Vegan, glutenfree and sugarfree, with chesnuts not chesnut flour, my own baked recipe – post now edited with baking time(!) This cake has a strong chesnut flavour, a hint of almond (perhaps because it was not that finely ground), the vanilla was undetectable and occasionally there’d be a burst of cocoa. I must make it again next year to see if the buckwheat comes through, I’m so used to it. Chesnut flour I used before didn’t have a chesnut taste even on its own, mixed it would taste of the other things. The aroma was so novel and yummy, and I was starving so I broke the cake attempting to cut it (before it had cooled at all), and ate half for brunch! That’s all that was left before I knew it, shot with my cameraphone – I made it without maple, agave or date syrup, with too little rice syrup (which I’m convinced increases baking time when I use more). Low in sugars thus without a natural shine that loaves or cakes have. The recipe below is adjusted for a regular sugar free sweet taste (other syrups don’t seem to affect baking time), a sprinkle of icing sugar would make it “regular” sweet I imagine and why not use Star Wars snowflakes for a nice touch. Almond meal could be a dusting option for sugar-free folks.
The chesnut cream on its own can be eaten as dessert (or breakfast or whatever, not filling enough for my brekkie). If liquid sweetener is added or bananas replaced with dates, chilling would thicken it perhaps or whip in ground almonds or nut/seed butter of choice. Avo would work but isn’t sweet. I used 3 bananas from my garden but they’re an unusual size and variety (see below) and rather flavourless. I’d suggest using 2 regular bananas, only 1 if too ripe and 1 tsp egg replacer or 1 tbsp ground flax in 2 TBs water or 1 tsp bicarb and 1 tsp vinegar. Replacing 1 banana or all of it with dates would work, bear in mind that banana is both an egg replacer and can act as a fat substitute. If you’re making chestnut cream itself with added liquid sweetener, golden flax or egg replacer would be great.
(prep time 30 min, baking time 30 min)
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat ‘oats’
1/3-1/2 cup ground nuts, half that of almond is enough to give a subtle flavour – I used about 20 each almonds and hazelnuts. cashew is a nice option for a neutral taste or brazil but there’s selenium in buckwheat too.
1 pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp egg replacer (optional, also see options above).
1 tsp vanilla (I use Bourbon powder)
1 Tbsp canola or coconut oil
1-2 Tbsp rice syrup
2 Tbsp agave or date syrup (optional)
1 Tbsp raw cocoa nibs, pulsed in the grinder ’til it’s like coarse sand (or chopped walnuts, regular size)
For chesnut purée (crème de marrons):
2 bananas, chopped
230g chesnuts raw, dehusked or whatever.
In a pot, pour water over chesnuts, boil then simmer for 10 min, add bananas and simmer another 5 min.
Blend then leave to cool, all blenders blend warm or hot, right? I don’t have a dishwasher and use a stainless steel grinding jug, so it was still very warm in the middle when I poured it on the dry ingredients and this may actually improve the texture – my 2nd attempt was with cold chesnut cream and it was drier, I’m no baking expert.
Preheat oven at 175’C/350’F, mix the dry ingredients and make a well in the middle. Pour in the chesnut purée, make a sortofa well, pour in the oil and syrups, start mixing from the centre outwards. Or blend liquid ingredients together and pour in cake dish.
Bake for 30 min or ’til a skewer inserted comes out clean.
The very cool thing about vegan buckwheat cakes is it doesn’t matter how you throw everything together or how badly you mix, it’ll be a perfect cake even if you found lumps of unmixed flour at the bottom when pouring the dough. Just poke it into the dough and stir! 😀 I do it everytime and often eat the whole cake myself, every bite was perfect, trust me!
It’s not even winter in this hemisphere but most of the shops are French and selling x-massy things. Most people celebrate x-mas in December. It’s a sad time of the year when one thinks of all the animals abused and slaughtered for some chocolates, some dessert or some festive dish that isn’t good for health, and could be veganised anyway.