Almond Flour Banana Cake(Gluten-free) with Chocolate Ganache

If you have some overripe bananas and you’re wondering what you can make with them, this recipe is easy, healthy, and tastes amazing.

I’m sure everyone has a repertoire of banana recipes to make – banana muffins, pancakes, ice-cream, etc. However, you might want to add this recipe to it too. It’s light and moist, no added oil plus the chocolate ganache takes it to the next level!! To be honest, the cake is not sweet enough for me but the chocolate ganache makes up for it. It’s velvety and chocolatey – absolutely yummy. Bananas and chocolate are a great flavour combination.

I used jaggery because I think bananas and jaggery go so well together. I chose to make a syrup with the jaggery and incorporated that into the cake batter. You can use a food processor, blender or stand mixer to make this cake. The chocolate ganache is also very easy to make. I chose milk chocolate as it’s my favourite but if you want something more healthy, you can use dark chocolate. I used fresh cream for the ganache but you can also use almond milk or even some espresso to make it more interesting.

Try mixing nuts or chocolate chips into the batter or swap the ganache for any other frosting that you like. This recipe is so versatile. You can even turn them into cupcakes. Do let me know if you make this cake.

PREP:  15-20 minutes  COOK TIME:  35 minutes 

Ingredients

3 medium ripe bananas

3 eggs

3 tbsp jaggery

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

21/2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 tsp baking soda 

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

For the Chocolate Ganache

11/2 cups milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup cream

Instructions

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C.

Mix the jaggery with a tablespoon of water and heat gently until it is completely melted. Strain and set aside.

Combine the bananas, eggs, jaggery syrup and both the extracts in a food processor or a stand mixer. You can also use a hand mixer. Blend until the mixture is really smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl – the almond and tapioca flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Blend the mixture until the ingredients are combined – do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake – it’s best to set a timer. Cool completely before adding the ganache.

Melt the chocolate chips and the cream together in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. The bowl should not touch the water. When the chocolate is completely melted, take it off the heat and cool for a few minutes. Pour it over the cake and smooth it out using a spatula to spread it out evenly. Refrigerate until the ganache is set. Slice the cake into 12-16 squares. Enjoy.

 

Strawberry Savarin

Strawberries are just divine. They burst with flavour when you pop them into your mouth. I can’t think of anything better than strawberries and cream on a hot summer day. It’s my favourite dessert. These berries are organic and they taste so much better and more natural than the hybrid variety. I’m sad that we don’t get them throughout the year.

I have made this Savarin several times. A Savarin is actually a brioche dough baked in the shape of a ring. It’s where bread meets cake! I once made the recipe from the queen of cakes – Rose Levy Beranbaum. It took two days but the result was superb. She recommends resting the dough overnight in the fridge and does not use instant yeast. I have used instant yeast for this recipe, which is quite easy. Don’t worry if the dough is wet. It all turns out perfectly in the end, I promise you. It’s quite simple to make and the syrup has to be poured on the savarin and left aside for a few hours. The best way to do this is to unmould it first and put it back in the mould after some time. I made some holes in the cake bread and then poured the sugar syrup over it.

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I used rosewater to flavour the syrup and the cream. It was a refreshing change from the usual rum or vanilla. Rosewater and strawberries turned out to be a lovely flavour combination. You can also fill the savarin with Chantilly cream and serve the berries on the side. Either way, it’s just delicious. If you want to make something special, then this savarin will be perfect. As you can see in the photo below, the texture of the Savarin is great.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 4050 minutes TOTAL TIME: 2 hours

Ingredients

135 gms plain flour

3/4 ozs instant yeast

15 gms caster sugar

2 eggs

3 ozs warm milk

40 gms butter

Pinch of salt

Syrup

120 gms sugar

1/2 cup water

1-2 tbsp rosewater

Crème Chantilly

Instructions

Grease a 7 inch Savarin pan.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar, beaten eggs and yeast to the warm milk and mix well. Tip the mixture into the centre of the flour and beat for about 5 minutes. A stand mixer is a good option, but if you don’t have one, then just beat well with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave to prove in a warm place until it doubles in size – around 40-50 minutes. Cream the butter and salt and beat it into the yeast mixture with the remaining sugar. Beat for about 5 minutes and pour the batter into the prepared pan and prove until the mixture reaches the top of the pan – around 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven at this point to 200C, while the dough is proving. Bake for 20-30 minutes until well browned.

