ABOUT THE RECIPE:
Sugary tasting and satisfying, this enticing Chocolate-Banana Gratin with Cinnamon Cashew Cream makes a delicious dessert or fun breakfast option. Sliced bananas and dried cranberries drenched in chocolate nondairy milk and a bit of maple syrup, plump up as they bake, for a sweet surprise!
MAKES 3 SERVINGS
3 slices whole-grain bread, cubed
3 medium bananas, sliced
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup chocolate flavored nondairy milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Liberally coat an 11 by 8-inch or similar sized baking dish with vegan margarine. Put the bread, bananas and cranberries into a medium-sized bowl and gently stir with a large spoon to combine. Put the nondairy milk, maple syrup and vanilla into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the nondairy milk mixture over the bread mixture and gently stir to coat. Let stand 2 minutes.
Transfer the bread mixture to the prepared dish and spread in an even layer. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbling and the top of the pudding is a bit golden. Put the dish on a wire rack and let cool 7 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve alone, or with Cinnamon Cashew Cream (below) on the side. Stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, leftover gratin will keep for 1 day.
CINNAMON CASHEW CREAM
This tasty, plant-based “cream” is a smooth and delicious dessert or breakfast topping with a jazzy twist!
Makes about 1 cup
2/3 cup raw cashews
1 1/4 cups water, plus more as needed.
2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Put the cashews in a small bowl and pour 1 cup water over the cashews to cover completely. Put the bowl in the refrigerator and let the cashews soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain the cashews and rinse with cool, running water. Put the soaked cashews, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a blender and top with 1/4 cup water. Blend for about 15 to 30 seconds, adding more water if needed, until the mixture becomes the consistency of thick cream. Taste and add more maple syrup, if desired.