Vegan Banoffee Pie

This veganized version of a banoffee pie with chocolate and coconut takes the concept of banoffee to a whole new level.

I don’t necessarily support the origins of Thanksgiving, nor am I American. But I do appreciate the taking time to reflect back upon this year and think about what I’m grateful for.

This year was challenging. I started university in January, which wasn’t easy, for many reasons. But I’m really thankful to be at the place I am now, with some of the coolest people in the world, doing things that I love. It just goes to show that everything takes time. And for someone who is impatient, that takes a while to learn.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, it doesn’t hurt to think about the things that are going right.  And whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, it doesn’t hurt to make pie either.

A decadent chocolate, coconut, caramel and banana tart (banoffee pie) that just so happens to be vegan.

This one just so happens to be vegan.

The base is embellished with chocolate, coconut. I make it with almonds, but you could use walnuts or pecans as well. To bind the crust, I add in a combination of dates and coconut oil. The coconut oil helps it set and the dates bring everything together. You could use all dates (it would be around 3/4-1 cup) or all coconut oil (at least 1/4 cup – with maybe a few tablespoons of maple syrup or sweetener)- but this is really the optimal mix and I recommend you use both.

A decadent chocolate, coconut, caramel and banana tart (banoffee pie) that just so happens to be vegan.

Dates – I use soft, Iranian dates, Medjool are also fine. Dry dates will be difficult to use – you could try soaking them in hot water but I can’t guarantee the same texture.

A decadent chocolate, coconut, caramel and banana tart (banoffee pie) that just so happens to be vegan.

The filling – dates are notable for their natural caramel flavour. We expand upon this notion, adding a touch of salt and vanilla to form the ultimate raw vegan salted caramel.

The topping– coconut whipped cream. I got this idea from my friend, Ronnie. It’s life-changing. To make the coconut whip, you need coconut cream. What’s that, you ask? Well. All you need to do is place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. It will separate into a solid portion and a liquid portion. Scoop that white, creamy solid mass out, leaving behind the water – and whip it good. Make sure not to shake the can before using- because if the cream is too liquidy, it will not whip properly.

A decadent chocolate, coconut, caramel and banana tart (banoffee pie) that just so happens to be vegan.

This banoffee pie (if made right) is the perfect blend of flavours, a dessert that (mostly) everyone can enjoy.

Vegan Banoffee Pie

Ingredients:

For the base:

  • 1 cup (150 g) almonds
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) desiccated coconut
  • 3 tbsp (45 g) raw cacao powder/cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) soft dates (such as Iranian dates or Medjool dates)

For the banoffee filling:

  • 1 cup (200 g) dates
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 bananas (not super ripe but not super raw)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the topping:
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) coconut cream*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup/agave/honey if not vegan -- or just add 1 tbsp of sugar

Directions:

  1. cover an 8-inch pan with plastic wrap (clingfilm) leaving some hanging over as excess.
  2. To make the base, place the almonds and coconut in a food processor and blitz the ingredients together until you're left with a damp rubble.
  3. Add in the dates and coconut oil, then mix for a few more minutes or until the mixture comes together, forming a mass.
  4. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and about 1.5 inches (2.5 cm) up the sides, then place in the freezer to set, until solid.
  5. In the meantime, prepare the salted caramel filling.
  6. Place the dates into a food processor along with the water, salt and vanilla.
  7. Blend the ingredients together until the dates are completely smooth and the mixture and form a nice, toffee-like paste. Add more salt/vanilla if desired.
  8. Slice the bananas and sprinkle atop the lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
  9. Next make the coconut whipped cream (see notes for what it is).
  10. Place the chilled coconut cream into a bowl.
  11. Whip using an electric mixer or hand held whisk until it has doubled in size and the mixture forms nice peaks.
  12. Gently mix in the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  13. To assemble the pie, gently remove the plastic wrapped base from the cake tin, then peel it off of the base. Because the base was in the freezer, it should be nice and firm.
  14. Pour the date caramel into the base and spread evenly to cover the inside entirely.
  15. Scatter atop the banana slices, covering the date caramel entirely.
  16. Dollop atop the coconut whipped cream, creating peaks using your knife or spatula for a nice finishing effect (see the vide0).
  17. dust with cocoa/cacao powder or scatter atop some raw cacao nibs or grated chocolate (vegan chocolate if vegan).
  18. Serve cold.
Because this dish has fresh fruit, it won't last more than a few days once you assemble it. I recommend making the base and dates caramel ahead of time- the coconut whip and bananas should be prepared the day of/day before serving. The base keeps well in the freezer for up to 2 months, as would the date caramel.
*Coconut cream is the fatty part in a can of coconut milk. Place your coconut milk in the refrigerator the night before using it. Be careful not to shake the jar. The thick, fatty part will rise to the top- scoop this part out. Leave the water behind (it can be used in smoothies!). *Because this

A decadent chocolate, coconut, caramel and banana tart (banoffee pie) that just so happens to be vegan.