphabet, and here we finally are at storm numero nueve: Storm Imogen!

Nothing ever gets called Imogen. When I was little, I read the labels on every single Beanie Baby I could find, and I was disproportionately delighted when I happened upon 'Imogen the Ice-Dance Fairy' of that book series in a second-hand bookshop at the most definitely non-target market age of about fourteen. More recently (yesterday) I have been on a mission to read the labels on every single Dcuk I come across (they have chef ducks! and penguins!) in the vain and narcissistic hopes of finding one called Imogen, but alas, no.

I just hope that this storm isn't too destructive, because the last thing I want for the one time my name is chosen for something is for people to be cursing and blasting and generally 'URGH IMOGEN'-ing at it. Maybe this storm could cause a mini tidal wave onto the beaches where the sperm whales have been being washed up lately. Still stormy and kind of annoying, but overall really great and helpful. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, why not bake a chocolate cake so you have something to enjoy while you are huddled up inside peering out at the wild and windy day? As it happens, I have a recipe for just such a chocolate cake right here. How convenient.

Impossible Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake with Rich Chocolate Icing
serves one (just kidding, but it totally can if you want.. it's really rich so I'd say serves 10-12); vegan, dairy-free, can be gluten-free

for the cake:
100g caster sugar
50g golden syrup
100g self-raising flour (feel free to use gluten-free)
3 tbsp raw cacao powder (you can use cocoa powder (NB: not hot chocolate powder!) but it's not as rich and chocolatey so you'll need a bit more)
150ml milk (I used unsweetened almond milk; you can use whatever kind you like but avoid normal milk if you want the cake to be vegan-friendly!)
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil (plain old vegetable oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil etc.)
2 tsp cinnamon

for the icing:
1 small ripe avocado
6 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp raw cacao (as above with cocoa powder)
3 tbsp vegetable oil (also as above)
2 tsp vanilla (extract, not essence)
tiny bit of water if needed

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius for fan, and either grease your cake tin (any size will do; I used 8in) or line it with baking parchment (this is different to greaseproof paper!).
2. Sift the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cacao powder, and cinnamon) if you can be bothered/have a sieve, then once they are combined add the wet ingredients (milk, oils, and syrup) and whizz with an electric whisk until lump-free. (Both electric hand whisks and stand mixers (aahhhh Kenwood, one day you shall be mine) will work, but if you (Dad) still persevere with a manual hand whisk, it's time to upgrade into the 21st Century; even Mary Berry said they were outdated. Time to take a hint.)
3. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and whack it in the oven for 15-20 minutes!
4. Meanwhile, use the same whisk and mix together all the ingredients for the icing, adding water as you like depending on how set or runny you want it to be. If you're feeling funky, you can also use a blender for this - I did it in the Nutribullet which could not have been easier and took all of about half a minute. Feel free to make double quantities so you have spare, just in case any spoons or spatulas magically leap into your hands and the icing is suddenly nowhere to be seen.
5. Once the time is up, remove your cake from the oven and leave it to cool for a bit. A couple of things to note here: it will be very dark. I mean, it will look like you have accidentally baked a cake tin full of charcoal rather than yummy chocolate mixture. This is not a cause for concern - it isn't burnt! I promise. The other important point is to err on the side of caution, where caution is rawness. By this I mean that it is much better to take your cake out too early than too late, because otherwise it will just get dry and awful and further and further away from 'fudgy'. Since there is no egg in the mixture, you don't need to worry about baking it for long enough, so just take it out of the oven whenever you have had enough of waiting.
6. Once cooled, cover with the icing and decorate as you wish! I grated some of Willie's Cacao 100% dark chocolate over the top and have been serving this warmed in the microwave and topped with vanilla Greek yoghurt and berries. It would also be brilliant with jam of any flavour, or some double cream drizzled over the top. Also, positively swimming in an entire pool of double cream. Whatever floats your chocolate cake boat. (Once again for the forgetful ones: unless you get a specifically vegan alternative, yoghurt and cream is not vegan.)

Yummo scrummo in yo tummo. Make it now, pronto presto, just in case you're cutting out chocolate for lent. Eating a slice is one thing, but you want to be able to lick the bowl, right?

Please let me know if you do make this - send me a message or tag me on social media! Twitter and Instagram are both @imogenfin. Also as always, all images are click-to-enlarge so you can prepare yourself for the deliciousness that will ensue once your cake is ready. (But I accept no liability for dribble-related problems your computer or phone may be subject to as a result of photos of cake.)

*All photos in this post are mine. If you wish to use any, please ask my permission and credit me!*


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