Dairy and egg free chocolate cake

Normally I am a little suspect about recipes that are "free" from ingredients.  I used to think that if you did not want to eat a certain ingredient, then you should just cook something else.

However, my daughter recently had a birthday and wanted chocolate cake.  Fine, no problem, you may think.  Unfortunately the little one cannot eat dairy and all of my recipes contain lashings of butter and chocolate.

What to do?

My wife scoured the internet and found the recipe below.  At first glance, I was not convinced, cider vinegar in chocolate cake?  My wife is not so opinionated and cracked on with the recipe.

1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. In an 20cm round cake mold, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt with a fork, making sure it is really blended together. Add the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar, and again, mix together so that it's really blended together. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely (2 hours).
I was flabbergasted.  A soft, moist cake came steaming out the oven.  Dark and almost black in colour with a deep chocolate flavour. I was converted. 

Obviously, since it was our daughter's birthday we could not just serve a boring round cake.

So with the help of some meringue and marshmallows..........we made a sheep!

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