It’s my first gluten-dairy-egg free remake! As if I was going to be able to give up baked goods and ice cream.
PSSHHHT! I say again for emphasis.
So…what did I do?
First- the butter. OBVIOUSLY dairy. Coconut oil has become my best friend. I know that it won’t always work and that on the occasion when I can’t find goat-dairy butter (which has been always since I started looking) I may have to use vegan margarine. However, when I can get away with it, it seems like coconut oil will my go-to fat for baking, particularly in uber-rich desserts where the very slight coconut flavor will be well hidden. I made some pretty fabulous chocolate chip cookies using coconut oil in place of butter and they turned out quite well, so I saw no reason why it would be any different here.
The one part that concerned me was the “sticky toffee” part since it requires that butter sort of become one in a special way with the brown sugar. I figured the best way to duplicate this effect was to just smush the coconut oil and brown sugar together with my hands.
Second, the flour. I was all set to do my own gluten free flour mix experiment. As it turns out, America’s Test Kitchen already did that, so I just used theirs making one change by subbing out the brown rice flour for some oat flour. You can use any gluten-free flour mix that you prefer.
Third, the eggs. While I’m not sure I’ll be able to always toss the eggs completely, I’m learning when it’s okay to sub them out and when I need to play a little more mad scientist with them (I’m on attempt #4 with the Brown Bread. Stay tuned). As you may (or may not) know, eggs serve various purposes in baking: sometimes to bind, sometimes to leaven, sometimes both. However, since this only had one egg and I added extra baking soda and baking powder to ensure leavening, I used the vegan flax egg substitute: 1 TB ground up flax seeds + 3 TB warm water = something with the texture of a beaten egg.
I may or may not have texted Tomato earlier today saying, “I tried to remake the sticky toffee pudding and preliminary observations suggest it was not a success. I hate my life.” This may have been an overreaction since 5 minutes later I reread the directions and realized it had 20 minutes left to bake.
While I’m saving the ice cream remaking for another day, I’ve been anxiously excited to try this whole vegan myth that chilled coconut cream or milk can substitute seamlessly for actually whipped cream. I think I talk about how much I love actual whipped cream at least once a week (is that an exaggeration?). I love real whipped cream almost more than anything in the world. All of this means that this so-called-whip fake out was going to be a tough sell.
Okay, all that being said, here’s the new recipe:
For the cake:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 gluten-free flour mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cashew milk (any non-dairy milk will do)
1 flax “egg” (1 TB ground flax seeds + 3 TB warm water)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
7 ounces chopped prunes or dates
1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the sauce:
3/4 cup plus 2 TB dark brown sugar
2 TB coconut oil, melted
2 cups boiling water
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and grease a 11/2-litre capacity casserole dish.
2. Start with the cake. Combine the dark brown sugar with the flour in a large bowl. In a separate cup, beat the milk, “egg”, vanilla and melted coconut oil and then pour this mixture over the sugar and flour, stirring to combine. Fold in the prunes and add this cake batter into the baking dish.
3. Make the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and oil, and mix well with your fingers to incorporate the oil well. Sprinkle over the cake batter. Pour over the boiling water and transfer to the oven. Bake for 60 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Serve with the coconut whip.
It’s not the same as regular sticky toffee pudding.
When I took it out, I was worried that it still didn’t set, though once it cooled down a bit it was fine. Because the ATK gluten-free mix has tapioca flour, I could definitely tell it was “springier” than normal pudding (as is expected with tapioca flour). I think I could do better consistency wise by playing around with different flours, but that will have to wait another day since that takes a lot of time, ingredients, taste testers and possibly waste. Until that day comes, this recipe is perfectly fine. The coconut oil made no noticeable difference to me as a butter substitute, and I’m not even sure what the original egg was supposed to do since this rose just fine with the aid of the baking powder and baking soda.
As for the coconut whipped cream: the consistency was perfect and after adding cinnamon, sugar and vanilla to it, the coconut flavor was barely discernable. If I can’t have the real thing, this is definitely an acceptable substitute.
All the above being said, it did taste good and it did taste the way it was supposed to taste. In that sense, this first Buddha makeover was a success.