2 tablespoons orange rind
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla or regular vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (dip into flour bin, sift later)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 fresh bananas, sliced
1 large lemon, juiced (about 1/3 cup more or less)
1/4 cup apricot jelly or up to 1/3 cup (more or less as needed)
1 tablespoon sliced pistachios (optional)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons vegan butter or clarified butter or vegan ghee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 9” cake pan, greased, floured and lined with parchment paper
1 mixer or food processor or bowl with electric beaters
1 brush to glaze the bananas
Preheat the oven to 375F. In the bowl of a mixer or food processor or a regular bowl (if doing it manually), place the creamed chocolate chips, the grape molasses, tahini, vanilla and orange rind, and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients, previously mixed in a bowl and sifted, and combine until mixed.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake has risen and gone down and a knife inserted comes out clean.
Make the frosting by mixing the sifted cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vegan butter, vanilla and almond milk. Use enough almond milk to get a creamy but thick cream suitable for frosting.
Frost the cooled cake. Place in the refrigerator to stiffen the frosting and allow for an easier garnish with the bananas or other fruit. When the cake is cool and the frosting is stiff, slice the bananas and place on the cake overlapping the slices. Immediately brush bananas with freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent the oxidation of the bananas. Gently melt the apricot jelly and apply on the bananas.
Refrigerate the cake to set the glaze, then cover the cake to keep it fresh. When ready to serve, place at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
Joumana says: “Apricot jelly can be obtained by heating some apricot preserves and straining it once it becomes liquid by removing the fruits. Use the jelly to glaze the bananas and keep the extra glaze in a covered container in the refrigerator. Apple jelly can be substituted for apricot jelly. Grape molasses can be substituted with date molasses or carob molasses or even dark brown sugar. Almond milk can be substituted with oatmeal milk.”
For this recipe and more traditional Lebanese and Middle Eastern recipes, go to: https://www.tasteofbeirut.com/vegan-chocolate-cake/
Watch Joumana’s expert video about making your own manooshe from scratch: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMXcuwWHvAk/
ORDER TODAY: Go to: https://www.amazon.com/Taste-Beirut-Delicious-Lebanese-Contemporary/dp/0757317707.
Taste of Beirut is the culmination of years of travel and research by Chef Joumana Accad in Lebanon and really brings the tastes and flavors of that rich, cultural region to her readers. A simple dish such as Dandelion Greens, (called a “salad” in the Middle East) using dandelion greens sautéed in olive oil with onions and garlic, seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juicer and topped with toasted pine nuts is a sweet and delicious appetizer and is enjoyed with wedges of Arabic bread. Accad’s version of Muhammara, or Red Pepper and Walnut Dip, is a show-stopper, calling for roasted red peppers, garlic, walnut, cumin and pomegranate molasses. It also is served with Arabic bread. “I moved back to Lebanon three years ago in order to soak-up the culinary scene and gather all the information I needed for my cookbook. While there I cooked weekly in Beirut with established master cooks, learning tips and techniques to successfully prepare these traditional dishes.”