Gone Vegan

Lindsay Hutton discovers the politics and pragmatics behind a meat and dairy-free diet.

I’ve decided this blog post, while also carrying a delicious vegan dessert recipe, will also be a boon to Green Living’s online ratings. These days, blogs are all about SEO (search engine optimization).  To get hits on your blog, you’ve got to keep with what’s crackling at the top of the heap, see? 

A quick scan of Technorati’s top-rated blogs are mostly online news clearinghouses, a la the Huffington Post or the Daily Beast. Or havens for celebrity smutsurfers like Gawker and the garishly illiterate paparazzi online rag, Perez Hilton. Call it multitasking, call it playing to the lowest common denominator: this vegan blogger’s going to earn her keep with this one. 

Surprisingly, those Googling for a vegan cake with mangos and pralines will find hits few and far between. I get it, however. Why bake a cake when you can read about Larry King giving the heave-ho to wife number seven? Or perhaps you can't hear yourself think over the millions of Americans across the border wailing over the fact that they don't have to pay for health care. Or you're psyched-to-distraction over Glee starting up again. And after all, I know I can sleep much better knowing that scientists have finally decreed that King Tut died of malaria, not violence or poisoning as originally believed. 

And now, to the cake. I’ve noted at least a half-dozen times in this blog that I am not one for desserts. However, I had a few mangos sitting in my fruit basket that needed eating, so off I went to mess about in my baking cupboard. I came up with the following. At its core, it’s a tarted-up sponge cake, topped with lush mango and an extra bit of sweet with cheater pralines. According to the housemates, a triumph.  Afterwards, they even took out the garbage. 

Upside Down Mango Praline Cake 

The pralines:

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tbsp margarine or Earth Balance 

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tsp all-purpose flour 

The cake:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp cornstarch

2 ½ tsp baking powder 

¾ cup margarine or Earth Balance

1 cup of sugar

1 ¼ cup soy milk 

1 mango, halved and sliced 

2 tbsp brown sugar 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8” square baking dish and set aside. 

2. For the pralines, melt the margarine on medium heat, add the pecans, and brown sugar, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, stir for one minute, then remove from heat. Place your newly rendered pralines on parchment paper to cool. 

1. Sift the flour, corn starch and baking powder and mix together.

2. Cream together the margarine, sugar and mango puree. Add the soymilk, and whisk thoroughly. 

3. Add the dry mixture, a little at a time. 

4. Fold in the nuts. 

5. Sprinkle the brown sugar at the bottom of the pan, then place the mangos in one layer at the bottom. Pour in the cake mixture. 

6. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

7. Let cool for 20 minutes, then carefully overturn the dish onto a platter. La voila!