June is an excellent month to celebrate the possibilities that vegetable cooking offers us: curau, paçoca, hominy (or munguzá), cooked green corn, roasted peanuts, popcorn, pamonha. All these typical foods are there to prove that vegan food is full of grace.
When it comes to cake, however, doubts soon arise: but cake without eggs? Will grow? Will it be fluffy? Yes, yes and yes!
In traditional cakes, the egg performs the functions of adding fat and moisture to the dough, of uniting the ingredients and, secondarily, it gives a little strength to the cake to grow. When we take the egg out of the recipe, we need to replace each of these functions. By doing this, the cake will be a hit!
In this week’s recipe, coconut oil fulfills the role of fat. Already water —yes, water!— adds moisture to the dough, as does cooked green corn. When crushed, this food, which is the king of cake and icing, also helps to bond each ingredient with its starch “glue”.
And for the cake to grow without eggs, how do you do it? Chemical yeast, as in the traditional cake, but in addition, a mixture of baking soda and apple cider vinegar (or another acidic liquid such as lemon juice).
Like chemical yeast, the reaction of this mixture releases carbon dioxide, whose bubbles make the dough grow, making it lighter. I’ve tried using just chemical yeast; I’ve already tried using just the mixture of baking soda and vinegar: it works better when you combine both.
Before the recipe, a warning: corn is one of the most genetically modified foods that exists. If you can, choose organic green corn, as well as corn for popcorn and chemical yeast (the corn starch from the non-organic yeast, added to the formula to protect from moisture, is transgenic).
Now, let’s go to the recipe!
Ingredients for the cake
3 cups of cooked green corn (can be frozen or canned)
2 ⅓ cups of cornmeal (cornmeal)
2 cups of grated coconut
1 cup demerara sugar (or your favorite sugar)
1 cup coconut oil
1 ⅓ cups of water
1 teaspoon baking soup
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Ingredients for popcorn
2 cups of popcorn
½ cup of fresh sugar
Puff of salt
Ingredients for caramel sauce
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup of sugar
- Grease a pan with coconut oil and cornmeal and preheat the oven to 180 ºC.
- Add water, oil, sugar and corn to a blender and blend for two minutes.
- Turn off, add the cornmeal and beat for another minute. Add yeast, baking soda and vinegar and beat for a few seconds, just to mix.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden on top.
- While the cake bakes, pop the popcorn. To caramelize, just melt the sugar over low heat, until it forms a syrup. Wrap the popcorn in the sugar syrup with the help of two spoons, season with a little salt and set aside for finishing.
- Wait for the cake to cool before unmolding.
- Prepare the caramel sauce, bringing the sugar and coconut milk over low heat. Stir constantly until sugar is melted and cook for two minutes.
- Cover the cake with the syrup and spread the caramelized popcorn on top.
- The cake can be frozen (without the popcorn). The tip is to cut into slices, to defrost only the amount that will be consumed that day.
- To make the popcorn crunchy and not wilt in the caramel heat, the tip is to add it little by little, and quickly coat the popcorn with the help of two spoons.
- The popcorn topping is wonderful in the first 24 hours, but loses its “crunchy” the next day. So, when storing the cake, remove the icing — and enjoy eating the freshly baked popcorn!
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