Today was a sunny Sunday; a happy day spent doing things I love and mostly spent with the family. At the end of the afternoon I felt refreshed and revived. I decided I had the emotional fortitude to tackle my “new” oven again (after previous disastrous attempts), and invent a cake. (Incidentally, Plans to renovate the kitchen and get new appliances are afoot but in their infancy!)
My husband came home on Friday from the fruit shop with a mountain of ripe bananas (of which I froze about half as that is what I could fit in the new freezer). We also still had a lot of oranges which I had bought the previous week, so right there was my inspiration.
I have been toying with the idea of combining almond meal and various gluten free flours (particularly buckwheat) in the same cake. I like almond meal based cakes but they can end up being heavy and fairly fragile. I also like buckwheat cakes as they hold together really well, but they can end up a bit rubbery and have a distinct buckwheat overtone (which I don’t mind but the family are not so hooked on).
I have found that gluten free, refined oil / refined sugar free vegan baking is more forgiving than baking using eggs, sugar and fat. I would have never had the confidence to just go and make a conventional cake without using a recipe at least as a basis, and I would never have even dared stray far from the recipe.
This cake I just did by guess work and looking at batter consistency, noting quantities as I went so I could put them down for anyone who wants to try it…..and in case I want to make it again, which, having had a slice, I do.
So the oven didn’t kill the cake (it had a reasonable amount of supervision from me) and my kitchen Goddess status lived to fight another day. Yay!
5 bananas peeled and mashed / puréed
zest and juice of 5 oranges
2 teaspoons rice malt syrup or more to taste (optional)
3 C almond pulp (approx) ie results of 2 cups worth of almonds that have been used to make almond milk (or use equivalent almond meal)
2 cups buckwheat flour
1/3 cup besan (chickpea) flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinamon
handful of raisins (or sultanas or currants or cranberries – what ever you like)
(I used my food processor but if you don’t have one you could do this by hand.)
Put banana in the food processor and puree (or just mash in a large bowl)
Mix in (or process in) almond pulp, flours, cinamon and baking powder (I didn’t bother to sift).
Add in rice malt syrup (if using), zest and juice and combine to a thickish batter.
Fold in raisins.
Bake in baking paper lined tins for about 30 minutes at 175-180 degrees (possibly not correct – I don’t trust my oven!) until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. I made this in a 20 cm round and a small loaf (about 10cm x 30cm) as I can’t fit 2 round ones on one shelf in the stupid oven and putting anything anywhere near the element guarantees it will be charcoal in about 2 seconds flat! It would probably make nice muffins if you feel like portioning that way. Just line the trays with patty pans and probably halve the cooking time.
If you want to jazz this up you could make a chocolate icing (like the one in my Jaffa freezer fudge brownies https://sagiashidachi.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/jaffa-freezer-fudge-brownies/ ) or a cashew cream cheese icing (google it – plenty of recipes) using orange juice and rind in it. You could make it pretty with extra orange rind or grated dark chocolate atop said icing. Personally I am happy to eat it as is.