Vegan peach and coconut butterfly cakes

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Admittedly the first deliberately vegan bake I’ve created, I was convinced to enter into the realm of vegan baking after some of the best and richest chocolate cake of my life incidentally happened to be vegan. My reservations that vegan-ised baking would be simply disappointing and lacklustre in comparison to regular bakes have now on several occasions been proven wrong, and I’ve come to appreciate the creativity that vegan baking demands as well as the genuinely (and surprisingly) sumptuous results.

I like to use flat peaches as I prefer their flavour and elevated sweetness, and also find that with the lack of butter, very generous vanilla extract is essential. Nicely ripe, soft peaches are ideal, but if your peaches haven’t ripened and are still a little hard, you can always gently part-cook them down in a pan for a few minutes and drain any excess liquid before folding them into the batter.

I wouldn’t want the fact that I’m “baking vegan” to ever seem pretentious, so these are butterfly cakes to keep us all down to earth, plus this style of cake allows for plenty of filling. I’m aware mine look nothing remotely like butterflies, but we can always fob off lack of artistic skill as abstract….


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Sweet and delicate flat peaches.

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Ingredients:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 20g powdered or desiccated coconut
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 220ml plant milk (I used soy)
  • 80ml coconut oil, melted
  • Dash white wine vinegar
  • 2 peaches, stoned and chopped into small chunks
  • Vanilla extract
  • Can coconut milk
  • Icing sugar

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Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180º and fill up a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, bicarb into a large bowl and combine.
  3. Add in the coconut and salt.
  4. Slowly pour in the plant milk and whisk. Continue gently whisking as you add in the oil, vinegar and generous dash of vanilla extract (at least 1 tablespoon).
  5. Fold in the chopped peaches.
  6. Spoon mixture into the cases and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Whilst baking, make the filling. Open the coconut milk and remove the hard, thick creamy top layer and place in a bowl. Add in icing sugar and whip until it reaches a thick consistency. Add some powdered or desiccated coconut if needed. Place bowl in fridge until cakes are ready.
  8. Once cooked, cut a circle off the top of each cake to make a hole and reserve the cuttings in a bowl.
  9. When the cakes are cool, fill each hole with the coconut filling, then cut a piece of the circle that you removed in half, placing it on top of the filling to create a “butterfly” (success of the butterfly effect will depend on your artistic skill…).

 

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