FE Vegan Bake Off – Round 1 – Saudi Arabia

I had this thought.

I really enjoyed doing the F1 Bake Off’s this year so how could I change it up for other motorsport series?

So with the start of the Formula E season, I thought that as Formula E is seen as kind of ‘alternative’ being electrically charged, that it might be a fun thing to do an alternative bake-off. So I decided for the 11 rounds of Formula E to make it vegan.

The first round saw us in Saudi Arabia and I found a lovely vegan salted caramel date cake recipe. Not traditionally Saudi fare, however I gathered that as dates are plentiful and pretty much staple in the middle east this would be a great recipe to start.

It was very simple to make and tasted gorgeous (just don’t overdo the salt in the caramel sauce, it does not taste good!)

So, here is the recipe I used from a website called ‘One Arab Vegan’

Salted Caramel Date Cake

Ingredients

For the date cake

  • 16 medium-sized pitted dates (about ½ cup tightly packed OR 135 g)
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (65 g)
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla powder OR 1 tsp liquid vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup mashed banana (75 g)
  • ¾ cup almond milk (180 ml)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (146 g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped (35 g)

For the salted caramel sauce

  • 1 can of full cream coconut milk
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (65 g)
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla powder OR 1 tsp liquid vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt (or more as desired)

For the Topping

  • Chopped walnuts or pecan nuts
  • OR Chocolate chips
  • OR Coconut chips

Method

For the date cake

  1. Start by soaking the dates in warm water for at least 2-4 hours to soften (if you have a high-speed blender, you can skip this step)
  2. Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4 and lightly grease an 8-inch baking pan with some coconut oil or line with parchment paper
  3. To a blender, add the almond milk, dates, coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla and mashed banana and blend until smooth – the mixture should look like a thick caramel sauce. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl using a spatula to scrape the sides of the blender
  4. In another medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and pinch of salt, whisking together until well-mixed
  5. Add in the flour mixture to the wet mixture a little at a time, using a whisk to mix until everything is well-incorporated and there are no large lumps – careful not to over mix!
  6. Fold in your chopped walnuts using a small spatula
  7. Transfer the mixture into your cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted into the middle comes out clean
  8. Allow to cool before pouring on the sauce and toppings

For the salted caramel sauce

  1. While the cake is baking, prepare your salted caramel sauce
  2. To a medium pot, add in the coconut milk, coconut sugar, vanilla and sea salt, whisking well to combine
  3. Bring to the boil on high heat, then lower to low-medium heat, allowing it to simmer for 12-15 minutes until thickened
  4. Be sure to stir frequently and keep a close eye to ensure it doesn’t overflow as it can boil over very easily

Notes

  • I don’t have a blender, so popped everything in a bowl and used a hand-held blender – which seemed to work just as well
  • In the absence of coconut oil I substituted it with dairy-free spread
  • You can also substitute the almond milk for any other plant-based milk
  • For the sauce I used a 160ml can of coconut cream

The cake was delicious and here’s how I made it:

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