Posts tagged loaf
Double whammy banana cake (gluten free)

The past few days have flown by in a whirlwind!

As well as recovering from a compressed nerve in my spine (which totally obliterated any form of cooking opportunity for most of last week), I needed to somehow bake a big batch of various cakes for a stall I had planned at the Love Architecture event at the architectural company where I work…. It was touch and go whether I would recover in time.

As it happens the pain killers I’d be prescribed finally kicked in and I was up to the challenge.

So what did I bake?

I wanted a varied selection to satisfy all tastes. Yes, there had to be a lot of chocolate involved but also lots of other treats for the not-so-chocolate lovers!

I settled for chocolate orange and gingerbread smoosh bars…my favourites!  Toffee blondies which were closely based on m sticky toffee pudding recipe, raspberry almond chocolate torteplus a peppermint cream variation on that theme…and last but not least (at the request of my colleagues) banana cake.

I have made banana bread for the blo here before (way back in the early days) but until now I hadn’t attempted a gluten free version. 

I called this new version ‘double whammy’ because I used both fresh bananas and dried chewy chunks for extra depth of flavour and texture. If you can’t find dried bananas (they need to be the chewy natural dried ones not the crisp banana chips covered in sugar!) then you can just sub extra dates of you wish or simply omit altogether.

My usual gluten free flour combo also worked really well, everyone said that they would never have known it was GF which makes it a huge success! I baked the banana cake in 4 small loaf tins (approx 15cm long), but a larger loaf tin (note: I haven’t tested this so baking times will need to be modified) or muffin tins would also be fine.

The cakes sold really well and the few that remained I brought home to freeze as treats for me, so all is good! I also had some business cards designed and printed, hence why you may have noticed a few changes around here with a new colour theme and a new logo! I'd love to hear your thought's and feedback! I didn't know what my title on the business cards should be...so decided upon 'Cakemaster', quite fitting I think, ha ha!

Recipe: Double whammy banana cake

Makes approx. 4 mini loaves

  • 4 ripe bananas- well mashed
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup coconut butter- melted
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup agave plus ½ tsp stevia
  • 2 cups GF flour (1 cup buckwheat, ½ cup ground almonds, ½ cup tapioca flour)
  • ½ cup dried bananas- chopped
  • ¼ cup dates- chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon/mixed spice
  • Soy milk (or other liquid) as necessary (I used approx ¼ cup)

Method

Mix together wet ingredients in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix lightly but well with spoon. Add a little soy milk last as necessary to achieve desired consistency (not too stiff).

Once combined, pour the mixture into 4 small/2 medium greased and lined loaf tin or muffin cases and bake at 180C for approx. 20-30 minutes depending on pan size. Test with a toothpick to ensure the centre is cooked. If the top begins to brown before the centre is cooked through lightly cover the pan with tin foil.

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Gingerbread Loaf Cake

My second Daring Bakers Challenge reveal has arrived. 

This months challenge...Quickbread. 

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lis stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavour profiles.

You can see the challenge details hereIt was a very versatile challenge in which we had to come up with a recipe for a loaf, muffin or popover (i’d never even heard of that word before!) that didn't use yeast but instead used baking powder/soda as the raising agent. I fancied making a loaf, and as much as I love a good old banana bread (and was very tempted), that is something i’ve made many times before and my veganised banana plantain loaf was even one of the first recipes on my blog.

So, I had another think and a riffle through my folder of scribbles, notes, cutout, printouts of various recipes from all over.  I came across a gingerbread loaf that I had already written a few notes against with ideas for veganising.  I went a little further than this to bump up the healthy factor and used grated pureed carrot to sub most of the oil. The result was amazing, not at all dry but also not at all gummy as i’d sometimes found previously when just using agave nectar as the sweetener. It wasn’t too sweet and was a cross between a cake and a delicate bread with its fine texture.

I baked the ‘mixture in three mini loaf tins so I could vary the toppings. The other reason for this was to reduce the risk of any issue with the loaf browning on the top before being cooked in the middle. Judging by the texture of the loaf I think this may not have been an issue anyway, but I would still suggest using mini loaf tins or alternatively a shallower cake pan if you have them.  

