Queen Elizabeth Cake? Interesting, right? Yes, this vegetarian cake recipe is definitely interesting...and it is definitely for lacto-ovo vegetarians. Of course you can certainly adapt this cake recipe to suit your needs. For example, use Earth Balance instead of real butter. Use an egg replacer for the egg.
And you can use a vegan cream substitute as well. Rice-based creams are good for those who don't want or can't have soy, but are allergic to nuts and so cannot have oat-based creams.
Coconut milk also is a great substitute for cream in many baking recipes. One part raw cashews with one part water, blended till smooth, also functions well as a cream substitute.
So get your baker on and surprise your dinner guests with this terrific vegetarian cake - we think it would make a wonderful addition to your holiday menu.
All hail the Queen Elizabeth Cake!
by Eve Pearce
There was a time when ‘delicious dessert’ meant three things: cheesecake, chocolate volcano or, for those after slightly more delicate fare, crème brûlée. These three desserts were star players on just about every aspiring creative cuisine restaurant and to this day, they rank up right there with homemade pancakes or a nutty brownie as far as the ‘yum factor’ is concerned. For many vegetarians, finding a scrumptious savory dish at an average restaurant can often be difficult, but at least we can usually find our perfect match under the tempting dessert listings.
When it comes to sweet and savory dishes in trendy restaurants across the globe, the ‘slow movement’ has been making its mark, enticing diners with the crisp, fresh flavor of seasonal, organic foods often referred to as ‘zero kilometer’ produce. The idea is to reconnect with Nature and the earth by taking the time to prepare delicious homemade meals rather than gobbling down a calorific meal at a fast food establishment. When it comes to family meals, this often involves taking the time to invite kids into the kitchen and teach them about nutrition using a hands-on approach. To quote KwikMed.org, “Obesity levels are on the increase, and this is due to a lack of exercise combined with a bad diet that contains all the wrong foods and not enough of the right sort of nutrition”. Rather than placate kids with processed food and nutritionally starved store-bought treats, we can teach them how to make desserts containing nutritious ingredients like dates (which promote a healthy heart, brain and digestive system) and walnuts (which are a wonderful source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats).
In this post, we present you with a true Christmas classic: the Queen Elizabeth cake, jam-packed with soft dates and nutty goodness and topped with a to-die-for toffee sauce. From first bite, it makes it easy to thank Nature for all its bounties and to discover how delicious vegetarian temptations can be.
Queen Elizabeth Cake
Ingredients (serves around eight people):
For the dates:
1 cup boiling water
1 cup pitted dates
1 tsp baking soda
For the cake:
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 lightly packed cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts (plus around six whole walnuts set aside for decoration)
1 ½ cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/3 tsp fine salt
1/3 tsp baking powder
For the topping:
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 six-ounce can cream
Cut each date into eight small pieces. Boil water, turn off heat and throw in the chopped dates. Add baking soda, stir once or twice and set aside.
Butter a small donut pan and preheat the oven to 350º. Now start working on the cake. Melt the butter in a pot over low heat, adding sugar until the mixture obtains the consistency of porridge (this process should take around three minutes). The mixture should neither be runny nor too dry.
Turn the heat off and set the pot aside.
Sift the flour into a bowl together with the salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Take the butter and sugar mixture, which should be warm (not hot), add the vanilla essence and mix. Add the whole egg and mix again then add nuts and finally, the date mixture (including the water and soda).
Add the flour mixture to the date mixture in three batches, making sure the flour is perfectly incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the buttered pan and bake for around 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Once the pan is cool, use a blunt knife to separate the cake from the edges of the pan. Do not remove the cake from the mold until the topping is done, to retain the maximum level of moisture.
To make the topping, melt the butter and brown sugar in a pan over medium heat, stirring continuously. When the sugar is almost completely dissolved, add the can of cream and stir continuously until it becomes semi-thick and goes a light iced coffee color.
This process will take around 10 to 15 minutes. Do not cook for too long, as the topping will harden when it cools down.
Allow it to cool slightly before pouring it over the cake.
Decorate your cake with whole walnut pieces. Once sliced, you can also serve with additional whipped cream.
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