Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4, 350°F). Coat three 8-inch cake pans with vegan butter (or nonstick baking spray) and dust with cocoa powder. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper rounds (yes, we’re lining over the cocoa powder, but we’re doing this to properly dust the sides).
In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the stout and vegan butter to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Set aside and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Combine the mashed avocado and crumbled tofu in a large liquid measuring cup. Pour the water or cocoa mate tea over the avocado and tofu to bring the level up to 2 1/4 cups.
Transfer to a blender. Add the vegan egg powder and blend until smooth. Transfer the contents of the blender to the bowl of dry ingredients. Use a hand mixer on low speed to beat just until combined; do not overbeat. Use a spatula to fold the batter, scraping the bottom and sides to ensure complete incorporation, but do so only until fully combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean in the center.
Place the cake pans on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out the cake layers onto the racks. Remove the parchment paper and allow the cake layers to fully cool while preparing and chilling the frosting. (If you wish, you can wrap the individual cake layers in plastic wrap and then place them in zip-top plastic bags and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight on the counter before frosting.)
Put the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a medium, heavy saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the coconut milk over the chocolate in the bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy, ensuring that all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is combined. Refrigerate for 2 hours, whisking every 15 minutes. Once the frosting is thick enough to use, you are ready to assemble your cake.
Line the outer rim of a cake serving plate with parchment paper or waxed paper to keep the plate clean while frosting the cake. On the bottom of the cake plate, spread 1 tablespoon of frosting to serve as “glue” to hold your cake in place on the plate.
Place one cake layer on the plate with the flat side (the bottom of the cake that had the parchment paper removed) facing up. Using an offset spatula, spread 2/3 to 1 cup of frosting on the top of the cake. Place the second cake layer, flat side up, on top and frost the top of that layer with 2/3 to 1 cup of frosting. Finally, place the third cake layer on top, flat side up. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow the frosting to set up slightly so that the layers won’t slip when you’re frosting the outside of the cake.
Using approximately 1 1/2 cups of frosting, lightly frost the top and sides of the layered cake. This is your “crumb coat,” which will make the outer frosting layer much easier to complete. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Dollop the remaining frosting in the center of the top layer. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting outward as you rotate the cake plate. This will spread the frosting off to the side of the cake. As the frosting moves to the edge, guide the frosting down to the bottom of the side of the cake. Once the cake is completely covered, go around the side of the cake with the offset spatula to smooth out the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Run a sharp knife between the cake bottom and the parchment paper to remove the paper from the plate.
Garnish the top of the cake with 3 cherries.
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