Today Marks Last Day to Register to Vote in California for 2018 Election

How to Make Sweet Laurel Bakery’s Vegan Caramel and Decadent Chocolate Cake

Here's a caramel that's so delicious you'll forget it's vegan -- and your family and friends won't be able to figure out it's dairy-free. The caramel pairs well with Sweet Laurel's decadent, rich, intensely chocolatey -- and grain-free -- cake.

It can also be served on fruit such as sliced bananas, a piece of dark chocolate or even on its own. This is a web exclusive segment for KTLA's California Cooking: Episode 4.

You can buy the cookbook -- "Sweet Laurel: Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts -- at www.sweetlaurel.com or www.amazon.com

Check out their new cake shop - Sweet Laurel: Cake, Coffee + Tea - 15279 W. Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

VEGAN CARAMEL

Ingredients:

1⁄4 cup almond or cashew butter or puree, storebought or homemade

1⁄4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 or 2 fresh dates, pitted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

How to make:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. Transfer the caramel to a glass jar and place in the refrigerator to chill. The caramel will stiffen up in the refrigerator, so if your recipe calls for it to be spreadable, let the caramel sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, and give it a good stir before using. The caramel will keep for about 1 month, refrigerated.

THE CHOCOLATE CAKE THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
MAKES TWO 6-INCH LAYERS OR ONE 8-INCH CAKE

Ingredients:

Coconut oil, for greasing the pans
2 1⁄2 cups almond flour
1⁄4 cup 100% unsweetened cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
2 large eggs
3⁄4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting
1 cup Vegan Caramel, optional

How to make:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 6-inch cake pans or one 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper rounds, then grease the sides of the pans with coconut oil.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. A little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until a batter forms.
3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert the cakes onto racks and allow to cool completely.
4. Place one layer on a cake plate and top with 1⁄2 cup of the fudge frosting, smoothing it evenly over the entire surface. Drizzle 1⁄2 cup of the caramel on top, if using. Add the second cake layer and top with the remaining 1⁄2 cup frosting, then drizzle the remaining caramel over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE FROSTING
Makes 1 cup

Note: If you're not a dark chocolate fiend like us, we encourage you to add an extra 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to your batch plus a little extra coconut cream to sweeten it up.

Ingredients:

4 ounces 100% cacao unsweetened baking chocolate, roughly chopped
1⁄4 cup coconut oil, solid
1⁄4 cup maple syrup
1⁄2 cup almond butter, store-bought or homemade
1⁄4 cup almond milk or full-fat coconut milk, or as needed

How to make:

1. In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat. Slowly add the maple syrup and stir to incorporate. Allow to cool completely.
2. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a medium bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat in the almond butter until a thick frosting forms. Add the almond milk and stir with a spatula until smooth.
3. For a creamy, almost pourable frosting, use immediately; for a fluffy frosting, refrigerate for at least 8 hours, then bring to room temperature and beat with an electric mixer until spreadable. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

Reprinted from Sweet Laurel: Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts. Copyright © 2018 by Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas. Photography by Claire Thomas. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.