While the Savarin is baking, prepare the syrup. Dissolve the sugar in the water and boil steadily for 5 minutes. Flavour with the rosewater and set aside.

Loosen the savarin from the pan and turn it out carefully on to a wire rack. When it is still warm, put it back into the pan and make small holes with a toothpick. Baste the savarin with the syrup until the cake is completely soaked through. Leave it in the pan for 4-5 hours or overnight and turn it out carefully on to a serving plate. Fill the centre with the strawberries and serve with Chantilly crème.

Strawberry Meringue Cake

I love strawberries. I could eat them everyday, several times a day! They were in season a while ago and I seized the opportunity to make something. When I saw this recipe from an old Woman & Home magazine, I just knew I had to make it. Simply heavenly!

Baking is my first love, especially cakes and pastries. I loved the idea of baking the cake and meringue together. I have made meringue layered cakes before by making the meringue separately and then assembling it. What I loved about this recipe is that you bake the meringue together with the cake. So easy.

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When I took the cakes out of the oven, the meringue had risen almost to the top of the pan. They did go down after sometime, but that didn’t affect the taste. There’s only one word to describe this cake – divine. It looks pretty spectacular too. And it’s easy to make – so what are you waiting for?

Don’t worry if the cake batter is a little thick. You will need to gently level it with your fingers.

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Strawberries, sponge, meringue and a creamy yogurt filling – strawberry cake doesn’t get better than this!

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PREP: 35 minutes COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

50g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

4 large egg yolks

½tsp vanilla extract

75g plain flour

25g cornflour

2tsp baking powder

5tbsp double cream

Icing sugar to dust

For the meringue

4 large egg whites

225g caster sugar

For the filling

150ml double cream

150ml thick Greek yogurt

400g strawberries, hulled

Instructions

Butter and line 2 8-inch loose-bottomed sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat again. Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder into the mixture and fold in. Finally, fold in the cream and mix together gently. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins.

In a separate clean bow, beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, then gradually add the sugar a dessertspoonful at a time, beating continuously until thick and glossy. Divide the meringue between the tins and layer on top, making sure that you don’t mix the meringue with the cake mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack – meringue side uppermost. For the filling, whip the cream into soft peaks, then stir in the yogurt. Lightly crush 250g of the strawberries and stir into the cream.

Place one cake meringue-side up on a plate and spread two-thirds of the cream on top. Put the other cake on top, meringue-side up and fill with the remaining cream. Top with strawberries and dust with icing sugar.

Tomato Soup Cake

I love the flavour of this unusual cake. It’s made with tomato soup. I used a ready-made tomato soup powder for making the soup. It has to be really thick.

The addition of cinnamon and nutmeg together with walnuts and raisins make for a very rich and dense cake. The recipe calls for wholemeal flour and brown sugar, which makes it healthy and wholesome. The cake is so soft that it just melts in your mouth.

I made the soup on the previous day and left it overnight in the fridge, but you could also make it on the same day as the cake. Make sure that it’s not too hot while adding it to the butter. Or you could use a can of condensed tomato soup.

If you do make this cake, it would be fun not to tell your friends what the cake is made of until they have eaten it. I’m sure they will never guess that it’s made with tomato soup. It’s just the thing for unconventional foodies.

This recipe is from The Zodiac Cookbook by Rose Elliot.

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PREP: 25 minutes COOK TIME: 11/2 hours

Ingredients

225 gms plain wholemeal flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

100 gms butter

175 gms brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

300 gms condensed tomato soup

90 gms raisins

90 gms walnuts

 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Grease and line a 1 kg loaf tin with greased parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

Place the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy.

