Gluten free, sugar free and dairy free banana cake with raw chocolate mousse centre
We made this cake shown to celebrate an important birthday. Usually I make my banana cake in two bread baking tins as you need to make sure it is not too thick to be cooked nicely and have more edges for crispness giving it the right texture. This time as it was an 80th birthday we made it in a ring with 8 candles bringing us to 80.
Had an empty centre crying out for something and as we recently did a raw food course and I had spotted a chocolate mousse recipe on the web, that was what I plumped for. A lot of the recipes were complex but I was up against the clock having to sneak the surprise birthday cake out of the house and into the restaurant before the birthday boy returned home. So I quickly used a hand blender to mix up some date paste (made prior – dates which have been soaked and then blended to substitute refined sugar), a ripe avocado (this becomes your cream from a healthy fat source) and raw cacao powder (high in magnesium which everyone needs plus much more). In hindsight I wish I had added some vanilla extract. As mine was a quick daliance and is not a tried and tested recipe, I am going to refer you to the truly wonderful Golubka blog site full of great raw food ideas for a chocolate frosting recipe as part of making a raspberry chocolate ganache. Raspberries are what I decided to mix with my lovely but could-still-be-improved mousse, along with some almond slithers. The cake went down a storm with the family – some fought over the centre and others over the cake.
Now here is how I make my no sins cake having experimented with various recipes. The sooner you eat it the yummier it is – especially if you have put some chocolate bits in which are all deliciously gooey. Note I am a huge fan of recipes which use cups and find them less of a chore than using scales. Asda even sell a multi-coloured set of measuring cups in their cooking equipment aisle. Ours get used so much we have 2 sets in case we are both making different foods simultaneously or some are in the dishwasher.
Makes 1 loaf – comes out like a filling fruit cake but no added sugar, dairy or gluten.
Preheat fan oven to 175 degrees C
– 5 ripe medium sized bananas (should measure 2 cups once mashed)
– 1 cup rice flour
– 3/4 cup raisins
– 1⁄2 cup finely chopped nuts of your choice (favourite is hazelnuts but I often go by what needs eating up in the cupboard)
– 1⁄4 cup rapeseed oil (tastes best in baking but can also use sunflower or olive oil)
– 1 tsp almond or vanilla essence (alcohol free vanilla extract even better)
– 2 tbsp choc drops (OPTIONAL if you want to be a bit naughty – the warm gooey chocolate bits are quite amazing eaten soon after it comes out of the oven)
Put the bananas into a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork until you have a paste. Add rest of ingredients and mix together well. Scoop into two greased 1lb loaf tins (I cheat and use loaf paper cases from Asda so that I don’t have to do any greasing and it’s easy to get them out or put them in two layers in a tupperware box for storage) making shallow cakes as the thinner it is the more edges you get and tastes better that way. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until nicely browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into bars.
I realise I sound a bit like an ad for Asda but actually we have to go shopping at just about every UK supermarket and a few different health food stores to find everything we need for our dietary pleasures.