Are you fasting this Lent? What are you forgoing? My friend Paul, a die-hard carnivore, has gone vegan for a month! Can I hear a round of applause please?! By day, Paul Alexander Estorffe is a Senior Communications Manager at The Qode, one of Dubai’s most reputed PR communications houses. In his spare time, he puts on his apron and morphs into an experimental chef. You loved his last recipe post here for Kipper Pate with Drambuie Since then, Paul has created many a masterpiece in his kitchen, and has even scored an entire recipe feature in Khaleej Times!
Today he’s back on The Tezzy Files with a sweet treat… Do try out Paul’s absolutely decadent Vegan Lemon & Banana Cake. Perfect for a sinless Lent!
“I never find it easy to switch from being a carnivore to being vegan/vegetarian while fasting for Lent so I decided to bake something vegan for a change and voila “Paul’s Vegan Lemon & Banana Cake”. It’s a relatively easy cake to prepare and bake and full of zingy flavour and your guests will love it! Or you can just eat it all yourself! So, get baking and share your experience with me; would be happy to hear from you. Eat Well and Be Happy.” – Paul Estorffe.
Paul’s Vegan Lemon & Banana Cake
For the Cake:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup dark muscovado sugar
zest of 1 lemon
½ cup olive oil
1½ tbsp water
1 cup soy yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup lemon juice
50 g vegan butter (melted)
1 banana (use a fresh banana and not essence. Reason for that is that the main flavour of the cake should be lemon and not banana, the banana is not the main ingredient. It gives a nice additional flavour and provides moisture).
1 cup icing sugar
1½ tbsp lemon juice
– Preheat the oven at 220°C. Grease a loaf tin and line the inside with a baking sheet. (Once the cake mix is in the oven wait for max 10 minutes then reduce to 160°C)
– Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla powder in a bowl. Stir through the salt, lemon zest and sugar.
– Add all liquid ingredients ( water, olive oil, vegan yoghurt, lemon juice and melted vegan butter) Now mix all of it to a smooth batter (Do not over mix- you do not need a hand blender, cake mixer etc)just use a spoon or a spatula is fine and gentler than an electric cake mixer or blender.
– Chop up banana and add to the mixture.
Tip: I sifted the muscovado sugar as well to make sure there are no lumps
– Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 35-45 min or until a skewer or knife comes out clean. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and let cool completely.
– Sift and mix icing sugar and lemon juice to a velvety mixture, spread over the cake and let it firm before slicing the cake.
Tip: Once I poured and spread the icing on the cake I cooled the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes (depends on the temperature of the freezer, you do not want to freeze it). It helps to cool the icing quickly and stick to the cake. This works for me but if you’re not comfortable with the idea, don’t do it.
Candied Lemon Slices
1 large lemon
1 cup sugar
– Prepare an ice-water bath (place ice cubes and cold water in a bowl); set aside. Using a sharp knife, slice the lemon thinly and remove pips without tearing the fruit.
– Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the lemon slices; stir gently until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, and immediately place slices into ice-water bowl
– Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium skillet, gently mix to dissolve the sugar but then don’t stir it any more as it can cause crystals to form. When the liquid is clear and bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add lemon slices, arranging them in one layer (use tongs to avoid burning your fingers. Simmer (DO NOT BOIL) until rinds are translucent, should take about 1 hour.
– Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Let stand until ready to serve.