3 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa, preferably dutch-process or Hershey's "extra dark"
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup oil (I used melted coconut oil but would recommend using canola instead)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups soy milk or almond milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
2/3 cup water
2 egg whites, unbeaten
Preheat oven to 375.
Thoroughly grease and flour two 8" cake pans, shaking off the excess flour. Set prepared pans aside.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Combine the soy milk and the vinegar in a glass measuring cup and let stand for two minutes to curdle. Then, pour into another bowl and add the oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until cakes start to separate from the sides of pan. Remove from oven and let cool completely before icing.
To make the icing, bring the brown sugar, vinegar and water to a boil on the stove. Boil for three minutes then remove. With either a hand mixer or a Kitchen Aid mixer running, slowly drizzle the boiling syrup over the egg whites, beating continually. Do not stop beating. Add vanilla extract if using. Continue for about 7 minutes, until frosting has a meringue-type consistency and can hold peaks.
To finish cake, place one cake round on a plate and spread the top with frosting. Gently set other cake round on top and spread more frosting on top and down sides if you like.
This cake is best the day it's made.