What You Need:
For the cake:
3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided
1-1/2 cups almond milk
1-1/2 cups pitted dates, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vegan margarine, melted
1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
For the toffee sauce:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unpacked brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegan margarine
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon almond milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Vegan ice cream, for serving
What You Do:
1. For the cake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a baking sheet, toast 1/4 cup pecans for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie dish or an 8-inch square pan.
2. In a medium-sized pot, bring almond milk to a low boil. Add dates and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 minute, remove from heat, and stir in baking soda. Mixture will froth slightly.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together margarine and brown sugar until smooth. Add date-almond milk mixture and stir to combine. Add remaining 1/2 cup of pecans, cinnamon, salt, and flour, and stir until just combined. Spoon mixture into prepared dish and bake at 375 degrees for 27 minutes or until cake gently springs back when you touch it.
4. For the toffee sauce, in a medium-sized pot over medium heat, whisk together all ingredients. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, whisking frequently. Simmer for about 5 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Remove cake from oven, allow to cool, then prick with a fork or toothpick all over cake, creating about 100 small holes. Pour 2/3 of toffee sauce over top of cake and smooth out with a spoon.
6. Spoon portions of cake onto plates, drizzle with remaining 1/3 caramel sauce, and top with toasted pecans. Serve with vegan ice cream.
Photo: Angela Liddon