Going vegan...

Just lately, I have been finding myself involved in conversations regarding veganism. As a farmer's daughter and also the wife of a confirmed carnivore, considering going vegan hasn't been a concept particularly on my radar, however I find myself increasingly getting requests for vegan baking and now also considering trying it out as a family. Without wanting to start a debate on the right and wrongs of either argument, trying new ideas, ingredients and recipes definitely gets the go ahead from me. And so here we have it- a fantastic recipe for a vegan chocolate cake, and for me the key is as ever, that no one should know either way if it is 'free from' anything! The texture is dense and moist and the flavour perfect- spices are optional, but I'm the girl always chucking ALL the flavours into the bowl, so I say do it! It is great as is for a simple cake- just adorn with some fresh flowers and a sprinkle of cocoa powder, or if you want to get a bit snazzier- cocoa and ground hazelnut frosting is the perfect finish for this little beaut.

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CAKE

200g lightly toasted blanched hazelnuts

115g spelt flour (you could use plain wheat flour if preferred)

20g cocoa

170g 100% dark chocolate (check it is vegan suitable- I used Green and Blacks)

65g set coconut oil

80g coconut milk (full fat)

190g maple syrup

1tsp cinnamon

1tsp vanilla extract