Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Cranberry Toffee Cake
When I saw this recipe for vegan dulce de leche, I was doomed. Many of you are probably familiar with the "traditional" way of making dulce de leche - a soft, milky toffee spread - with condensed milk, but despite my efforts, I had not been able to find a decent recipe for a vegan version of this treat. Most of the recipes I'd seen included ingredients that were nearly impossible to find (like condensed soy milk), or didn't produce the kind of dulce de leche I was looking for. When I saw the pictures on this recipe, I knew I had finally found what I was looking for. I also loved the fact that it only called for a few, basic ingredients.

Vegan dulce de leche
  • 3/4 c coconut milk
  • 3 c + 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • pinch baking soda (to prevent curdling)

Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottom pot and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium. Stir frequently, and cook over medium heat until the mixture has reached the desired consistency - about 50 to 60 minutes Transfer to a glass jar and let cool completely. Store refrigerated for up to one week.

I was out of both vanilla powder and vanilla extract, so I just used vanilla soy milk. I'm sure it would be delicious with almond milk, rice milk, or any other alternative as well. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly, and cooked it for some 50 minutes. Be very careful when cooking: I actually managed to burn the first batch! I walked out of the kitchen, and when I returned just a couple of minutes later, my beautiful, bubbly goodness had turned into a smoking, stinking mess. It was near the end of the boiling time, and with a heavy heart, I discarded the whole thing and started all over again. The next time, I watched the mixture like a hawk, and it worked: the only thing that got burned was my tongue (I was much too impatient tasting the hot treat).

This time, the result was what I expected - a creamy, sticky, dulce de leche. Did I mention that cooking this will spread an amazing scent throughout your entire house?!

I enjoyed a spoonful or so...

Then I decided to turn it into a cake. My boyfriend has a birthday next week, but because he will be working on his actual birthday, we decided to eat cake in advance. Gifts he will still have to wait for, though! ;)

I have originally stolen the idea of this cake from a Finnish cake queen, Kinuskikissa. I have adapted the recipe and veganized it, but her idea is still there.

Cranberry Toffee Cake

Cake ingredients:
  • 1/2 c vegan margarine
  • 1/2 c unrefined sugar
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 1/4 c spelt flour (or regular all purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • (2-3 tbsp non-dairy milk)
  • 1 batch vegan dulce de leche
  • 300 g (10,5 oz) cranberries or lingonberries
  • 3 tbsp potato starch or corn starch 
  • 1/3 c sugar (or a bit less)
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Beat the margarine and sugar together. Mix in the banana and vanilla, and continue beating until the mixture is smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, and sift them into the wet mixture. Mix until well combined - do not overmix. If the batter seems too dry, add little non-dairy milk - one tablespoon at a time.

Cover the bottom of a 9-inch loose bottom cake pan with baking paper, and grease the sides. Using your hands, pat the cake batter into the bottom of the pan, and about one inch up on the sides.

Spoon the dulce de leche on the cake bottom, and spread evenly. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries with the potato/corn starch and sugar. Pour the mixture over dulce de leche.

Bake in the lower-middle part of the oven for 25-35 minutes. Cover the cake with some aluminium foil if the sides start to get too brown.

Let stand and cool down for a moment before serving - or if you have the patience, even until the next day. Just before serving, sift some powdered sugar on top.

Cranberries and lingonberries are not yet in season here, so I used some wild lingonberries I had in my freezer from last year.

We might have gone back for a second piece, too... ;)

 If you wait until the next day (or at least for a few hours) and let the cake cool completely, it won't be runny like this. I love it warm and gooey, but if you wish to cut it into nice pieces and serve to fine guests, chilling the cake is the key. ;)

Apologies for my somewhat blurry pictures today: because I burned the first batch of dulce de leche, we got to eat the cake so late that there was no daylight anymore. We certainly need some new lamps in our kitchen...

Did you notice the new 'reply' button before each comment? It should make it easier if you want to reply to someone's comment. A thousand thanks to Chen for his kind help and patience!
posted by Seglare at Tuesday, September 07, 2010 | Permalink |


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