Meatless Mondays seem like a Godsend, especially if you’re a dessert lover like me. I’ll start the day with dark chocolate pancakes topped with fresh berry compote and drizzled with nutella, have soufflés and more chocolate for lunch, and an apple & rhubarb crumble for dinner? Life will be perfect if these were calorie-free, but alas they are not and I’ve been on a mission to make desserts slightly more healthy, so I can eat a bit more than just one slice at a time.
Being a uni student means always being on a budget, and never having enough ingredients to bake fancy things but, I’m not letting that stop me. After scoring an amazing 200g bar of lindt baking chocolate on sale for £2 at Waitrose, alongside coconuty things from Freshways, I finally managed to put my creative baking hat to good use with a vegan banana cake turned brownie. It was moist, bittersweet and almost sinless. My housemates certainly loved it and were amazed when I admitted it had no butter or eggs in it. Here’s the recipe:
Vegan roasted banana and chocolate cake
240 grams plain flour
60 grams (or 4 tbsp) rolled oats (optional)
230 grams sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 ripe bananas
400 ml low-fat coconut milk
½ tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)
½ cup coconut oil (or olive/canola/vegetable oil)
150 grams chopped up dark chocolate (or milk)
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.
While waiting for the oven to heat up, put the two bananas into the oven. Leave it for about 10-15 minutes until the skin is black and banana juices start to ooze out. Take out and mash. Or alternatively, mash very ripe bananas.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa. In a separate bowl, whisk together bananas, chia seeds, coconut milk and oil. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Fold in the chocolate; do not over mix.
Spread the batter evenly into the baking tray/loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out nearly clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Rotate the pan halfway through baking time. Leave it in for an additional 10 minutes if you prefer it to be less gooey. Let cool then sift with powdered sugar.
Jazz the cake up with more dark chocolate and a few shots of your favourite liquor. I’d suggest Malibu if you want to go all-out with the coconut flavor, or Cointreau for that tinge of citrus or if you only have baileys, just add it in. The extra liquid will make the cake super moist and tasty.