I quote: “I will be your ETERNAL munchkin slave if you pull it off”. This is what Man-thing said when I quizzed him about snickers bars and the idea of making a snicker-ish cake (or a snickers parfait, which is for another magical time). I think I managed some swoon factor, for sure, though I forgot the bladdy peanuts, hence the reason this isn’t called a snickers cake and why Man-thing narrowly missed Munchkin status. I like to stick to the rules, after all. This cake, however, is on another mission altogether – super indulgent, hom nom goodness using healthy ingredients but far from being a spinster cake. Oh no, this is the naughty nun, the grinning grinch!
Now, I know this ingredient list seems long, but honestly this is a snicker-ish cake, and that means layers. Instead of making chocolate chips the main ingredient along with sticky sugar caramel, I tried as usual to use whole or “real” ingredients, as I like to call them, which still bring decadence to the table without setting a place for diabetes as well. Who wants to worry about working in a piece of delicious cake rather than just letting it happen in all its glory? Not me!Ingredients – serves 12
Brownie cake base:
- 2 cups sliced and peeled sweet potato, measured then steamed
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/3 cup + 2 TBSP carob powder
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/3 cup sugar of choice/powdered sweetener
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup soy protein powder/protein powder of choice (see comments below for alternatives)
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup oat fiber
- 1 TBSP tahini or almond butter
- 2 vegan “eggs” (use a powdered vegan egg, such as the Orgran brand, not a flax or chia egg)
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1.5 TBSP sweetener/sugar
- Optional: 1/3 cup raw peanuts (do not blend, fold into the blended caramel at the end)
- 1/2 + 1/3 cup dates, soaked for at least 2 hours (preferably medjool)
- 1/4 cup white beans
- 1/3 cup date water
- 1TBSP flax powder
- Optional: 1 tsp caramel essence
- 1/2 cup white beans
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup carob powder
- 2 TBSP non-dairy milk
- 2 TBSP agave syrup/sweetener of choice
- I suggest making your nougat layer the evening before so that it can thicken up nicely. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and store in the fridge.
- Soak your dates overnight if possible, or at least for 1/2 an hour, then blend your caramel layer until smooth and set aside in the fridge. Remember not to blend your peanuts but fold them into the caramel if using!
- Blend up the ganache and set aside in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a loaf pan with baking paper, sprayed.
- Blend your wet brownie ingredients thoroughly, scraping the sides as necessary, then add to a large bowl with your dry, pre-mixed ingredients. Fold together until mixed, but not overly so.
- Spoon into your loaf pan and smooth over the top with the back of a wet spoon.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until somewhat spongey. It will look uber moist. This is good.
- Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool for another 10 minutes.
- Spread on your nougat on top of the cooled brownie base, then place in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Add your caramel evenly with the optional peanuts folded in, and then spread your ganache on top. It’s easier to add blobs of the ganache on top and then spread it, otherwise the caramel might get swirled.
- Store in the fridge for 1/2 an hour before slicing.
- This cake gets better the longer it stays in the fridge, so if you can hold out for a day then do it, but it’s still frakkin amazing immediately as well!
You probably guessed that this post would essentially be a thousand angles of this glorious business, but hopefully it’s not such a hardship. Eating this amazingness certainly isn’t!Can we all just agree that sweet potato is possibly the best basis for combining with any ingredient under the sun? It’s so versatile and deliciously smooth, that this cake could work with banana, carrot purée or even prune purée instead of the applesauce. I think prune purée might even add a rich depth to the taste, so that’s for next time I make this – there will definitely be a next time!
Swoon! I know the gloss of the ganache and the inviting bursting seam of caramel may be drawing your attention, but the “nougat” is really my favourite part of this whole cake for some reason. It just adds a lovely textured breaking point to help the palate differentiate between the layers without detracting from them at all. If you don’t use or have protein powder for the nougat layer, you could possibly steam some more sweet potato and use that along with the rest of the ingredients but less soy milk. A lot of vegans or even health nuts I know always have some secret stash of protein powder lying around, so this shouldn’t be too crazy – even I’m getting into it, despite my cheap-o brand not having any flavour by itself. This is seriously the most moist cake I’ve ever made – the whole bite pretty much melted in my mouth! You can see from the photos that I didn’t blend my sweet potatoes into oblivion, because I like the bits, but if you want silky smooth with no hint of what the ingredients are (for the more finnicky or suspicious of guests), then go beserk on your food processor.
On a side note, if I’ve seemed a bit on the quiet side of late (because I do spam hard with posts) it’s because we are currently fostering a beautiful mommy cat, Hera, and her adorable, amazing boys – Paris, Hermes, Achilles and Ajax. I have to mush and brag because it’s the first time I’m fostering a family and not just kittens, and it is such a blessing seeing the interactions between mom and boys – something I haven’t quite experienced! At the beginning they were terrified of me, but within a few days they started getting brave (except for silly Paris) and were using me as a climbing post and glorified head scratcher ❤
Since I’ve been liberal with food photos, I hope no-one minds my proud kitty display! They are all so gorgeous, especially Hera who has the most stunning personality. Alas, no more official cats for us, otherwise I would’ve made Man-thing a powerpoint presentation about why she’s awesome and should stay. And on an even brighter note, our other foster, Dirkie, is going to his new home on Monday! I can’t express how full my heart gets when we get to home these extraordinary creatures and give them forever families.