Add the baking soda to the tomato soup in a small pan and heat on a reduced flame, until the baking soda is dissolved. This mixture should just be warmed slightly. Add this to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well. Fold in the flour mixture with the raisins and nuts. Turn the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 11/2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. (My oven took about 50 minutes only). Cool for 10-15 minutes and turn the cake out on to a wire rack to cool.

Dark and White Chocolate Marble Cake with Marble Icing

There’s nothing more satisfying than a piece of cake with a cup of tea or coffee. The delicious aroma of homemade cakes has an instant appeal and it’s very hard to resist.

A family favourite, I usually make this cake with vanilla, chocolate and coffee flavours. However, I decided to try it with dark and white chocolate for a change. It was quite an interesting project.

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A marble cake looks great, but it’s actually very simple to make. The luscious swirl of the dark and white chocolate makes for a delicious contrast of colour and taste.

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PREP: 20 minutes  COOK TIME: 45-50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 30 gms dark chocolate, chopped
  • 30 gms white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 240 gms self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 180 gms butter
  • 180 gms caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3-4 tbsp apricot jam

Icing

  • 60 gms dark chocolate, chopped
  • 60 gms white chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tbsp cream

Instructions

Grease and line an 8” cake pan with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven at 180 C.

Dissolve the dark chocolate in 1 tbsp of milk over hot water. Dissolve the white chocolate in 1 tbsp of milk similarly. Set aside to cool.

Sift the flour and salt. Cream the butter until it is soft, add the sugar and continue creaming until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs gradually. Fold the flour into the mixture, a third at a time, adding milk if necessary to make it drop easily from the whisk. Add the vanilla and mix well. Divide the mixture into two portions and add the melted dark chocolate to one portion. Flavour the second portion with the melted white chocolate.

Spoon tablespoonfuls of one mixture around the tin, leaving room for the other mixture. Fill the spaces with the second mixture and continue with a second layer alternating the flavours of dark and white chocolate. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

To make the apricot glaze, combine the apricot jam with a 1 tbsp of water and heat gently. Cool. When the cake is cold brush with the apricot glaze and allow it to set.

For the icing, combine the dark chocolate with 2 tbsp of cream in a bowl and melt the chocolate over boiling water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. When the chocolate has melted completely, set aside to cool. Repeat the process with the white chocolate and the remaining cream.

Spoon dollops of each mixture randomly on the surface of the cake and swirl with a toothpick or a skewer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mango Upside-Down Cake

In India, summer heralds the mango season. It’s just exhilarating – so many varieties of mangoes! The heady perfume of the mangoes fills the kitchens, market places and the whole environment. I dive headlong into the juicy and luscious taste of the mangoes and experiment with various recipes.

Mangoes go so well with sweet treats – cakes, desserts, sweets such as halva and preserves like juices, chutneys and sherbets go down very well with my family and friends.

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Mangoes should feel tender but not squashy and should have a well balanced flavour and flesh which is succulently tender.

This cake is just divine. The mangoes come through beautifully and it’s just perfect served with a dollop of cream and fresh mangoes. It’s very moist and not too sweet.

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PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 30-45 minutes Serves:6

Ingredients

  • 1 large mango, sliced
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • ½ cup fresh cream
  • 3 tbsp castor sugar

Instructions

Heat the oven to 180 C.

Prepare a pan by using a little butter to grease the bottom and sides. Sift some flour over it and tip off the excess so that the entire pan has a nice coating of flour. Alternatively, you can use a non-stick pan.

Melt the jam with ¼ cup butter in a small saucepan and pour into the base of the pan. Overlap the mango slices over the jam in the base of the pan. (I used a bundt pan).

Cream the remaining butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and fold in the flour with the milk to a soft consistency. Add the vanilla essence and spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Level the surface with a knife. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the cake is well risen and golden brown. Use a knife to test the cake.

Cool the cake for about 10 minutes and turn out on to a plate.

Beat the cream with the sugar until it becomes thick or stands in soft peaks. Chill.

Serve the cake with a dollop of the sweetened cream.