Ok. No. I admit didn’t really have a good excuse to make this cake, but it’s been one that I have been wanting to post for a while. The delicious love child of a banoffee pie and a caramel cheesecake. Imagine – A crispy puffed quinoa base, a layer of creamy banana and cashew cheesecake, topped with salted peanut butter and date caramel, whipped coconut cream, fresh banana and grated dark chocolate! You’re welcome. It’s not as tooth achingly sweet as a traditional banoffee pie (I should know, I partook in one recently – you forget how sweet cane sugar actually is!) and so much more wholesome. I’m surprised I hadn’t thought to marry the two sooner!
It’s not a raw cake (due to its puffed base, coconut cream and maple syrup) but the cheesecake layer has a similar texture and taste to one. My boss gifted me some puffed quinoa that we had leftover, which I’ve worked in here, and I love the texture and crunch it lends the cake… I find that raw cakes are often boring in texture, and I’d rather eat something mostly raw and delicious, than something totally raw and lacking! Same sort of thinking went into my raw Hazelnut Chocolate Torte… with a not-so-raw Coconut Sugar Praline! Hey, I’m ticking most of the boxes… Including “80:20”!
This cake is a great celebration cake, but it could also be made into mini single serves using silicone moulds or those card cupcake pans (I’m thinking the sturdier printed ones). An added benefit to making smaller cakes is a much shorter freezing time: less wait, more cake!
Just wanted to also note: Please don’t be put off by the allocated recipe time and long list of ingredients and steps. The cake is actually very straightforward and uses a blender. Very little of the recipe time is actually hands-on active, most of it is just freezing between layers whilst you get on with more important things like reading Pinterest or Apartment Therapy.
To melt the coconut oil to liquid state – stand the jar in a bowl of warm water for 5 min. If you forget to soak the cashews for the cheesecake you can “quick soak” them in a bowl of boiling water for 15 mins – the texture will be similar but the nuts won’t have the same nutritional value that you get with the long soak in cold water. For the whipped cream I use the Ayam brand coconut cream, and find one 270ml tin is enough for this recipe. It can be a bit hit and miss when choosing coconut cream brands suitable for whipping, you want one that is 100% coconut, or close to, so that it seperates when refrigerated overnight. Make sure you choose coconut “cream” instead of “milk”, and avoid stabilisers and other additives.
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 2 min
Fridge time: 2 hours +
80ml | 1/3 cup rice malt syrup
30ml | 1/8 cup coconut oil (liquid, * see note)
70g | 2 cups puffed quinoa (or other puffed gf grain/seed such as amaranth or millet)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
270g | 2 cups raw cashew, soaked for 6 hours (* see note)
80ml | 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
125ml | 1/2 cup coconut milk
140g | 1 large banana
60ml | 1/4 cup coconut oil (liquid)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g | 1 cup pitted medjool dates, soaked in boiling water for 10 min (reserve 2/3 cup soaking water)
1-3 tbls peanut butter (or almond)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp fine seat salt
270g tin of coconut cream, refrigerated overnight (* see note)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple (optional)
1 ripe banana, thinly sliced
A few squares of dark chocolate, grated (optional)
For the base: Grease and line a round 23cm (9 inch) springform tin.
Bring the syrup and coconut oil to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes before removing from heat and stirring in vanilla and salt.
Pour the quinoa in a large bowl and add the syrup mix. Stir well and then pour into your prepared tin. Use damp hands to press down the mix firmly and evenly to create a crust. Place in the freezer to set whilst you prepare the cheesecake layer.
For the cheesecake: Blend the soaked cashews, maple syrup and coconut milk in a high speed blender or food processor till completely smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and process till smooth. Pour into prepared tin on top of the base, smooth to a even layer, and return to the freezer till set – about 2 hours. If making ahead, keep the cake in the freezer till assembling.
For the caramel: Blend the dates and reserved soaking water in a high speed blender or food processor till completely smooth. Add 1 tbls of peanut butter and the rest of the ingredients and process till smooth. Taste and add more salt and/or peanut butter, if desired. Store airtight in the fridge till serving.
For the cream: After refrigerating your coconut cream tins overnight, without shaking them, open the tin and scoop the thick cream from the top of the tin of coconut cream and put it in a medium bowl. Do not add any runny liquid from the can, reserve it for your next smoothie.
Add the vanilla and maple syrup to the bowl and whip the cream for 3min till light and fluffy. Chill in the fridge for 20min, or until serving.
To assemble: Before serving, take the cake from the freezer and carefully remove it from it’s tin and paper. Spread the caramel on top of the cake in an even layer with a palette knife or the back of a butter knife. Arrange 3/4 of the banana slices on top of the caramel, followed by a layer of the coconut cream, then the remaining banana slices. Grate the chocolate over the top of your cake, if desired.
Keep refrigerated till serving. Use a hot knife for ease of slicing, a well chilled cake will slice easiest and cleanest.