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Vegan Butter In Dark and Sumptuous Chocolate Cake

Asked by Jenhopscotch. Answered on 15th June 2016

Full question

Hi there, I am making the Dark and Sumptuous Chocolate Cake. I wanted to find out if vegan butter is the same as vegetable shortening or Copha?

Our answer

Nigella's Dark And Sumptuous Chocolate Cake (from SIMPLY NIGELLA) uses coconut butter for the rich chocolate icing. Coconut butter is vegan as it is made from whole, ground coconut flesh. It contains some fibre, so is slightly different to coconut oil which is made from oil pressed from the coconut flesh. The butter also has a thicker, creamier texture and more coconut flavour.

If you can't get coconut butter then Nigella suggests using vegan margarine as an alternative, which was assume may be referred to as "vegan butter" in some areas. The margarine is often made from sunflower or canola (rapseseed) oils and is similar in appearance to a regular margarine as it is yellow in colour. It is about 60% fat and also often has some natural flavourings added. It is usually sold in plastic containers alongside other dairy spreads. Vegetable shortening (there is an Australian brand called Copha) is slightly different as it is usually 100% fat and has very little flavour. So we would prefer to use vegan margarine rather than vegetable shortening in the icing for the Dark And Sumptuous Chocolate Cake recipe. Please also note that many margarines contain a proportion of buttermilk, so do check on the label that the margarine is vegan.

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