So many people seem to be trying out a vegan diet for January so I thought I’d make something that was a tasty treat for those who may be struggling a little. This Vegan Fig and Dark Chocolate Loaf is a perfect tea time snack or dessert (I served it with some vegan coconut yogurt). It has a reduced refined sugar content as well as wholemeal flour and I’ve also served this to non-vegans who were none the wiser.
If I’m being honest, it’s one of my favourite recent bakes – do you need any other reason to try it out?!
Ingredients for Vegan Fig and Dark Chocolate Loaf
2 tbsp chia/flax seeds
6 tbsp water
3 fresh figs
120g dried figs (+80ml/8 tbsp warm water)
150g self raising flour (or 150g plain flour & 2 tsp baking powder)
120g wholemeal flour
100g caster sugar
60g fruit/date/maple syrup (+a few extra tbsp)
45g veg/sunflower oil
145g soy/almond/rice milk
75g roughly chopped dark chocolate (+70% cocoa is best, double check it is vegan, most about 70% will be)
Loaf tin, greased or lined with baking paper
preheat oven to 180oC
1) Boil a small kettle and leave to cool. While it’s boiling chuck your chia/flax seeds into a food processor/nutribullet and whizz until they have been ground into a powder-y flour (you could do this with a pestle and mortar if you have the strength and the time and no food processor). Pop them into a mug and mix with the 6 tbsp of water. Place this in the fridge and leave to set for 15 mins.
2) Place all your dried figs into a small bowl and cover with 8tbsp (about 80ml) of the cooled kettle water. Set aside.
3) In a medium bowl pour in the two flours and, using a wooden spoon, mix well.
4) Take two of the fresh figs and peel/use a very sharp knife to remove the skin. Discard the skin and roughly chop the figs. Chuck the chopped fig in a food processor/nutri bullet with 1 tbsp water and 1 tbsp of fruit/date/maple syrup and pulse until it has been pureed. I did mine so there were still a few little lumps in it – I like to come across a stray bit of fig, but you can make yours smooth if you prefer! Set aside for a moment. Slice the remaining fig as thinly as possible, leaving the skin on and then place to one side.
5) In a large bowl chuck in the pureed fig, chia seeds, caster sugar, syrup and oil and whisk on a medium-high speed for a few minutes until everything is well mixed. Then add half the flour mixture and half of the milk, carefully fold together with a wooden spoon until it has only just come together. Once done, repeat with the reminding flour and milk.
6) Lastly, drain the soaking figs, chop off the hard end and discard and then roughly chop (using scissors makes this very easy) them into the bowl. Pour in the chopped dark chocolate (leaving a small handful to the side to scatter on top) and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is evenly dispersed.
7) Pour this mixture into the prepared baking tin. To make sure the batter comes out even click here (and go to number 11) then smooth the top down with the back of a spoon/knife. Place the thinly sliced fresh figs in a line running down the middle of the loaf and scatter the top with the remaining chocolate.
8) Pop on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 50-55 mins. After about 30-35 mins cover loosely with some foil so the top doesn’t brown too much but the batter still cooks. The loa is ready when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Once done, remove and leave to cool in the tin, drizzling with a tbsp of syrup while it is still warm, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.