Sunday, 9 June 2013

Recipe: Delicious Allergen-free, Vegan-friendly Banana Cake

 by Gregory Walton-Green

The number of food allergies, as well as people with other dietary requirements or food choices, such as vegetarianism, seems to be ever on the rise. For this reason, I thought it might be nice to offer a recipe that (almost) everyone can enjoy! This cake is made without eggs or dairy products since the mashed bananas and vegetable/sunflower oil provide all the moisture necessary, and, depending on personal choice, can be entirely gluten and nut free.
Of course, if you don’t suffer from gluten or nut allergies, feel free to replace the gluten free flour with plain or self-raising flour, and to add ground almonds or chopped walnuts, for example, if you enjoy nuttier cakes. I love to experiment with different mixes of ingredients in recipes, such as using different kinds of dried fruits, sugars or replacing some of the ordinary flour with oats or brown rice flour. This recipe is very versatile and adaptable, so don’t worry about messing around with the ingredients and proportions. Even if you don’t have any special dietary requirements, this cake is useful when there are no eggs or butter in the house, and the cake tin need not be greased and lined!

 Ingredients:
·        4 ripe bananas
·        6 tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil
·        150 grams/ 5 ounces of brown sugar (e.g. muscovado)
·        225 grams / 8 ounces flour (for gluten free add ½ a teaspoon of xantham gum)
·        2 teaspoons of baking powder (only use one if using self-raising flour)
·        1 teaspoon of cinnamon
·        1 teaspoon of salt
·        85 grams / 3 ounces of dried fruit/nuts (optional)
 Instructions:
1.      Mash the (peeled!) bananas and the sugar together in a bowl with the oil
2.      Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, and mix well
3.      Stir in the dried fruit/nuts
4.      Spoon the mixture into a 20cm/8in expandable cake tin or similar sized loaf tin
5.      Bake in the oven at 180°C  (Gas Mark 4 / Fan oven 160°C) for 40 minutes (the surface should be golden brown and there should be a gap between the cake and the tin)
6.      Leave to cool before removing tin
7.      Enjoy!

Photographs taken by Gregory Walton-Green

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