Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sweet Treats 2: Vegan Caramel Tart

By Tracy

This one I adapted from various internet recipes for "Banoffee Pie" -- no bananas here, but I ended up adding more strawberries than in the photo, because this is extremely sweet and needs something acidic to cut the flavour and texture.

Crumb base:
250g digestive biscuits (McVities are vegan)
100g Nuttelex (or other vegan margarine)

Caramel filling:
100g Nuttelex (or other vegan margarine)
100g dark brown sugar
1 can soy condensed milk (see here if you can't get this in shops; you can also make it yourself according to various webpages)

thick vegan cream (you can either buy it or make it: see Rose Elliot's Vegan Feasts)*
grated chocolate (dark or soy-milk chocolate)
fruit pieces

Crush the biscuits in a large bowl; melt 100g Nuttelex and stir through till well mixed. Press into the base and sides of a spring-form tin. (My mixture was a little too dry so the edges crumbled here and there; on the other hand, too much Nuttelex will make a crumb-crust greasy and too heavy.) Chill while you do the rest.

Melt Nuttelex and dark brown sugar together in a pre-greased saucepan till sugar dissolves. (I don't use Teflon, so I just greased the saucepan with Nuttelex and it worked.)

When it's melted, add the vegan condensed milk and stir while bringing to boil. Don't put it on a high heat -- you have to be patient with this bit. Now take your crumb-base out of the fridge. When the caramel mixture starts to boil, take it off the stove and pour into the base.

Chill it for at least an hour or it will be too runny.

[Left: basic tart, with slightly crumbled edges, but set firm]

When it's set, top it with the vegan cream, grated chocolate and strawberries or whatever you choose.
[Left: starting to pipe the vegan cream on]

[*The vegan cream is made by first cooking a small amount of cornflour with soy milk & a little vanilla, cooling that completely -- not in fridge -- and whipping margarine, then folding the two together, piecemeal. My Wakeman & Baskerville Vegan Cookbook -- a much-used standard -- has a similar method. If you prefer to buy vegan cream that is thick enough to use in this way, try the Cruelty Free Shop online or check in shops. There's even a spray-can vegan cream...]

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