Today is the day they vegans have their picnic!
It's the Vegan Virtual Potluck today and I have been very excited about it ever since I signed up. I can't wait to see what everybody else is bringing to the potluck - 103 bloggers will be contributing this year. So sit back and work your way through them all. Each post is linked to the next post so you can start at appetisers and work your way through to dessert. To start from the beginning and work your way through head to veganbloggersunite.com for the host post (with the most). If you've already worked your way through all the recipes before me then you must already be very full, but I hope you left some room because this is worth it!
Cooking for an event with a whole host of other vegan cooks from around the world, I knew that I wanted to bring something special because every vegan blogger already knows how to make vegan chocolate cakes, vegan cupcakes of all varieties and all the more common forms of desserts. I also wanted to make it something a bit healthy, and preferably free from processed sugars. It's true that fruits and vegetables naturally contain sugar, so nothing with fruit or vegetables in it is ever completely sugar free.
I've been meaning to try the chocolate ice cream posted by JJ at 84th & 3rd for the Death By Chocolate Blog hop for some time, so I decided to use it as the ice cream layer for my pie. It's made from avocado, banana and cocoa and that is it. So elegant that I had to try it. She calls it chocolate ice cream - but I've called mine chocolate banana ice cream because I can tell you that you can definitely taste the banana! You can't taste the avocado though, so no worries there!
You need to be a little bit organised and have a bit of time to prepare this - but the great thing about it is that it lives in the freezer. So you can make it as far in advance as you like and it keeps forever in the freezer. The first step you need to do it to freeze your bananas. Quick tip - peel the bananas first! It's perfect for using up the super brown bananas that you sometimes discover in your fruit bowl!
1 large ripe avocado (but not over ripe!)
2 frozen bananas
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp kahlua (optional, contains sugar)
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/3 cup macadamia nuts
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp cocoa
1. Place the avocado, banana and cocoa in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Add the kahlua to taste (if using).
2. Transfer to a dish (a loaf tin is a good size and shape for the smallish amount of ice cream that this makes) and place in the freezer. Set your oven timer for half an hour and when it beeps get the ice cream out and give it a good stir, make sure you break up all the ice crystals that are forming at the edges. Do this every half hour 3 times.
3. While your ice cream is chilling, you can make the base. If you have a really good food processor then you can just put the dates in whole and add the nuts, oats and cocoa all at the same time. Because my food processor is a bit old and crap I started with the oats, nuts and cocoa and then I added the chopped dates a few at a time so that it didn't get overloaded. Process all 4 ingredients until fairly fine.
4. Grab a 19-20cm diameter spring form cake tin. Pour out your processed base and use your hands or the back of a spoon to press it down firmly and evenly all over the bottom of the tin. Place the base in the fridge now until your ice cream is done (it should be in there at least half an hour).
5. After you've taken out and stirred the ice cream 3-4 times, pour it over the base and smooth over the top. Place back in the freezer and leave in the freezer for at least 2-3 hours (easiest just to leave overnight!).
~Just before serving, take out of the freezer and leave to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes (10 minutes in cold weather) to let it soften slightly
~ To ensure easier cutting and neat slices, heat the knife under hot water and then dry it with a tea towel just before cutting. If you are cutting lots of slices, you may have to do this several times.
~If you like, you can decorate with dark chocolate shavings - however, unless you have sugar free chocolate it may then cease to be sugar free :) Healthier garnishes would include fresh or frozen berries or cherries. Or maybe even some slices of banana.
Makes 1 x small pie.
~If you want to make a bigger one, double the recipe and use a 23cm springform cake pan.
What's next for dessert? Time to move on to the next Potluck Offering.
Hit this button to go to the previous post (Super Vegan Crepes by Bacon is Not an Herb) or click here:
Hit this button to go to the next post (Delectable Date Squares by In Fine Balance) or click here:
Now I'm going to sit back with a glass of wine and work my way through the 102 other dishes at this potluck! It's going to be a big night, I hope you'll join me!