I am very much a visual creature and love those things that I can see. I have never trusted people who say one thing and do another. If what you see does not match what you hear then I genuinely lose trust and faith almost immediately. My visual senses are most heightened when it comes to food. I am not sure which sense I rely on more before taste – that of sight or smell.
I have always eaten with my eyes first. I love beautiful things and I firmly believe the whole experience of eating is complete when what you eat is beautiful as well. Nothing beats that feeling when you are served your chosen dish in a restaurant and it looks amazing. It is an added bonus if everyone else at the table is looking at what you have just been served and you know that they have meal envy. They are all kicking themselves that they ordered something else and wishing desperately that they had ordered what you ordered. Or maybe that is just me.
In some of those incredibly posh places where you seem to pay more for receiving less, it can be all about what the dish looks like. After you’ve been wowed with your eyes, it can be a struggle to find enough food on the plate to fill the stomach. That is something I have never understood. I have always thought when paying more that you should receive more, but when it comes to food it is not always the case.
One of the anxieties for me when embarking on my vegan quest was that I still wanted things to be beautiful. When you have in your mind’s eye an endless exhausting line of stodgy lentil and dahl dishes it can be quite frightening. There is this ridiculous fear of the bland and healthy. But I was incredibly wrong about what I imagined vegan dishes to be. There is just as much colour and beauty in vegan dishes as in anything else in the world. But like most things in life, you generally end up seeing what you want to believe. So maybe it was more about me gradually changing my perception and being open to the beautiful possibilities.
I fancied something pretty. So I made this recipe. It’s so easy, yet so sweet and definitely appealing to the eye.
Chocolate Cakes with Chocolate Glaze (Vegan)
This recipe makes one large cake or 12 mini chocolate cakes
- 420 gram plain flour
- 400 gram caster sugar
- 90 gram cocoa power
- 2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 500ml water
- 190 ml olive oil
- 2 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (fan forced). Grease your chosen tin and line with baking paper. Sift together the dry ingredients. In separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix with beater. Bake for 25-30 minutes for smaller cakes or 45-55 minutes for large cake.
This cake is quite moist and is lovely just dressed with some fresh berries and dusted with icing sugar.
I used a Chocolate Glaze for this, though, which is as follows:
- 150 gram icing sugar
- 50 gram cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoon hot water
Combine and mix thoroughly then drizzle over cake and then dress with chosen toppings.