Best Chocolate cake... ever

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Bold claim, I know. But one that I feel confident to stand by, make it for yourself and see how this simple and easy cake is one of the most delicious... plus it's totally egg and dairy free! It's now my go to recipe when we are craving something a bit naughty.
200 g Plain Flour
200 g Caster Sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
250 ml (8 fl oz) water

Preparation time: 15 minutes 
Baking time: 40-45 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ Gas 4 and lightly grease a cake tin (approx 20cm round cake tin) or if you wish to make cupcakes from the batter you can also do so - these will take less time to cook usually around 15-20 minutes.

2. Sieve together (I rarely bother to actually sieve it as it usually combines so well together without doing so - but feel free to do so!) the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and salt. Add the oil, vanilla, vinegar and water. Mix together until it is all smooth and combined. 

3. Pour into the prepared tin and bake at 180 C for 40-45 minutes, once removed from the oven, allow to cool completely before icing and decorating. 

4. Now time to have fun and decorate in any way you see fit although I do have some ideas for you just below.

I use Betty Crocker frosting which is actually an accidental vegan find (it does contain palm oil) and it comes in array of vanilla, chocolate to cream cheese (still vegan!)

Festive Decoration Ideas:
- simply decorate with chocolate frosting, mini salted pretzels for the antlers, red sweeties such as skittles, jelly beans or even red currant fruit.

Gingerbread and Candy Cane - I picked up some vegan gingerbread from Co Op but you can make your own biscuits in any shape to decorate, There will be a vegan recipe coming to the blog soon.

Rosemary Sprigs and Red Currants, there's nothing more festive then a splash of green and red.

Mini Candy Cane Cupcakes - with vanilla frosting and sugar strands.

Chewbacca -
'Cos there's a little film out called Star Wars, I baked this in a brownie tin, cut to shape. Decorated with chocolate frosting and ran vanilla frosting through it to give that Wookie hair look and for the face I completely improvised using white icing to form the eyes, the nose and the teeth which I then used food colouring to dye.

P.S Just before you leave... you might also like to check out my Yule log recipe too.
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