The Musette: easiest vegan banana cake ever!

This recipe was inspired by the wonderful 3-ingredient banana cake on Violet’s Vegan Comics. I was intrigued. Could you really make a tasty cake from just three ingredients? Turns out you can!

Having made the original recipe, I started to tinker with it and have come up with a few iterations. The original recipe uses “mugs” for measures which I translated into weighted amounts. I found the original recipe too sweet for us, but it’s just a question of taste. I then looked at what you could add………………….

Ingredients (serves 6 hungry cyclists)

  • 300g (10 1/2 oz) approx. 4 very ripe bananas
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) raw cane sugar
  • 225g (8 oz) self-raising flour, sifted

To which I subsequently added:-

  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (325ºF)/150ºC (300ºF)/gas mark 3 and line a 1kg (2 lb) non-stick loaf tin with grease-proof (parchment) paper.

2. Mash the bananas with the sugar, salt and vanilla then add the sifted flour. Combine using a figure-of-eight movement with a spatula, do not overmix. It should have a gentle dropping consistency.

3. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for approx. 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack in the tin, for at least 10 minutes. Remove from tin, allow to cool and enjoy.

Sheree’s Handy Hints

1. All ingredients should be at room temperature.

2. When I’m baking I always use a timer as it’s so easy to lose track of time. Once you’ve put the cake in the oven, put the timer on for 5 minutes less than it should take to cook and then check regularly.

3. If you think the cake is browning too much at the edges, cover it with an aluminium foil tent.

4. I’ve substituted two tbsp of flour with two tbsp of expresso coffee powder to produce a delicious coffee cake.

5. I’ve also replaced the sugar with 100g salted caramel and five tbsp maple syrup though, of course, the butter in the sauce now renders it non-vegan but still vegetarian.

6. In theory the cake should keep for a few days in a cake tin but I’ve found it disappears the same day.

7. It’ll keep for up to two months in the freezer.

The Musette: More vegan banana bread

I recently read a newspaper article about the millions of bananas that are thrown away every day because they’re slightly blemished, bruised or over ripe. I was shocked, shocked! Don’t throw them away, make banana bread!

Who doesn’t enjoy a slice or two of banana bread for breakfast? This one is adapted from an Anna Jones’ recipe.  I have substituted the chocolate in her recipe with raisins in mine. The texture  is soft and moist, studded with plump raisins and nuts, and is made without  flour, dairy, eggs, or refined sugar. This is the perfect breakfast before or pick you up after  a morning’s ride, run or workout and tastes totally indulgent.

Ingredients (enough for 8-10 hungry cyclists)

  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) melted coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 200 g (7 oz) toasted, chopped walnuts
  • 150 g (5 oz) sultanas
  • 200 g (7 oz) rolled oats (preferably gluten free)
  • 500 g (1 lb) very ripe banana (approx. 4 large ones)
  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) coconut sugar (or raw cane sugar)
  • 100 ml (6 1/2 tbsp) Grade A maple syrup
  • 100 ml (6 I/2 tbsp) unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of fine sea salt

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (325ºF)/150ºC (300ºF)/gas mark  3 and grease a 1kg (2 lb) non-stick loaf tin with coconut oil.

2. While the oven comes up to temperature, toast the walnuts in it for 10 minutes, then roughly chop and set aside to cool. Hydrate the sultanas in some boiling water for ten minutes, then drain.

3. Blitz the oats in a food processor until you have a flour. Put the oat flour into a bowl, add the baking powder, cooled walnuts and salt.

 

4. Put the bananas into the food processor with the coconut sugar, maple syrup, almond milk and melted coconut oil and blitz until well combined.

5.  Add the wet to the dry ingredients along with sultanas and mix gently with a spatula until combined. The batter should be quite wet.

6. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack in the tin, for at least 30 minutes. Remove from tin and enjoy.

Sheree’s Handy Hints

1. All ingredients should be at room temperature.

2. When I’m baking I always use a timer as it’s so easy to lose track of time. Once you’ve put the bread in the oven, put the timer on for 5-10 minutes less than it should take to cook and then check regularly.

3. If you think the bread is browning at the edges, cover it with an aluminium foil tent.

4. You can substitute the walnuts with pecan, brazil, macadamia or hazelnuts.

5. To turn up the volume, soak the raisins in warm rum rather than water.

6. I tend to keep the bread in the fridge as it’s quite moist. That way it lasts the week providing I hide it from my beloved. I find it tends to cut better the following day – if you can wait that long……………

7. Equally, it’ll keep for up to two months in the freezer.

The Musette: Gluten-free vegan banana bread

My beloved likes a slice of cake with his afternoon cuppa. Visitors had eaten all the pain d’epice I’d made last week-end so, this afternoon, I decided to make some banana bread. Largely because I had some ripe bananas hanging around in the fruit bowl. I then discovered I needed to replace the batteries in my kitchen scales but someone  – no prizes for guessing who – had found my secret cache and used them! Undeterred, I used my measuring spoons to make this spiced, mixed fruit, banana cake which used up a few odds and ends I had in the cupboards.

Ingredients (serves 8 hungry cyclists)

  • 4 ripe medium-sized bananas
  • 6 tbsps grape-seed or olive oil
  • 3 tbsps maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 6 tbsps ground almonds
  • 4 tbsps rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 200g mixed dried fruit (approx. 10 prunes or figs and 10 apricots)
  • 100g  pistachio nuts (approx. handful)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 170ºC/150ºC fan/gas mark 3 (325ºF/300ºF fan).

2. Grease a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin with a tsp grape-seed oil. I often use a disposable tin-foil loaf tin 13cm x 23cm x 7cm (5” x 9” x 3”). They’re easier for storing the cakes in the freezer, which I line with a couple of strips of greaseproof paper to make it easier to remove the cake.

3. Mash bananas in large bowl – I use a potato masher – stir in the oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract. Then add the flour, baking powder, mixed spice and salt into a bowl. Fold ingredients to combine with a spatula. The mixture should have a soft dropping consistency.

4. Spoon mixture into the baking pan, put it into the middle of the oven on a baking tray and cook for 45 minutes. Baking times will vary depending on the dimensions of your baking tin and your oven, so check regularly. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and eating, or freezing for no longer than two months. The bread will keep for a week in an airtight container in the fridge providing I hide it from my beloved.

8. It’s also nice sliced and toasted with almond butter according to my chief taster!

Sheree’s Handy Hints

1. All ingredients should be at room temperature.

2. When I’m baking I always use a timer as it’s so easy to lose track of time. Once you’ve put the cake in the oven, put the timer on for 5-10 minutes less than the cake should take to cook and then check regularly.

3. If you think the cake is browning too quickly, particularly at the edges, cover it with an aluminium foil tent.

4. When I have surplus ripe bananas I unpeel them, wrap them in greaseproof paper and freeze for later. If you’re making smoothies in a blender, you can add them still frozen.

5. If you don’t have any truly ripe bananas, roast them in the oven, still in their skins, to bring out their innate sweetness.

6. I used a 200g packet of mixed dried fruit but you can vary the mix according to taste.