For the tops I kept one loaf plain, decorated the second with chunks of crystalized ginger prior to baking (ok I accept that does have a little refined sugar), and covered the third in a thin sticky layer of chopped up crystalized ginger and agave syrup once baked but whilst the top was still warm.....all three options were delicious!

I served the loaf warm with a dollop of soy youghurt.

Recipe: Gingerbread Loaf

Makes 3 mini loaves (or 1 large)

Ingredients-

  • 1 ½ cups wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tbs ground flax/chia and 2 tbs hot water
  • 2 tbs molasses
  • ½ cup agave syrup and ¼ tsp stevia
  • 1 tbs freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp oil (I used rapeseed)
  • 2 carrots grated/pureed
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • Chopped crystallized ginger for top- optional

Method

Mix together the wet ingredients. Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the wet. Mix through lightly and then pour batter into three mini greased/lined loaf tins (approx. 15cm length).

Sprinkle finely chopped crystallised ginger over the top of the loaf if desired.

Bake at 180C for approx. 30 mins. Check with a skewer to see when done.

Note: I used 3 mini loaf tins to eliminate any potential issue of undercooking/gumminess in the centre. In the past when I have used larger loaf tins the centre has not cooked before the top begins to brown.  This cake crumb was very light and so may not present any problem with a larger pan.

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Carrot Cake Loaf

Well I know I said my my sticky toffee pudding was a final indulgence after the overload of Christmas naughtiness…well, maybe that was a tiny fib, but I do have an excuse for this cake… and it’s a good one!

For Christmas as a bit of a novelty gift, I made my very own ‘Including Cake vouchers’ to give each of my family so that they could trade them in for a tray of sweet treats of their choosing.

My sister is going back to university this weekend after her holiday’s back at home and so decided to trade her voucher in so she had a little treat to take back with her. So you see, this cake is not for me at all!

She opted for a good old classic carrot cake…super healthy style!

I’ve made a few variations of carrot cake before, but as yet they have not appeared on my blog. The recipe I use makes for quite a dense sponge best suited to mini loaf pans (as I have used here) or muffin/cupcake tins.

When I previously made it using a regular sized loaf tin I felt it was a little gummy in the centre, don’t get me wrong it still tasted really good but would be best suited to a smaller pan so the centre maintains a cakier crumb. I've also used spelt flour here but I would imagine that my typical 30/30/30 combo of ground almonds, buckwheat flour and tapioca starch would work well as a GF sub (note- this hasn't ben tested in this recipe)

I haven’t frosted these loaves as they really don’t need it, but you may want to add some frosting if you are opting for cupcakes.

I haven’t included a frosting recipe here as I have yet to create a ‘white’ frosting that I really love. My previous investigations lead me down the route of blending firm tofu, coconut butter, orange zest and agave syrup- but although this does create a viable healthy frosting, I simply felt it needed a little more work…feel free to experiment!

I promise I do have some soups coming up very soon! Soups are great for all seasons, all times or day and for wherever you happen to be. They are the perfect healthy winter comfort food and what could be better than that?

(ok, well maybe a little bit of cake for dessert!)

I also have some granola style bar investigations underway. I want to create the perfect healthy snack bars for all situations… a slow release energy bar, an quick release energy hit, a high protein snack. This has been inspired in part by one of my colleagues who asked my to create him a healthy sugar free energy bar. Not one to turn down a challenge…investigations are well underway…I’ll keep you posted!

Recipe: Carrot Cake Loaf

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup apple sauce (or soy yoghurt)
  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup agave and a pinch stevia
  • ¼ cup soy milk
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • ½ cup chopped dates or raisins (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 180C. Blend together wet the ingredients in a food processor then mix in melted coconut oil. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl (except nut/dates/carrots) then add wet mixture and stir until thick. Fold in grated carrot, chopped nuts and dates last. Pour mixture into 3 mini loaf tins or

12 cupcake / muffins pans. Bake for approx. 20-30 minutes depending on pan sizes used. Check to see when a toothpick comes away clean.


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‘Twelve Days’ day 9: Mincemeat fruit loaf

I’m on a bit of a mincemeat kick!

