What You Need for the Cake:
- 3/4 cup soy or rice milk
- 1/4 cup silken tofu, extra firm
- 3/4 cups unbleached cane sugar
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon hazelnut or almond extract
What You Need for the Chocolate Ganache and Truffles:
- 12 ounces dairy-free chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup soy or rice milk
- 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 2-3 teaspoons safflower oil, as needed
- 1–2 tablespoons cocoa powder
What You Do for the Cake:
- Lightly oil an 8-inch round cake pan and set aside.
- In a food processor, place the soy milk and tofu, and blend for one minute. Add the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to combine. Add the remaining cake ingredients, and blend an additional 1 minute to thoroughly combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Place the cake onto a rack to cool for 5 minutes, then invert the cake, remove pan, and allow it to cool completely.
What You Do for the Ganache:
- In the top of a double boiler, place the chocolate chips, soymilk and margarine, and heat together until the chips begin to melt. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
- Remove the pan from the heat, transfer 1 cup of the remaining ganache over the cake to thoroughly cover the top and sides.
- Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then pour the remaining half of the ganache over the cake and chill.
What You Do for the Truffles:
- Place the hazelnuts in a pie pan and toast them at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until fragrant. Place warm hazelnuts in a towel and rub to remove skins. Transfer hazelnuts to a food processor and process to finely chop. Remove 1/3 cup of the chopped nuts, place in a bowl, and set aside. Continue processing hazelnuts an additional 2 to 3 minutes, adding some safflower oil, as needed, to form a smooth and creamy paste. Add the hazelnut butter to the reserved ganache and whisk until smooth. Cover and chill until firm.
- When the mixture is firm, use a small scoop or your hands to form it into 1-inch balls, place them on a plate, and chill for 1 hour. Roll half of the chilled truffles in the reserved hazelnuts and the other half in cocoa powder, then re-chill them until firm. To finish decorating the cake, score the top into 8 pieces, and place a truffle one inch from the edge in the center of each slice, alternating varieties. Sprinkle the center of the cake with any remaining chopped hazelnuts, and serve the remaining truffles on the side.