Somewhere in-between last weekend’s hangover and this week’s flu I managed to bake these beauties. Of course if there was one thing that I would fit into the only day this week when I wasn’t bedridden, it would be baking. Thankfully I’m all better now and I’m avoiding any drinks above the 0% alcohol level so there should be PLENTY more time for food in my life (and so plenty more time for these babes).
As I have an insatiable sweet-tooth, I’m always on the lookout for sweet, snacky desserts I can make. I optimistically aim for two requirements though: (1) that they require minimal effort (2) that they have some inkling of nutritional value. I’m not talking about faddy ‘antioxidants’ or ‘superfoods’. I just mean gimme a bit of fibre, some good fats and a bit of protein maybe. The type of thing where it’s still a cake with fat, starch, frosting and nutrients….not a cake-shaped-object made of blended beans and applesauce.
I’ve made a ‘healthy’ variation on banoffee pie before in the form of a breakfast parfait with a delish stove-top granola, to boot! You see, thanks to date caramel, it’s an easy task. One change I made to the caramel this time was opting for medjool dates instead of deglet. I’ve always read that they taste a lot more like caramel and less…datey…I never really trusted that advice though until I tried them for myself. I’ve got to say that it’s true, medjool dates taste like straight up molasses making them perfect for a quick, plant-based caramel. If you can’t get hold of medjool dates, deglet will work just fine though!
– Vegan option: replace the ricotta topping with either…
a) cashew cream: 1/2 cup (60 g) cashews (soaked for 8h and drained) blended with 3 tbsp water, 1 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt
or b) Coconut cream: chill a can of coconut milk overnight, open and scoop off the top cream layer to a bowl. Whisk the cream until fluffy with 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
– I added a pinch of ground vanilla bean to my ricotta mixture for the speckly effect 🙂
– Make sure you use gluten-free oats if you can’t tolerate gluten.
For the pastry:
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- ~1/2 cup, (125 ml) water
- 1/4 cup ( almonds
- 1/4 cup ( buckwheat flour
- 1 cup (80 g) oats
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
For the caramel:
- 8 medjool dates, , soaked for 10 minutes in boiling water then drained
- 1 tbsp coconut butter, (or other nut butter)
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping: (see notes for vegan option)
- 3 tbsp ricotta
- 1 tsp plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 small banana, , thinly sliced into coins
- to decorate: grated unsweetened chocolate, , bee pollen
Make the pastry:
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
- Mix the chia seeds in a small bowl with 2 tbsp of water and set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the almonds, buckwheat flour, oats and salt. Blend until the almonds and oats have broken down into flour.
- Add in the chia mixture and olive oil then pulse in until combined.
- Drizzle in the remaining water a tablespoon at a time while pulsing the mixture until a dough forms (you might not need all of the water). Roll the pastry out on a piece of baking paper until it's only a few mm thick. Cut into 9 cm (~3.5 inch) diameter circles and push each one into the well of a tartlet pan. Bake for 12 minutes until dry. Leave to cool.
For the caramel:
- Pit the soaked dates and place into a blender with the coconut butter, boiling water, salt and vanilla extract. Blend until completely smooth.
For the topping:
- Stir together the ricotta. yogurt and vanilla in a small bowl.
- Smear some caramel into the base of each pastry cup. Top with a few slices of banana, then the ricotta mixture, then some grated chocolate and bee pollen (if you want). Finish with a slice of banana to decorate.