Saturday, May 10, 2008

Couscous Cake?

Looking though some food porn on the ppk I came across a thread featuring couscous cake. I was intrigued. What is this couscous cake you speak of? What a strange idea. After looking at the photo and reading the post I realize that I have a recipe for a couscous cake in a cookbook that I have recently purchased, Vegan Planet. Now this is not a small book so I wasn't surprised in the least that I missed this particular recipe. Also in general I am not a Pumpkin fan. Well it's alright but I have never liked pumpkin pie. How un-American of me, I know. Anyway, also included in this post is a reference to a contest hosted by Robin Robertson on her Vegan Planet blog. "Alright I'm in!" I think. I'm such a sucker. A contest is as good an excuse as any to try out a new and, to me, unusual concept in cooking.

As it turns out couscous cake is a super easy thing to make. Also super quick and super versatile. As this was the first trial of said cake I wanted to keep things simple. I decided to go with the smooth delicate flavor of coconut as it would pair nicely with the fresh fruit I had on hand already. So without further adieu. My couscous cake recipe.

Coconut Vanilla Bean Couscous Cake

1 15oz can coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/4-1/3 cup sugar
1 Tb arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
1 vanilla bean
2 cups whole wheat couscous

In a medium saucepan heat coconut milk, water, sugar and arrowroot over medium high heat, whisking to fully mix in the arrowroot. Meanwhile scrape out vanilla bean seeds and add to pot. Whisk to incorporate seeds. Toss in the vanilla bean pod as well, this will also add to the vanilla flavor. Once the mixture comes to a boil stir in couscous, cover and simmer for about 1-2 minutes then remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile lightly oil a 8" spring form pan, this is to mold the couscous into cake form. You may try something else if you'd like, this cake comes out fairly firm and cohesive.

After 10 minutes, remove the lid to your pot. Your couscous should have absorbed the liquid. Gently stir the couscous to locate the vanilla beans and pull those out. Now dump the mixture into your prepared spring form pan. Press and smooth down the mixture. Cover and chill until fully cooled through, at least 1-2 hrs.

Remove from refrigerator and you can now remove the spring form pan. Slice and serve like a regular cake garnishing with sauce and/or fruit of your choosing. This cake comes out light with a smooth vanilla coconut flavor that will compliment just about anything you dream up. I paired mine with strawberries and kiwi.


Mara said...

That's pretty!

Vegan Planet said...

Congrats on winning second place in the contest -- great cake!

Bex said...

Wow thanks! this was great fun.