Even though I am entering it on the very last day possible, I have been thinking long and hard about my creation for Urban Vegan's "Vegans Gone Wild" contest, for which she asked us to create a "most decadent, luscious, exotically indulgent original vegan dessert recipe." For some reason, the word decadent instantly called up "fire!" in my mind. After all, what can be more decadent and sinful than a sweet, rich dessert, lit up into flames?
So I decided to take two famously flammable desserts, crêpes Suzette (crêpes with butter and a flambéed orange liqueur sauce) and bananas Foster (bananas with a rum-caramel sauce, again flambéed), veganize them, and then kick them up a notch by infusing my dessert with a tropical Latin American flair (inspired by my recent jaunt to Puerto Rico, of course). The result? What I call "crêpes Susannah" - buttery rich coconut crêpes filled with a banana-mango-caramel mixture with a hint of rum, topped with caramel, vanilla drizzle, and powdered sugar. It's a tropical vacation on a plate! Here is a step-by-step guide, with recipe and photos.
Bazu's sinfully rich vegan crêpes
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat, of course!)
- 1/4 cup soymilk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance margarine
- tiny pinch of salt
- 3 TB brown sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1-2 TB light or dark rum
- more water, as needed
Blend all of the above ingredients in a blender until well-mixed. Stop and scrape the sides a couple of times to incorporate all the ingredients if necessary. Cover and refrigerate (in the blender canister) for at least 2 hours.
After the batter has chilled in the refrigerator for at least two hours, take it out and give it another whir in the blender to re-blend it. At this point, you may need to add a little bit of water to the batter to thin it out a little. The texture you want is thinner than a pancake batter, but not too runny.
To cook the crêpes, heat a 7-8 inch pan over medium-high heat and spray with canola oil. This process is a bit like making pancakes, you'll have to adjust the temperature constantly, and your first crêpe might be sacrificed to the gods, but this is a very forgiving batter and you will get going fast!
Pour the batter, about 1/4 - 1/3 cup at a time and quickly shake the pan to spread the it around the entire bottom of the pan, making sure the crepe is thin and even. Wait until it has slightly browned on the edges, about 1-2 minutes, and flip to the other side. Daiku and I found this to be a two-person job: I would pick up the crêpe by the edge using tongs, and he would flip them over with his hands. After flipping to the second side, it only takes a few seconds until the crêpes are done. Flip them onto a flat surface (we spread a kitchen towel over our oven rack) and allow them to cool.
makes 6-8 7"-8" crêpes
While the crepes are cooling, make your
Banana-Mango Foster filling
- 2 TB Earth Balance margarine
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- pinch of cinnamon
- up to 1/4 cup soy cream
- 2 small ripe bananas, cut into thick slices
- 1 small or 1/2 large mango, diced
- 1/4 cup dark rum
melt Earth Balance in a heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Add sugar and cinnamon, and stir until sugar melts, about 3-4 minutes.
Once sugar melts and starts bubbling, add enough soy cream to achieve a liquid caramel consistency.
Add your fruit. At this point, the cold fruit might make the caramel solidify, but don't worry- it will melt again. Stir constantly, making sure to coat the mango and banana with caramel sauce. Once the fruit has softened slightly (about 3-5 minutes, depending on their ripeness), you get to the fun part!
This part requires some caution! Carefully pour rum into the fruit and caramel mixture. Take the pan off the heat and set the rum on fire using a long torch. Return to the heat, moving the pan back and forth until the flame dies down. You might want to tip it to make sure that all the alcohol is gone.
Allow your mixture to cool slightly before assembling.
To fill, spoon some fruit mixture, without a lot of liquid, into the center of the cooled crêpes. Roll them up, and rest them on a plate, seam side down.
Top them with reserved caramel sauce, some vanilla yogurt, and a dusting of powdered sugar. Garnish with a big sprig of mint. Enjoy this luscious, sweet, sinful, dessert while still slightly warm and be transported somewhere far away!