I’ve spent a bit of time this year trying to improve upon a number of free-from recipes that I came across when tasked with creating gluten, dairy and egg free cakes for a family wedding buffet. Those results were not something I’m desperately proud of, and I’m confident that rice flour is not going to become a staple in my kitchen. The same goes for those dreadful faffy chia seed egg substitute concotions. Trial and error has also confirmed that you can’t just use ‘any oil’ in a sweet recipe, despite the suggestion of some creators.
But let’s not dwell on what doesn’t work. Because after several attempts I have now come up with a gooey, sweet and satisfying cake that doesn’t taste even remotely vegan and allows me to enjoy some baked goodness without comprimising my almost-dairy free eating regime. As with so many things in life the answer is not to scrimp on the stuff that’s bad for you and I use quite a lot of sugar in this because it is a cake, not a protein bar. Using banana gives a classic contrast to the strong flavour of the chocolate and some extra fudginess against the texture of the walnuts. Be sure to choose very ripe, even slightly brown bananas.
I use standard flour, because I can. Don’t say I didn’t warn you if you go gluten free.
Personally, I find this best as a tea-time or elevenses cake, best served in a thick slice with a hot drink but it also works as a decadent dessert with some icecream or custard. It will keep in an air tight box for about 4 days if you can resist it for that long.
Boomboom Double Choc Nut Banana Bread
You will need a loaf tin, two large bowls, baking parchment.
160g plain white flour
60g cocoa powder
1 tbspn cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
180g caster or demerera sugar
150g walnut pieces
2 large bananas, mashed
100ml of unsweetened almond milk
75g coconut oil, melted
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp apple cider vinegar
Dark chocolate chips to top.
Heat your oven to 180 and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix with a balloon wisk then stir in the nuts.
In a separate bowl mash the bananas very well then whisk in the almond milk, vanilla and vinegar.
As the final stage, melt the coconut oil and whisk it very quickly into the wet mix, then mix all of this into the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the loaf tin, scatter the top with chocolate chips then bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out more or less clean.
Allow it to cool completely before turning out of the tin to avoid collapse and serve in thick slices with a good book and a nice cup of tea. And don’t tell your mate’s it’s vegan, they’ll never know.