This is an insanely delicious chocolate cake, and it also happens to be vegan! Whether you are looking for new vegan recipes, avoiding eggs and dairy or just a chocoholic, you are sure to love this one! —Teresa Ulyate
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease 3 x 8inch/20cm round cake tins and line the base of each with baking paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder, castor sugar, bicarb, cocoa and salt into a very large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Combine the water, sunflower oil, vanilla extract and vinegar in a large jug.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well until everything is combined. Divide the mixture between the 3 cake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.
Prepare the icing: use an electric beater or freestanding mixer to whip up the coconut oil until completely smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa and add the vanilla extract. Beat until you have a crumbly mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add two tablespoons of coconut milk to the icing and beat until the mixture comes together. Continue to add the remaining coconut milk gradually until the icing has a soft, spreading consistency. (You may need to use slightly less / more coconut milk.) Set aside.
Prepare the chocolate sauce: combine all of the 2 tbsp castor sugar, light brown sugar, cocoa, flour, a few drops of vanilla extract, coconut milk and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and allow to boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Set aside to cool completely.
Prepare the nut brittle: Grease a small baking tray very well. Place the 100g castor sugar in a small non-stick frying pan. Shake the pan gently so that the sugar is in an even layer and place over a medium heat. When the sugar starts to melt gently pull it in from the edges. Keep stirring regularly until the sugar has completely melted and there are no lumps remaining. Stir in a few drops of vanilla extract. Add the pecans and almonds to the pan. Working quickly, stir the nuts into the caramel until they are evenly coated. Tip the nuts onto the greased tray, press into an even layer and leave to cool before chopping into chunks.
To assemble the cake: top each of the three cakes with a layer of chocolate icing. Place the iced cakes on top of each other. Pour the cooled chocolate sauce over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Decorate the cake with chopped nut brittle.