Welcome to Veganize your Cake – where I endeavour to convert your (or my) favourite cake or desert recipes into healthy gourmet refinedsugar free vegan delights!
FIRST UP: CHERRY POLENTA TART.
Whilst delicious British Cherry’s are still in season this is a brilliant cherry tart. The original recipe was from Dan Lepard for the Guardian in 2007. I made it then – vegan and sugar free naturally, but recently had a rediscovery of the recipe and added an extra vegan twist.
“This is a crust-free tart, baked in a springform cake tin. Cooking the cherries first stops them hardening when cooked with the jam, so you end up with a lush, soft filling. It does dry out quickly, so if you’re not going to eat it on the day, wrap it up well to keep it moist and soft.”
250g fresh cherries, pitted (or tinned minus the juice)
75g top-quality cherry jam – I use St Dalfour Black Cherry Fruit Spread as it is sugar free
100g sunflower margarine softened
100g plain flour
100g coconut sugar
3 teaspoons of ground flax seeds
4 tablespoons of cold water
½ tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
50ml soya milk – optional
Pine nuts (or flaked almonds)
Put the cherries and 50ml water in a pan, bring slowly to a boil and simmer for about five minutes, until the liquid has virtually evaporated. Add the jam and stir until it melts, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Butter and flour the inside of a 24cm diameter, round, springform cake tin. Mix the ground flax seed with the 4 tablespoons of water. Cream the butter and sugar with the flax and water mixture. Don’t worry about the unconventional looking result. In a separate bowl, combine the polenta, flour, baking powder and almonds, then beat this through the butter mixture. Dan Lepard mixes the milk with the butter and sugar – but I generally find I don’t need to use milk as the gloopy flax and water mix gives adequate liquid to make a firm dough. Add a bit of milk to the dough if needed – that is there is still flour that needs to be mixed in.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ gas mark 4. Spoon the mixture into the tin, smoothing it evenly all over. Use a teaspoon to make swirling indentations through it, then fill the rivulets with compote. Scatter a handful of nuts on top, then bake for 30 minutes, until just firm.