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.

Jackfruit Seeds Hummus

The internet is buzzing about the benefits of jackfruit. Did you know that the seeds are also highly beneficial to health. I have grown up on jackfruit seeds curry. It tastes delicious – a lot like chestnuts actually. Many health experts feel that these seeds should be a part of our daily diet. They contain zinc, vitamins, and fibre, which builds for stronger immunity. They can be roasted and eaten as a snack too.

Since we are in the middle of a pandemic, a healthy immune system is a must. This is the perfect time for you to experiment with these magical seeds.

This hummus is delicious with pita bread, tortilla chips, veggies, crackers, etc. You have to peel the seeds after boiling them and then blend with the other ingredients. I hope you will give it a try. This makes about a cup of hummus.

PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup jackfruit seeds

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp lemon juice

3 tsp tahini

Pink salt/Kosher salt

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for garnishing

Sumac for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Wash the jackfruit seeds well. Cover with enough water in a small pan and boil until the seeds are cooked through. Drain and cool. Peel the seeds by removing the outer skin.

Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until the mixture is smooth and creamy, using a little iced water to achieve the consistency that you desire. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with the remaining olive oil and sumac powder.

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

Hello everyone. I’m not able to post as often as I wish because of some health issues. I do miss it though.

I love Sticky Cauliflower but the original recipe has a lot of oil. This one requires less oil and the cauliflower is baked without compromising on the flavour. I used a mixture of breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs and they tasted great. The soda gives the batter a very light texture. It’s not very time consuming either. You can prepare the sauce while the florets are baking. I reserved some of the sauce and spooned it over the steamed vegetables while serving.

I used broccoli and carrots to garnish but you can use whatever vegetables you have. A healthy alternative and one that the whole family will enjoy. Do give it a try.

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PREP: 40 minutes COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the crumb mixture:

1 cup dry breadcrumbs

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tbsp flour

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp pepper powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp salt

For the batter:

1 cup flour

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp fennel powder

!/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 bottle soda/sparkling water

Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce

1/4 cup vegetarian oyster sauce

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp sriracha sauce

2 tsp vinegar

1 large cauliflower, broken into florets

3 tbsp olive oil

Thinly sliced green onions, grated orange zest and lightly toasted sesame seeds

Steamed broccoli and carrots

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all the ingredients for the crumb mixture and mix well. Set aside.

Combine all the ingredients for the batter. Use just enough soda to obtain a thick batter for dipping the florets. It should coat the florets but should not be too thick or too thin. Dip the cauliflower in the batter and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat for all the florets and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over them and toss to coat. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown. Turn the florets midway if necessary.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small pan and cook over low heat until just warmed, about 5 minutes. Transfer the florets to a large bowl and spoon about three-fourths of the sauce over them. Toss gently to coat them well.

Serve the florets on a large platter with the steamed vegetables of your choice. Sprinkle the orange zest, green onions and sesame seeds on top.

Easy-Mix Fruit Cake

Every now and then, I get this yearning for fruit cake. There’s nothing like a slice of cake to keep your troubles at bay!  This quick and easy mix recipe is super easy and oh, so delicious! It’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

I used up some mincemeat that I had made in 2019. It was still so good and smelt fabulous with all the rum in it. For those of you who don’t eat eggs or have an egg allergy, you could substitute flax eggs instead. Flax eggs result in a “gluey” substance similar to egg whites. There are many recipes for flax eggs online.

One of the main ingredients in this recipe is condensed milk. That’s another thing I just love. It always comes in handy to have it, especially when you run out of milk. Or having a spoonful of it – now that’s something we are all guilty of!

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Each oven is different and my cake was done in 11/2 hours. So, be careful and check the cake after one hour.

I had some of this cake left over and I stored it at room temperature in an air-tight container for about two weeks and it was as fresh as the day I made it. That’s saying something in the heat and humidity of Chennai.

PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 2 hours

Ingredients

4 cups mixed dried fruit

1/2 cup water

1 cup self-raising flour

1 egg

400 gms sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

Line the base and sides of an 8 inch round cake tin with 3 layers of parchment, making sure that the paper is 2 inches above the edge of the tin.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Place the fruit and water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute uncovered. Remove from heat and cover. Cool to room temperature.

Stir the remaining ingredients into the fruit mixture and spoon it into the prepared pan. Bake in the oven for about 2 hours. Cover the cake lightly with foil and cool in the pan.

Spinach and Mushroom Roulade

Hello everyone. I was on a short vacation and it was such a relief to be away from the heat and humidity in Chennai. However, I’m back home and here’s my first post.

Eggs are the star in this recipe. Did you know that eggs have been used in the kitchen since Greek and Roman times? Early Egyptians, Persians, Romans and Greeks considered eggs to be a symbol of the universe and continuing life and represented the sun of spring. Though I missed posting for Easter, it is spring now and it’s always wonderful to cook with this classic ingredient.

This delicious roulade is perfect for breakfast and brunch. It’s crisp on the outside as it is baked twice. The air is trapped inside and so it rises again on the second baking. It is fluffy and moist on the inside. 

This is actually a swiss roll soufflé. It is easy to make and the filling is flavorful and tastes really yummy. You can use any ingredients that you have in your pantry for the filling and whatever cheese you have as well. I used Parmesan and Mozzarella but Cheddar also works well. Goat’s cheese is also a tasty alternative.

PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

11/4 cups milk

1/2 cup flour

2/3 cup butter

100 gms Parmesan cheese

4 eggs, separated

21/4 cups fresh button mushrooms, sliced

275 gms spinach leaves, chopped roughly

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp green chillis, chopped finely

1 tsp garlic powder

3 tbsp creme fraiche

100 gms Mozzarella cheese

Salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a swiss roll tin with parchment, making sure that the edges rise above the sides of the pan.

Place the milk, flour and 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan and bring it to boil over low heat. whisking continuously until thick and creamy. Simmer for about 2 minutes and then mix in the Parmesan and half of the mozzarella. Cool for 5 minutes and then beat in the egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg whites in a glass bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the whites into the cheese mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, level gently and bake for 15 minutes until the top feels just firm. Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes.

Dust a sheet of parchment with some of the remaining mozzarella cheese and carefully invert the roulade onto the paper. Remove the lining from the base and carefully roll it up in the paper and set aside to cool completely.

To make the filling, melt the rest of the butter in a pan and reserve about 2 tablespoons. Add the cumin seeds and then the green chillis and garlic powder. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Cook the spinach in a separate pan until it wilts and then add it to the mushrooms. Be careful not to cook the mushrooms or the spinach too much. Stir in the crème fraiche. Season and cool. Preheat the oven to 190C.

Unroll the roulade and spread the filling. Roll it up again and place it on a baking sheet. Brush with the reserved butter and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden. Serve immediately.