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Friday, 3 January 2020

Woodland Deer Biscoff Cake

Vegan.

Happy Veganuary!
I wanted to make a cake which represented animals and the planet, hence the deer and the woodland theme!
Layers of chocolate sponge, Biscoff buttercream with edible chocolate bark and details!

I wanted to bring awareness to Veganuary which I’m sure most people have heard about nowadays.

Veganuary was launched in 2014. It is a registered charity that encourages people to try a vegan diet and lifestyle for the month of January.
“Veganism is one of the most effective choices a person can make to reduce the suffering of animals, help the planet and improve personal health.” Taken from their website.

Veganuary has been extremely successful and has changed lives and prevented animal deaths all over the world. And it is set to hit a record high with the concerns about our planet and support from many high profile celebrities.

If anyone would like to try Vegan for the month there’s a lot of resources on their website www.veganuary.com  
 You can register and receive email information and updates as well as tips and recipes.

And if you are just starting out they have you covered with a great starter kit- https://uk.veganuary.com/blog/vegan-starter-kit
My huge woodland deer cake has been inspired by Veganuary. 
Did you know that the woodland deer population continues to grow, but as a result, they are often culled to keep the population under control, as they are seen as a threat to other wildlife and the woodland eco-system?

Some campaigners want to look at more humane ways of controlling the deer population without culling as it causes distress and pain to them.

So you now have a few facts about woodland deers and also Veganuary.

I hope you like my deer cake. It is the biggest I have made so far as it has two impressive Biscoff and chocolate frosting filled tiers.
Baking time- 28-30 minutes (per cake)
Serves- 20
Level- Medium

...
Ingredients for the round reindeer cake
-480ml of dairy-free milk 
 -2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
-420g of self-raising flour
-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
-470g of golden caster sugar
-1 teaspoon of baking powder
-1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
-120g of coconut oil (melted)

Ingredients for the buttercream
 -210g of dairy-free butter
-500g of icing sugar
-2 tablespoons of biscoff spread
-Dairy-free milk (if needed)

Extras
-100g of dark chocolate (for the antlers)
-Edible gold paint
Edible glitter
-Pink food gel
-Black fondant

To make the square cake

To make the white chocolate bark
-200g of dairy-free white chocolate
-10g of dark chocolate
...

To make the round cakes (deer)
Step 1- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c and line three 6 inch cake tins with grease-proof paper.

Step 2- In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan 'buttermilk'.

Step 3- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well to combine.

Step 4- Add the melted coconut oil into the 'buttermilk' and whisk to combine. 

Step 5- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.

Step 6- Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins.
Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.

Step 7- Pop the cakes into the center of the preheated oven and bake for around 28-30 minutes. You will know they are baked when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.

Step 8- Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully.
Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.

To make the buttercream (for the deer cake)
Step 1- In a bowl/stand mixer, cream the butter on high then add in the icing sugar and biscoff spread.
Whip together until combined, light and fluffy.
Add a splash of dairy-free milk if too thick.

Step 2- Set aside a small amount of buttercream into a separate bowl.

Step 3- Stack and fill the cakes with the biscoff buttercream.

Step 4- Crumb coat the whole cake with the biscoff buttercream and pop into the fridge to set. 
This will take around 1 hour.

Step 5- Add a thick layer of biscoff buttercream all over the cake and using a smooth or textured cake scraper or large spatula, smooth out the buttercream.

Step 6- To the separate bowl of buttercream, divide it in two, and leave one bowl plain white and add pink food colouring into the other bowl. 

Step 7- Using different piping tips, add different patterns around the top of the cake, including the nose and spots.
Click here for a great tutorial.

Decorate the cake with two black fondant eyes and edible glitter (as seen in the photos).

I tempered some dark chocolate painted gold for the antlers.

Serve fresh or store in a sealed container in the fridge, the buttercream will firm up at room temperature. 

Click here for the square cake recipe.
Double the recipe for a larger cake!

Assemble the cake
Check out this video on how to easily stack cakes.


To make the white chocolate bark
Step 1- Place a sheet of baking paper on your work surface.

Step 2- Place the dark chocolate into a bowl over a saucepan filled with water. This creates a ban marie. Melt the chocolate until smooth, immediately pour into a separate bowl, adding in a few chunks of chocolate to allow the chocolate to cool down quicker. This helps the chocolate to temper and set.
 You want to cool the chocolate down fast.
Check out this video on how to temper chocolate.

 Step 3- Using a fine tip pastry brush, paint swirls, lines, and dots onto the baking paper and refrigerate until set. 

Step 4- Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in the exact same way as the dark, and cool it down fast by immediately pouring it into a separate bowl.

Step 5- Remove dark chocolate from the refrigerator. 

Step 6- Pour the tempered white chocolate onto the baking paper and spread out over the dark chocolate using a spatula or knife.

If your chocolate is tempered, it should start to set within 2 minutes, if not,  refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.

Step 7- Using hands, break into strips. 
Refrigerate in single layer in airtight container until ready to use.

Attach the chocolate bark using some buttercream the same colour as the cake.


Serve fresh or store in a sealed container in the fridge, the buttercream will firm up at room temperature. 

Best eaten within a few days!
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