Yes my last post does promise more raw healthy experimental dishes. No this is not one of them. To remind you it was my *birthday* and thus this delicious, indulgent, sweetness overload needs no further excuses :) I made a vegan banoffee pie not too long ago (my first blog post) and it was a resounding success so, when thinking what cake I could create to share with the family on my birthday (who I thought might not wholly embrace my raw offering), I decided to experiment with making a banoffee inspired cake. I'm very glad I did. It was an evolving creation with myself, the boyfriend and little sis Em all in the kitchen contributing ideas as to what other sweet bits we could add. The result was two layers of banana, vanilla and toffee swirl sponge, sandwiched together with toffee cream and caramelised bananas, all covered in caramel frosting and topped off with homemade fudge crumbles and *more* caramelised banana.
For the cake
- 150g soya spread/ vegan margarine
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 *eggs*
- 1/2 cup mashed banana = 2
- 1 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp water, 2 tsp baking powder =1
- 2 heaped tbsp wholewheat flour = 1
- 275g flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 100 ml soya milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 medium banana mashed
- 1/4 of the toffee sauce to swirl through
- 250g sugar
- 200g soya spread
- 250ml Alpro soya alternative to single cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 medium bananas
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2tsp water
- 1/4 of the toffee sauce
- 1/4 packet of organic CremoVita soya cream
- The remaining 1/2 of the toffee sauce - you'll see
- 3 heaped tablespoons soft dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp water
- ~ 500g Icing sugar (I ended up adding it bit by bit to desired thickness and lost track!)
- 80g Soya margarine (Ajduct quatities if you only want to cover the top etc)
Sound like a faff? Well it did take a little while but I was experimenting as I went and it's actually pretty simple, plus you'll end up with this don't forget...
If you're tempted enough to give it a go, here's what I did:
1. Begin by getting the cake mixture made - it helps if you have an assistant as I did for this one who can be making and stirring the toffee sauce at this point too but don't worry if not, i'll assume for my directions 1 person is cooking - and just remember when it comes to the size of slices served who contributed and who didn't...
2. Cream the sugar and vegan margarine together and then incorporate your *eggs*, flour (sieved) and baking powder. Add the 100ml soya milk which will help bring the mixture together nicely and make it a good consistency. Stir in the vanilla and extra 1 mashed banana and have a taste to check the amount of flavour is good (add more banana or vanilla if you like).
3. Now your cake mixture is complete put it into some greased cake tins and leave them to the side whilst you get the toffee sauce on.
4. For the toffee sauce add the vegan margarine and sugar into a saucepan and heat whilst stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved pour in the cream and vanilla and stir over a high heat until the sauce thickens.
This will take around 30 mins. To check the thickness of the sauce when cool, drop a teaspoonful into a glass of cold water and then remove it again to see what sort of texture you have.
5. When the sauce has reached a nice thickish consistency remove half from the pan and put to one side for later in a separate dish.
6. Keep the rest of the sauce on the heat for a further 10 mins or so until it becomes really thick and a bit grainy. When this has happened remove it from the heat and cool it in a dish (I surrounded mine with cold water to cool it a bit quicker). It won't be the most photogenic of all things but you will have a delicious slightly crumbly fudge when it cools likened by those in my kitchen to the delicious but sadly not vegan Devonshire Roly's fudge.
7. It's now time to get the cakes in the oven, preheat to 180C and then take the batch of toffee sauce you put aside and swirl as much of it as you like in to your cake tins. I used about 1/2 (so 1/4 of the original toffee sauce mixture) and kept the rest to use in the cream filling later. I wasn't sure how it would work but having tried it now I would probably swirl even more toffee sauce through (I didn't use very much of what was left for the cream filling and it worked well inside the cake).
Dollop the toffee sauce on and use a fork to swirl it evenly through the cake mixture.
To be sure the toffee wouldn't burn on top I then used the back of a spoon to smooth over the top of the cake.
8. Cook the cakes at 180C for around 20-30 mins until nicely browned and set (I covered the tins with foil for the last 5-10 mins to avoud them going too brown on top).
9. Whilst the cakes are cooking/ cooling prepare the cream filling by whipping the CremoVita with the toffee sauce using an electric hand whisk until all of the toffee is completely mixed in. Chill this in the fridge to thicken.
10. Now to caramelise the bananas, put the sugar and water into a frying pan and heat to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbling add in the sliced bananas. Coat all of the slices and cook, turning them over occasionally for about 5 minutes.
11. When cooked place the banana slices on a baking sheet to cool making sure that they don't stick together.
12.Now to whip up the caramel frosting (Em had the idea to make it caramel flavoured from a recipe she had seen in the 'My Sweet Vegan' cookbook). Add the water to the dark brown sugar and heat to dissolve the sugar (in a saucepan or in a dish in the microwave for 1-2 mins). Whisk the soya margarine and icing sugar together and then add in the dark brown sugar mixture. Continue adding icing sugar and mixing until you have the desired thick frosting consistency.
13. The cake should now be cool enough to assemble so simply spread a layer of the toffee cream filling on one side of one of the cakes and top this off with a few caramelised bananas.
14. Pop the top of the cake on, smother it all with frosting, cut the fudge into cubes and crumble some to decorate and place on your remaining caramelised bananas. Voila!