Miranda, you smiley, sunny SoCal babe, this one is for you.
I’m certain I’m not alone in this urge – this craving – but quite often I get an urge to bake, and I cannot shift it. If I ignore it, I’ll obsess about it for days until I bake.
This is how these bars came about. I really, really, really wanted to bake. But it was past shop-shutting time, and I only had what was in the cupboards. Whatever I was going to bake, I was going to have to use my imagination.
>> enter vegan lemon bars <<
As with almost everything I bake, these were done by ‘feel’ to establish the recipe, which is my heads up to you that quantities are an ‘ish’, rather than to the exact gram. Despite the fact these were made from the imagination, they tasted ridiculously good! Even if I did cut them before they’d fully set. I was excited, alright. Allow it.
Let me tell you now, these are not healthy, raw, sugar-free, produced under a rainbow miracle bars. No, these are sugary treats of the utmost.
One thing though that did bug me was that after about a minute of sprinkling the powdered sugar onto them, the bars had pretty much absorbed it. Since these are more like dessert bars than a packed-lunch kind of bar, they are have a wetter texture. So if you’re looking to make them look sexy for presentation, sprinkle them with the powdered sugar just before you serve them.
Lemon dessert bars
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: ~50 minutes
Serve with: daisy dukes and a smile
Freezes well? Probably.
All about that base
- 150g ground almonds
- 1/2 cup of flour (or just use more ground nuts)
- 1/4-1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
- 350g of silken tofu (usually 1 pack)
- Juice of 3-4 lemons
- Zest of 1-4 lemons (depends on how tarte you want it)
- 1 tablespoon of cornflour dissolved in some water to make a paste
- 300g-600 (ish) of powdered sugar (taste it as you go and see how sweet you want it)
- A teaspoon or two of turmeric for colour
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan)
- Add your ground almonds and flour together with the melted coconut oil.
- Pact firmly into a pre-greased or pre-lined tray. (I use an 8″x8″). If you don’t pack it down firmly enough, the base will be too crumbly to hold once.
- Shove it in the oven for 20 minutes or so until the colour has gone slightly golden. You don’t want it to be too cooked though, as it’s going back in the oven a second time.
- Put the tofu in a food processor and blitz.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blitz until you have a reaonably thick consistency. If you need to thicken it further, you can mix some more cornflour with some warm water, and then add it it. Alternatively you could add a little bit of plain flour. Make sure you mix the cornfour with water before you add it to the mixture.
- Add the lemon layer to the base, then pop back in the oven for 40 minutes or so.
- Once firm to touch, take out of the oven and put aside to cool and set.
I use the prod test to see when these are cooked. When these were done, they felt reasonably firm – a bit firmer than silken tofu. You’ll have to just use your judgement on this one, but they could probably stay in there for quite a while – at least until they start to catch.
So, there you have it. Some gloriously lemony, sunny dessert bars for those special occasions. And by special occasions, I mean, like, any occasions! Obvs.
Let me know how you get on with these!