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NO BAKE BANOFFEE TART

Dani VennPlant Based Vegan, Raw-Some, Sweet Treats

I wrote this recipe last year when I was pregnant and craving sweet things All. The. Time. ‘Baby brain’ must have kicked in early because during my pregnancy I thought I didn’t have any cravings. I thought it was perfectly normal to snack on chocolate glazed doughnuts filled with fake jam or devour huge slices of Pumpkin and Candied Bacon Tarte Tatin, a decadent and somewhat ridiculous recipe only a half-mad pregnant woman could create. OK this only happened a few times, but still, it happened! And quite frankly I enjoyed it at the time, but at some point I realised enough was enough and started to think about the effect all this crazy processed sugar and crap might be having on my unborn child!

So I started looking at alternative desserts that would still satisfy my sweet tooth but weren’t made from refined ingredients. I wanted to create desserts that people were familiar with but make them in a healthier way. For me this recipe was a pleasurable introduction into the world of raw desserts and eating wholefoods. It was kind of a light bulb moment when I realised that you can still have sweet treats and eat well without depriving yourself or cutting out entire food groups. Now I just trust that if an ingredient comes from the earth, rather than a factory, and it closely resembles what it looks like in it’s natural state then it must be OK.

This raw or ‘no bake’ Banoffee Tart has all the hallmarks of a traditional Banoffee Pie, a biscuity crust, a  sweet and salty toffee filling finished with slices of fresh banana and fluffy cream. But it’s completely dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free. The only thing it’s not free from is real flavour!

As you may have noticed from my previous blog posts on raw desserts, I have quite the small obsession. They are just so much fun and allow you to be incredibly creative plus who doesn’t like sweet things that are good for you in moderation? I am running a hands-on wholefoods dessert class on Sunday 19 July at the recently opened 100 Mile Foodie Cooking School in Melbourne. I’ll be sharing my recipes, tips and tricks for raw, vegan, paleo, gluten and refined sugar free desserts. There is sure to be heaps of tastings and lots of laughs. I hope that you can join me in the kitchen! Enjoy, Dani x

NO BAKE BANOFFEE TART

Makes around 3 small tarts (Approx 10cm wide) or double the recipe to create a large tart

Takes about 60 minutes plus chilling

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Crust

100g natural cashews

100g almond meal

170g medjool dates

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

½ teaspoon salt flakes

Salted Date Caramel

100g medjool dates

¾ cup coconut milk

3 teaspoons salt flakes

Whipped Coconut Cream

2 x 400g cans coconut cream, left in the fridge overnight, thick cream skimmed from the top (See note)

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

2 large bananas, sliced

1/2 lemon cheek, juice only

20g  raw chocolate, shaved (optional)

HOW TO MAKE IT

To make the crust, place cashews in a food processor and blend until a coarse powder forms, add almond meal, dates, coconut oil and salt and blend until the mixture comes together and is sticky.

Lightly spray loose-based tart tin with vegetable or coconut oil. Press crust mixture firmly and evenly in tart tin to create base and then press crust around the edges firmly and evenly to create sides. Place in freezer to firm up.

To make date caramel, place dates, coconut milk and salt flakes in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms.

Place caramel in a small saucepan over low heat, stir continuously for about 3 minutes until caramel thickens slightly and becomes a dark golden colour. Remove from pan, set aside to cool down in fridge. When cool, spread over the base of tart shell. Place in fridge.

To make whipped coconut cream, place thickened part of coconut cream (see note), in a bowl of electric mixer or mixing bowl and you can whisk by hand. Whisk until mixture is light, fluffy and thickened. Add vanilla bean paste and stir through. Set aside in fridge until you’re ready to put your tart together.

When you are ready to serve, carefully remove crust from tart tin, you can place the tart in the freezer for 10 – 20 minutes before doing this as it will firm up the crust and make it easier to remove from the tin.

Lightly toss banana in lemon juice, this will help prevent any browning. Add a layer of banana on top of the caramel, I like to add two layers for extra banana flavour. Top with some whipped coconut cream and garnish with dark chocolate (optional).

Serve immediately or keep in fridge until you’re ready to serve. I like to place the tart in the freezer for 20 minutes before serving as this will help the crust to harden.

Tips:

  • Experiment with other nut flavours, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pecans would all work equally well instead of cashew nuts in this recipe.
  • If available use organic dates from the fresh food section and remove the pips by easily squeezing them out from the soft date, if only packaged dates are available they may need to be soaked briefly in hot water to soften. Always remove pips.
  • You will need to place coconut cream in the fridge overnight or if you are short of time in the freezer for a few hours, a thick layer of coconut cream will settle on the top half of the can, remove this carefully with a spoon and use this to make your whipped coconut cream. Use the bottom half of the coconut milk in your caramel.
  • If you would like to make a raw tart, use ½ cup of coconut milk instead and do not cook caramel, instead just pour into tart shell and place in fridge to firm up.
  • The crust of this tart is softer than ordinary baked pastry, keep it chilled in fridge or freezer will make it easier to remove from tart tin, as well as giving extra crunch when serving.

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