The Dark And Sumptuous Chocolate Cake looks like it is out of a magazine. The texture is moist and light. But it doesn’t taste like chocolate. It tastes like bad whiskey, possibly soapy? What did I do wrong? I followed the recipe precisely.
Nigella's Dark And Sumptuous Chocolate Cake (from SIMPLY NIGELLA) is a vegan cake that is made with coconut oil and coconut butter. As the cake is made without eggs, a combination of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and vinegar is used to help the cake to rise. Sometimes if a cake contains too much bicarbonate of soda then it can taste a little soapy so make sure that the bicarbonate of soda is measured carefully with a 5ml measuring teaspoon and a 2.5ml half teaspoon and use level measures.
Unrefined coconut oil and coconut butter are also high in a compound called lauric acid and a very small number of people are sensitive to the taste of this. It could be that, unfortunately, you are one of those people. But it is possible to replace the coconut oil with a flavourless vegetable oil. For the frosting you may find it better to use a non-dairy spread or, if you are not vegan, butter. Finally, very old chocolate can sometimes taste soapy as the cocoa butter starts to deteriorate, though this is much more likely to happen with milk chocolate than with dark (bittersweet) chocolate.