It's Vegan Mofo Iron Chef Challenge #2 and Isa decided to spice things up by giving us two ingredients - Banana and Coffee. One I love, the other, well...
I eat bananas everyday - in breakfast smoothies, as an evening snack, for dessert. Recently I even made gluten free pancakes using dried banana flour.
So it's safe to say that I could survive on bananas if it ever came to that.
Coffee, well it ends there for me. Coming from a South Indian family, coffee is a very integral part of the day and it's freshly brewed (filter coffee) every single day in all kitchens. Tamillians cannot breathe without their coffee. They start the day (6am) with a hot cup of strong coffee, have one more by 11pm may be, another at 4pm and if they really are insane, then another one after dinner. My mom never allowed us to drink coffee (and tea). It just wasn't offered to us. Her father (a doctor and a coffee addict) used to warn everyone about the dangers of coffee while drinking his daily cup of coffee. And it was well known then that children don't need the caffeine high. [I don't know how that perception has changed now and how it is okay to 'caffeinate' your child every day (a la Gatorade, Coca Cola, Tea, Coffee, the works)]
So it's safe to say that I don't like coffee.
This challenge was tricky for me. Since I was already up to my neck in cakes today, I decided I would try to make something sweet out of it. Yeah I read the challenge, brownie points for savoury stuff, I had a brainwave and I had to do it. I had 4 friends coming over, so I had an audience for feedback which was nice. Feedback I got, it's all gone!
This is a dense cake that's best served warm, but it makes a nice cold dessert too. I prefer using whole wheat flour because it makes the cake dense and fulfilling. I added chocolate because, well who doesn't love chocolate? And the pour over Coffee Caramel added some gooey quotient to it. I suggest pouring the caramel just before serving, since the flavour of coffee tends to disappear quickly.
Right Side Up Banana Cake with pour over Coffee Caramel
For the Caramel:
I had a previous batch of caramel sauce I'd made from this recipe. It makes the most delicious caramel sauce ever.
I brewed some coffee and mixed one part coffee to two parts caramel. This was a mild mix, good enough for me. If you like coffee, then you could use equal quantities of both.
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 175C
1 Big Ripe Banana
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 a lime
1 tablespoon water
Cut the bananas into 1/2 inch thick slices.
In a saucepan, melt the sugar and water. Once it's melted, add in the lime juice. Pour it into the baking pan and spread. Arrange the banana slices to cover the entire bottom of the pan in an overlapping fashion.
Prepare the cake mix:
1 and a 1/2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 cup sugar or any sweetener
1/4 cup chunks of vegan chocolate
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/2 tsp All Spice
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Soy Milk/ Water or any non dairy milk
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vinegar
Combine wet and dry ingredients separately. Mix and fold the batter lightly. Add into the pan with the bananas and spread evenly.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Loosen the edges of the cake and invert it onto a grill.
Slice, pour the Coffee Caramel on the cake and serve!
Mmmm Mmmm Mmmmmm!