I haven’t cooked or baked anything vegan for a while. In fact, given my vegan colleague’s birthday is coming around again, I fear that it may well have been a year since my last vegan cooking adventure!
Last year, I came up with a lovely recipe for Chocolate & Coconut cake which produced a surprisingly moist and rich cake in spite of no dairy products or eggs going into the mixture. It was well received by everyone at the office too :) Hubby suggested that I just make the same cake for his birthday this year but where’s the fun in that? It’s time to experiment!
I’d always wanted to try making a tropical style cake using pineapple and coconut. The coconut milk I used in last year’s cake was undoubtedly the secret to getting and keeping a vegan cake nice and moist but I decided to try using coconut cream instead this time just for some added richness.
For leavening, I used bicarb of soda and vinegar to help the cake to rise as it works so well with the Jamie Oliver cupcakes. The Thermomix also helped greatly in getting the mixture well aerated. Just to kick the tropical theme along further, I added a dash of lime zest to the mixture and prepared a lime syrup with the juice to go over the cake.
Initially I worried that the cake was going to remain doughy with all the moisture coming from the crushed pineapple but once it had time to cool, it came good. If anything, it tasted even better the next day once the pineapple had time to dry out a little. Very nice!
I’m already thinking up some other types of cakes using the basic recipe for this one. I wonder what we’ll end up for my colleague’s birthday? :)
Pineapple Coconut Cake with Lime Syrup
70g of Nuttlex margarine
100g light muscovado sugar or similar
120g plain, all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
3/4 cup well drained, crushed pineapple (preferably in natural juice)
1/3 cup coconut cream or as required (if the crushed pineapple added enough moisture, you won’t need 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
zest of one lime
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp sugar
juice of one lime
To make: Pre-heat oven to 180C. Drain crushed pineapple in a large sieve so most of the juice is removed. Use a potato masher to force as much of the moisture out of the pineapple. Set aside. Cream the Nuttlex and sugar together until light and fluffy (Speed 4 for a few seconds with TMX). In a small bowl, mix bicarb of soda with vinegar and allow to fizz up. Add flour and baking powder to creamed Nuttlex and sugar, and add bicarb of soda mix. Combine well or give TMX another few seconds on Speed 4. Add pineapple, coconut cream, coconut and lime zest to mixture and mix thoroughly (you guessed it, or another few seconds on the TMX at Speed 4). Pour mixture into medium-sized (non-stick, well greased or lined) loaf pan and place into oven for 40 minutes. After this time, test the cake with a skewer or slim knife. If it’s mainly crumbs that come back up, then the cake should be fine. Alternatively, if doughy cake mix comes back up, place back in oven for another 10 minutes, or as required.
For the syrup, add sugar and water into a small saucepan and bring to boil. Let mixture boil for five minutes then bring back down to a simmer. Add juice of one lime and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes. While the cake is still warm and in the loaf pan, pour the hot syrup over the cake evenly. Allow to cool completely before serving. This is important as vegan cakes tend to be crumbly!
** Edited to included coconut cream in ingredients and method. You can make a nice cake without it as per the above recipe but the coconut cream adds nice moisture if your mixture needs it (ie – your pineapple is not so juicy after draining).