Hi everyone! I've got loooooots to tell you. Firstly, Silvia and I are sharing a vegan chocolate orange cake recipe with you all today. If that's what you're here for then please, scroll down. You can find the chocolate cake recipe at the end of this blog post and/or check out Silvia's version here.
Secondly, Silvia and I are soooooo excited to be hosting our second London vegan supperclub called AUTUMN GATHERING in November2017. Woohooo! It's been a long time coming, more about that below. And finally we're looking for 2 assistants on the night, so if you want to dabble in the world of supperclub hosting, do read on. Ok, ready? Here goes!
It's been nearly 6 months since my foodie bestie AKA Silvia and I hosted our first vegan supperclub together. I am so, so proud of what we achieved that day, but things weren't ''perfect'' and we wanted to take our time to ensure we really learned from our mistakes to deliver a better, more delicious and more enjoyable dining experience to our guests. So...
The perfect supperclub venue
We are changing venues and hosting our supperclub at the stunning, beautiful, stylish and utterly perfect RYE LONDON. I feel Rye is one of the best locations in London and therefore just right for YOU, our dear readers and food eaters. And I am SO looking forward to seeing your smiling faces as you enter the space. (Hint, it's really super pretty). BTW you can find out vegan chocolate orange muffins over on their blog. Just click here ;).
The perfect supperclub guest numbers
I won't go into any (boring) details, but I think we were over ambitious last time and filled the supperclub to full capacity. With 29 (!) mouths to feed, it all felt a bit much (blush). So we're limiting seats to 25-26 MAX, providing lots more leg room and space and making it feel more plush, so that you feel comfy and can truely enjoy the experience.
The perfect day for a vegan supperclub
Last time we hosted the supperclub on a Thursday night, but after speaking and listening to our guests we realised that a Friday or Saturday night would work much, much better. You don't have work to think about the next day and consequently can really let your hair down and relax. Hence why we're hosting it on a Saturday this time round :).
The perfect vegan supperclub hosts
We worked our a**es off in the kitchen last time and though we intend to be 100% hands on again this time round, we also want to be much better hosts and make you feel like you're over at ours, rather than witnessing two mad women running a catering machine. Rye London lends itself much better for true entertaining, plus we are also looking for assistants to help us on the night...
Have you ever thought about running a supperclub, but didn't know where to start?
POSITION HAS NOW BEEN FILLED. THANK YOU ALL SOOO MUCH FOR YOUR INTEREST. Have you got an interest in cooking, especially vegan cooking and would love to look behind the scenes of a supperclub and see how it is put together before you delve in and run your own? Would you like to learn about plating and food styling a supperclub? Are you friendly, hard working and not afraid to wash some dishes too? Then please e-mail me at kimberly(at)thelittleplantation(dot)co(dot)uk. I'd love to hear from you.
Enough chit chat. Now to the really important bits!
VEGAN SUPPERCLUB DETAILS:
Where: Rye London, 8A Stamford Works, Gillet St, London, N16 8JH
Transport: about a 5-7 minute walk from Dalston Junction Station and a 3 minute walk from Dalston Kingsland Station. There is a parking lot at the venue with limited spaces. Free after 7pm.
When: November, 2017
Time: 7.15pm arrival. Dinner served from 7.30pm - 10pm
How to book:N/A
Discounts: We are also offering mailing list subscribers a 10% early bird discount. To claim your discount, please subscribe to the mailing list below and e-mail me at kimberly(at)thelittleplantation(dot)co(dot)uk to book your tickets.
Special diets: There will be many paleo and gluten-free dishes on the menu. For details and any other dietary requirements, please get in touch!
Further questions: e-mail kimberly(at)thelittleplantation(dot)co(dot)uk
Find the vegan menu here and outlined below. Recipe for the cake below....
VEGAN CHOCOLATE ORANGE CAKE
Preparation time: 25 minutes (for everything)
Baking time: 35-40 minutes (for the sponge)
Cooking time: 45 minutes (for the icing)
Cooling time: 3 hours (for the icing)
Makes: a 4-tier layer cake
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SPONGE:
4tbs ground flax seeds + 12tbs water
600g plain flour
4tsp bicarbonate of soda
a good pinch of salt
200g of dark vegan chocolate (70% cacao and upwards)
450ml almond milk (or coconut or soya milk for a nut-free recipe)
150g coconut oil (melted) + extra for greasing
2-3 large unwaxed oranges
INGREDIENTS FOR THE ICING:
2kg sweet potatoes
350g cacao powder (or more to taste)
1/3 cup rice or maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
grated orange peel of 1 orange
We placed some vegan bliss balls coated in turmeric, greenery, candles, orange pieces and ice cream cones on top, but the world is your oyster, so do what you like!
Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease 4 round cake tins (16cm each) with coconut oil and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the ground flax seed and water with a spoon and set aside.
In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Take the chocolate and with a knife or grater, break it into little, thin pieces. The finer, the better.
Place the grated chocolate into a large bowl and mix it with the wet ingredients: the almond milk, melted coconut oil and flax seed mixture. Add the juice of the oranges, grate in the zest of the oranges and combine.
Next mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until nicely combined. Though be sure not to overmix!
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cake tins and place into the oven immediately. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. (Do a toothpick test after 35 minutes, the cake needs to be cooked through but not dry).
Whilst the cake is baking in the oven prepare the chocolate icing by cutting the sweet potatoes into chunks, placing them over a large pot with water and steam them until they are soft and fully cooked through (about 45 minutes). Pour away the water when done. Let the sweet potatoes cool.
If the cake sponge is ready, remember to remove it from the oven now. Let it cool. Once cool remove any uneven tops gently with a sharp knife, so that the cake layers are relatively flat and even. (Feel free to eat the off cuts:)).
Finish the icing by placing the sweet potatoes together with the cacao powder and syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add more sugar/cacao until you obtain the level of chocolate-ness and sweetness you desire. Place in the fridge for at least 3 hours before you start icing the cake.
Ice the cake by spooning icing on top of the first sponge layer. Spread evenly. Then place the second cake sponge layer on top of the first iced one. Ice evenly and continue until all 4 have been placed on top of each other. Next ice the outside of the cake, filling any gaps between the slices. Remember this is a naked cake so there will be parts on the outside of the cake with very little icing! (there's a GIF here that may be helpful). Decorate to your liking.
Tip 1: You can also bake the sweet potatoes for about 45 minutes in the oven (or until soft) instead of steaming them.
Tip 2: You can also use raw cane sugar in the frosting in stead of maple syrup. Please do to taste!
P.P.S. Supperclub menu below
filled onigiri with toasted sesame seeds, pickled carrots and a tamari reduction (gf)
curried root vegetable soup with beetroot crisps (p)
warm shoyu chickpea salad with dried flowers (gf)
served with pressed kale and purple cabbage in umeboshi dressing (gf) (p)
chocolate orange layered naked cake with a silky smooth chocolate frosting
Menu subject to seasonal availability.
All dishes are vegan. Those with a P are paleo, those marked with GF are gluten-free. Please contact us for dietary restrictions and allergies. And finally, feel free to bring your own bottle ;)