Their vegan cookery channel is the biggest in the world, reaching one billion viewers - and with veganism going mainstream, and ingredients on the supermarket shelves, there’s never been a better time to give vegan ago - and what a recipe to start with... Henry Firth and Ian Theasby’s chocolate and banana pie!
2 x 400ml tins full-fat coconut milk
350g + 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
3 tbsp dairy-free butter, plus extra for greasing
2 x 320g sheets ready-rolled plant-based shortcrust pastry
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3–4 large bananas
3 tbsp cornflour
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp unsweetened plant-based milk
Plant-based ice cream, to serve
First make a caramel. Pour the coconut milk and the 350g golden caster sugar into the large saucepan. Put the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 45–50 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid has reduced by half and has thickened to a caramel-like consistency. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200°C . Put the dairy-free butter into a small dish and melt it in the microwave, alternatively, melt it in a small pan on a very low heat. Unroll one sheet of pastry and lightly brush it with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
Sift over half the cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar. Roll up the pastry tightly, starting with the longest edge and put the roll in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry.
Take one of the pastry rolls out of the fridge and cut it into 1cm-thick slices. Arrange the slices over the bottom and up the sides of the greased pie dish | Use your fingers to push, press and manipulate the slices into the dish so that they come together to form one connected, decorative layer of pastry (you might need to use a few slices from the second roll to completely cover the dish).
Brush the pastry with a very thin layer of melted dairy-free butter, lay a sheet of parchment paper over the pastry and pour the baking beans into it, smoothing them out evenly so that they completely cover the base. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and remove the parchment paper and baking beans, continue to bake for 10 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven and put it to one side to cool.
Spread the pecans out on the baking tray. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove and spread the pecans out on a chopping board and roughly chop. Peel and slice the bananas and put them in a large mixing bowl. Add the cornflour, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and chopped pecans and toss until the bananas are well coated.
Pour the coconut milk caramel into the bowl and fold everything together so that it is well mixed, pour the banana mixture into the pie and smooth it out with the back of a wooden spoon.
Lay a large square of parchment paper on a clean surface. Take the second pastry roll out of the fridge and cut it into 1cm-thick slices. Arrange the slices on the parchment paper to form a tight, solid circle (not a ring). Lay another large sheet of parchment over the top. Use the rolling pin to roll the pastry into a 3mm-thick sheet of solid pastry.
Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and roll the pastry onto the rolling pin and lift it over the pie. Lay the pastry over the open pie and remove the remaining sheet of parchment. Press the edges of the pastry together to seal the filling inside the pie.
Trim any excess pastry from around the dish with a sharp knife or scissors and crimp the edges with a fork
Make a glaze - pour the maple syrup and plant-based milk into a small dish and mix with a fork, Brush the top of the pie with the glaze and put it in the oven for 30–35 minutes, until golden and crisp.
Take the pie out of the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature before cutting into slices. Serve with scoops of ice cream.