This is a gluten-free banana cake I put together for a friend of mine. It’s a nice, easy cake to put together, and good for afternoon tea, as it’s solid, but not too sweet.
I must admit, I had my doubts about this cake initially. You see, I used quinoa flour, and I used a different brand from usual (McKenzies, if you’re wondering), and it turns out that this particular brand has quite a strong taste. I could still detect it in the final, baked recipe, which was annoying. But in fact, it grew on me pretty fast, and I actually rather like it. Though not enough to use the same brand next time.
Looking around, it turns out that quite a lot of people don’t like quinoa flour. If this is you, don’t despair – more rice flour would work. Alternatively, I note several food writers suggest ‘heat treating’ or toasting quinoa flour before use – apparently the trick is to spread out your quinoa flour on a baking sheet and bake it at 100°C for two hours. I’ll be doing this next time – quinoa is a useful flour because of its high-protein ways, and this is an advantage worth keeping.
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2 over-ripe bananas
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup (approximately one drained tin) crushed pineapple
1/3 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp gingerbread spice mix, mixed spice, or ginger
1 cup rice flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1 cup almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
For the icing:
250 g light cream cheese, softened
zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
Now what will you do with it?
You bake with it, of course!
Line two standard loaf tins with baking paper, and preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put the bananas in a large bowl and mash with a fork until fairly smooth. Beat in all the wet ingredients, including the pineapple, plus the brown sugar, until well-mixed. Add the dry ingredients, and mix together until you have a smooth-ish batter.
Divide this batter between the tins. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until the loaves have risen a little (they won’t rise enormously), are golden, and spring back when you poke at them gently.
Turn out onto wire racks to cool.
For the icing, beat together the cream cheese, lemon and icing sugar until well amalgamated. Spread over the cooled loaves, and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg. Serve.
This recipe is vegetarian, and is dairy free until you ice it, which, obviously, you don’t have to do. It does contain nuts, and since they are keeping it moist, you’re kind of stuck with those. I think it has too many eggs to usefully veganise. It is, however, gluten-free and low FODMAP, so that’s something.
This would be awesome with some choc chips through it, though that could just be me being chocolate obsessed this week (pretty sure choc chips would be awesome regardless, however). You could also play with the spices a bit – cloves or allspice would be a nice complement to the pineapple, and lime might be good in the icing. Shredded coconut would work, too (I’d suggest coconut flour, but coconut flour absolutely *drinks* liquid in cakes, so you’d need to figure out the right balance of wet to dry first). A little rum wouldn’t do the cake any harm, either, at which point you might as well add raisins. A handful of glacé ginger or apricots would also be lovely in this cake.