Note: This recipe needs to be tripled to create the four-layer centerpiece cake.
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Dark Chocolate Cake Ingredients
3 Tbsp ground chia seed
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp cool water
1 Cup raw cane sugar
2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 Cup oil
1 1/2 Cups cool water
1 Cup real maple syrup
1 Cup cocoa powder
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cake pans and line them with parchment paper. For a tiered layer cake, use 10- , 8- , 6- , and 4-inch cake pans. You will need to bake them in 2 batches.
Whisk together the chia seed and cool water, and allow to set for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients. Combine the water, oil, and soaked chia, and add it to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
Pour the batter evenly into the cake pans (make sure they are all at the same height in the pans). Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cakes from the oven, and allow to cool completely before icing.
Whisk together the maple syrup and cocoa powder until smooth. Use immediately.
Constructing the Centerpiece tiered cake
Cardboard cake rounds, trimmed to 1/2 inch smaller than each cake layer.
4 Wooden skewers (the thin bamboo BBQ skewers work well)
Kitchen scissors, or something to cut the skewers
When the cakes are cool, use a sharp knife to cut the tops so they are level. Place the largest cake, cut side down, on a display plate. For the other cake levels, place a carboard cake round on the cut side of each one, and flip them over so the bottom is face up.
Insert the skewers in the bottom layer, creating a 2-inch square. Use the kitchen shears to trim the skewersto the height of the cake. Center the next cake layer on the bottom cake, and repeat the process. Center the third and fourth layers - no need to use skewers on the third layer.
Starting on the bottom layer, slowly drizzle the icing evenly over the cake, making sure each layer is well covered before moving to the next layer up. (This step works best with a cake turn table)
Decorate with fresh berries and mint leaves.