After trying to Eat All The Food in Brisbane last weekend, I spent Sunday getting ready for, and then being at, a Townsville Vegan picnic.
It was supposed to be in one of Townsville's botanical gardens, but the sky was gray and we got scared it would rain (of course it was lovely at the time of the picnic) so we switched the location to my house. It was a small gathering of people, but it was worth doing because I got to meet new vegans! By new vegans, I don't mean that they are newly vegan, but rather that I've never met them before.
You see, we North Queenslanders have recently been joined by Stevie and Luc, creators of the really great vegan podcast Team Earthling. I have been listening to their podcast for a few weeks now, when I walk the dog in the mornings, and I really love it. So it was great to have the opportunity to meet them in person! Me & Andy and Stevie & Luc were also joined by Matt & Thomas. I've known Matt for a few years now and he's one of my main Townsville vegan friends, and his son Thomas has been joining us since he was born a year and a half ago.
I did what I always do and forgot to take pictures of all the picnic food that people brought, despite full intentions to photo-document everything - there was cucumber sushi (from me), bread and bagel chips with guacamole and eggplant-y hummus (Stevie & Luc), chocolate tart, biscuits and fruit (Matt). But I did snap a photo of my sweet offering before people arrived. So I give you that, along with a recipe.
Kiwi Coconut Upside Down Cakes
3 kiwi fruits, peeled and cut into 12 thick slices
1/4 c. vegan butter or coconut oil
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. plain flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. bicarb soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. coconut oil
1 c. coconut cream
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. desiccated coconut
Lightly oil the sides of a 12-cup muffin tin. In a mini frying pan or saucepan, melt together the vegan butter and brown sugar. Bring it up to the boil, and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until it starts to get thick and caramel-y. Spoon this into the bottom of each muffin cup. Place a slice of kiwi fruit on top of caramel.
Heat oven to 180 (350F). In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt. In a large bowl mix coconut oil, coconut cream, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix gently. If you overmix this, your cakes will rise in a funny shape which is no good for the upside-downing. Fold in the coconut. Spoon batter gently into the muffin cups on top of the kiwi slices and caramel. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until cooked through and springy.
Loosen the cupcakes with a butter knife or similar utensil, then invert the muffin tin onto a board. Gently lift it up as you coax the cakes out of the pan. When I did this, a lot of kiwi fruit slices stayed in the pan, but it's very easy to stick those back on the cakes. And the slightly ragged look of these adds to their appeal, maybe? In any case, they are too yummy to really judge by appearance!