I have to say, one of the most exciting things about this vegan, plant-based journey is when you realise you can replicate your guilty-pleasure indulgences in a dairy-free, animal-friendly way. Banoffee pie was one of my favourite treats living in London, but I’d only ever made it once or twice. And that was always using condensed milk. Condensed milk, the same thing they use in Vietnamese coffee, is basically milk without the water in it, but with added sugar. A LOT of added sugar. So when you heat that up, it becomes this really rich, caramel-y drip. By chance, I found a recipe online for vegan banoffee pie that used blended dates as a replacement for the caramel. Before I even tried making the recipe, I thought: “Genius!” I could already taste it and see how it works. However, I didn’t have all the ingredients in that recipe at home, and I had about two other ones from our cookbooks on the shelf, so I decided to mix and match all three. Here’s the result!
To make the base:
– 150g digestive biscuits
– 75g non-dairy butter, melted
1) Blitz biscuits in food processor until they become fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl. Add melted butter. Stir well for about 1 min to combine altogether.
2) Spread the mixture evenly along the base of your serving dish (we used a small rectangular baking dish). Chill in the fridge so it hardens into a biscuit base.
To make the filling:
– 2 cups (350g) dates (pitted, no seeds)
– 1 cup non-dairy cream (we used oat cream from Meny)
– ¼ cup non-dairy butter
1) Heat and soften dates in a microwave or saucepan to make them easier to process.
2) Add the dates to a food processor and blitz until it forms a giant ball of toffee. Note: this may take a while (about 10 mins), so be patient. You’ll notice some of the “toffee” breaking up and sticking to the sides of your food processor. Keep doing this until the ball is mostly broken up.
3) Meanwhile, heat the non-dairy cream in a small pot and add gradually while the food processor is running. You don’t need to use it all. What you’re looking for is a very creamy date caramel texture here. Thick, smooth and creamy. Add in the non-dairy butter and process until well mixed in. If you’ve ever had real banoffee pie, you’ll know the consistency you’re after.
To make the “whipped” cashew cream:
– 1 cup cashews, soaked beforehand
– 1 tablespoon maple syrup
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or powder if no extract)
– 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
– 250ml oat cream (as sold in the small box in Meny)
1) Add all ingredients in nutribullet. Keep pureeing until it becomes a nice “creamy” consistency. Might take about 5 mins.
2) Chill in refrigerator.
– 2-3 Bananas (sliced)
– vegan dark chocolate (grated)
1) Take biscuit base out of fridge. Pour a layer of date mixture on top.
2) Add a layer of the cashew cream
3) Add a layer of bananas
4) Sprinkle with dark chocolate on top
(You’ll notice Nicolas went a little crazy with the chocolate sprinkles, haha)