Yes, I know I could freeze part of the batch I made a few days ago but I wanted to make it into as many things as possible right now!...plus I can always make more if I need to as it’s so simple.

I’ve never been a fan of traditional fruit cake as it’s so dense and rich and I’m not a lover of candied peel.  However I do like the idea of a fruit cake as a semi-sweet filling mid afternoon snack served warm with some vegan butter or yoghurt.  So as with all things… I set about creating my own version. This loaf is a lot lighter than a traditional loaf cake and I used a food processor to blend the mincemeat into the mixture so that the pieces were much smaller with a delicate crumb to the cake, (great for people who proclaim not to like fruit cake because of the bits!) but instead of blending you could simply fold the mincemeat through by hand if you would prefer to retain more of a texture to the fruit.

The basis of this recipe was inspired by this cake as it had a lovely light delicate sponge, although I have ended up modifying it quite a lot.

I can barely believe we’ve reached ‘Day 9’ already…..this time next week Christmas day will be upon us! 

Ok- now I’m starting to get really excited…the final countdown has begun and there are still 3 more recipes to squeeze in this week…. 

So, put you Christmas tunes on, get your tinsel out and dance around the room like a crazy person. It’s Christmas so anything goes…plus after all that dancing you’ll need a rest and refuel with a little piece of cake!

Recipe: Mincemeat fruit loaf

Ingredients

  • 150g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 50g almond meal
  • 50g potato starch
  • 1tsp flax seed mixed with 1tbs hot water
  • 3tsp baking powder 
  • 1tbs bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 70g rapadura
  • ¼ tsp stevia
  • 100ml melted coconut butter
  • 50ml soy yoghurt
  • 100ml orange juice (more if needed)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g mincemeat (ideally homemade)
  • Whole blanched almonds for decoration
  • Fills one 8 inch loaf tin

Method

Blend all liquids in food processor and melt coconut oil separately then mix in. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl then pour into the wet ingredients and beat well to get a very smooth mixture. Add the mincemeat last and either blend in or fold in by hand. Add a little more orange juice if necessary to ensure a smooth batter.

Pour into greased and lined8” loaf tin. Place/scatter a handful of blanched almonds over the top of the loaf. Bake for approx. 40 mins at 180C. If the top of the loaf begins to brown before the centre is fully cooked, lightly cover with foil for the last few minutes of baking time.


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Plantain Banana Cake

Following my experiments at the weekend I had one more ripe plantain sitting in the cupboard just waiting to be used. It looked lonely and forlorn all on its own trying disguise itself to fit in with the bananas but not quite managing to pull it off!

I had planned to make a banana cake for some time and so I thought it could be an ideal way to use up my last plantain. This was going to be a little experimental since plantain is not quite the same as a banana but I felt confident enough that it would still do the trick. I was right…

The plantain worked a treat! It’s difficult to know exactly how it would have turned out had I just used bananas but I have a feeling that the plantain gave the loaf a more starchy bready texture which worked really well to give a firmer structure to the loaf as a substantial ‘mid-morning snack’ which really helped to fend off the munchies until lunch! This was lovely swerved warm (to melt the choc chunks) with a little vegan butter or cream frosting…………….. Mmmmmmm.

Recipe: Plantain banana cake

(fills one 20cm loaf tin )

Ingredients

  • 60g rapadura (or agave syrup) and a pinch of pure stevia
  • 1tsp flax and 1tbs hot water to gel
  • 200ml soy yoghurt
  • 2 tbs coconut butter/oil (any oil would work)
  • 1 ripe plantain and 1 ripe banana well mashed (or 3-4 ripe bananas)
  • 40g finely chopped dates
  • 200g wholemeal and white spelt flour mix (or one or the other)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2-3 tbs poppy seeds or nuts
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg                                 
  • 50g dark chocolate chunks (optional but more decadent!)

Method

Mix melted coconut butter with yoghurt, flax, sugars and stevia in a large bowl for a couple of minutes. Add the mashed banana/plantain and mix until well combined. Mix remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl then add to the wet ingredients. Once well combined, pour mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake at 180C for approx. 50-60 minutes. Check with a toothpick to see when cooked and keep an eye out for top browning (if it looks as though it’s getting too brown loosely lay tin foil over the tin).


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