Delicious banana cake

*** Scroll to the bottom for the full sized cake ingredients***

I had a vegan friend visiting a couple of days ago and wanted to make something nice we could have for a snack. I didn’t really fancy baking a whole cake so instead I just made two individual small cakes in small spring-form pans. I converted a banana cake recipe from Delicieux, which is a favorite of mine, to bake with dextrose to make it free of processed fructose and swapped hens’ eggs for flax seed ‘eggs’. The vegan versions did sink a little bit in the middle, but the taste was still as delicious as usual. Actually, I made 3 batches the same day to get it right. The first one, I have to admit, didn’t sink a ‘little’. It rose beautifully and then sank in the middle all the way to the bottom! But, as they say, practice makes champions.

Main (blog)

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – EGG FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE

Ingredients:

Approx 2-3 tbsp whole flax seeds + 6 tbsp water (or 2 eggs)

1 ripe banana

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp soda bicarbonate

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 nutmeg

80 grams of ground almonds

70 grams of dextrose (glucose) powder

Directions:

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Preheat the oven at 180C (355F) and grease 2 springforms (10 x 5 cm / 4 x 2 “).

Make the flax seed eggs by measuring off the whole flax seed (around 4 spoonfuls – this is an esitamate as it depends on how finely you grind the seed). Grind or process the seeds as finely as you can. Then measure up 2 tbsp ground flax seed and add it to a small bowl with the water. Stir thoroughly and the pop in the fridge to set into a gooey mix for at least 15 min while you measure of all the rest of the ingredients (don’t skip this step).

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Measure up the remaining ingredients into a bowl and then add your flax seed egg (or hens eggs). Give it a good stir and then pour into your two spring forms. Pop them in the oven and make a little tent of foil to cover with (make sure you make room for the cakes to rise or they will stick to the foil). Bake for 1 hour (will differ from oven to oven).

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When the time is up take out the cakes and leave for a couple of minutes to cool, then carefully pop the springforms open, put them aside and leave the cakes on the bottom plates to cool completely. Then serve as it is or with your favorite toppings. I am slightly addicted to chocolate peanut butter spread at the moment or you could add fresh homemade Nutella (add a bit of peanut oil and mix to make it runnier if you wish).

If you want to make a full sized cake, use the following ingredients and the same directions as above:

4 tbsp of whole flax seeds + 12 tbsp water (or 6 eggs)

3 ripe bananas

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 nutmeg

250 grams of ground almonds

220 grams of dextrose (glucose) powder.

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

Homemade Nutella

First, apologies for the week-long absence! My computer crashed, then I thought I would get it back yesterday, but it turns out that is impossible to resurrect it 😦 So, I now have a brand new computer to blog from!

I had a request for my healthy copy-cat Nutella recipe – so here it is (shop-bought Nutella is crammed full of sugar and 20% oil, this recipe only has 2 table spoons of oil + what is in your chocolate). Please note that this is not dairy or sugar free, but it IS palm oil free and gluten free as long as the chocolate is. Please see further below for a “free-from” chocolate spread.

Main (blog)

GLUTEN FREE – EGG FREE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

1 cup of hazelnuts
250 grams (8.8 ounces) of milk chocolate
2 table spoons of an oil that doesn’t solidify at room temperature, e.g canola oil

In terms of chocolate, I made mine with Whittaker’s Creamy Milk which is perfect, but I think mainly sold in New Zealand (Whittaker’s is a very popular brand here). However, if you can’t get this, aim for a milk chocolate which is (like Whittaker’s Creamy milk) around 33% cocoa solids, 30% milk solids, pure cocoa butter and no added vegetable fats (let me know if you find another brand that tastes just like Nutella in the final recipe).

Directions:
Heat oven to 175C (350F).

Place hazelnuts in one layer on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for 8-12 minutes. When the skins start to crack, take them out and let them cool down. If you haven’t roasted hazelnuts before you will notice a beautiful aroma spreading in your kitchen…. Like Nutella! It’s the roast hazelnuts that give it that unique flavour.

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While the nuts cool down melt the chocolate at low heat over a water bath, stir continuously (don’t let it get too hot, don’t let the water touch the chocolate bowl or it will burn and the chocolate will be ruined). When all lumps are nearly melted, take the bowl off the water bath. Let it cool for 10-20 min, or however long it takes, before it’s room temperature.

Place the hazelnuts in a tea towel or similar and rub until most the skins come off. Flatten the tea towel and run a flat hand over them to separate the nuts from the skins. Put the nuts in a food processor and combine until smooth (or keep crunchy if you like the texture, I know I do!). Then add the oil and your melted chocolate when it’s ready and process for another couple of minutes until its as smooth as you desire. If you want it completely smooth, strain it though a cloth (I skip this step as I don’t mind).

Transfer to a jar and you can munch away on your own home made Nutella 🙂

The all-you -can-eat chocolate spread

Right, so here comes my first attempt at a sugar, dairy, gluten and palm oil free version. Disclaimer! This does not taste exactly as the real deal, more like a dark chocolate version of Nutella. However, as I pondered how to alter my attempt to get closer to the Nutella taste, I found myself having a spoonful…. Then another spoonful and soon I had devoured about a third of the jar! Well luckily it is not specifically unhealthy haha… So, whilst I keep trying to find the perfect free-from “tastes-like-Nutella” recipe (and keep test-tasting), here is a super delicious, smooth and creamy dark chocolate hazelnut spread.

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:
1 cup of hazelnuts

80g cacao (or high quality cocoa)

4 tbsp coconut oil

100g cocoa butter, cut into inch size pieces

3/4 cup water

100g dextrose

Directions:

Process the cacao and 2 tbsp melted coconut oil until smooth. Transfer chocolate paste to a separate container. Add the cocoa butter to the food processor and mix until you have a grainy texture, it doesn’t matter if there are a couple of bigger pieces.

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Pour the water into a bowl over a water bath. Add the chocolate paste and the cocoa butter to the water. Mix with a fork (it will be lumpy). Warm up slowly over low-medium heat until it is a completely smooth liquid, set bowl aside to cool while do do the next part.

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Now, process the roasted hazelnuts until as smooth as possible.

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Add 2 tbsp melted coconut oil to the hazelnut paste and process until smooth. Then add the chocolate liquid and process again. If you want it completely smooth, strain it though a cloth (I skip this step as I don’t mind).

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Then, all you have to do is pour it into a jar and try not to eat it all straight away!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Chocolate peanut butter spread

PC spread

This evening I felt like something chocolatey in particular and more precisely, Nutella….. drool…   I created a palm oil free version last year (palm oil plantations are destroying most of the worlds pristine jungles and the animals in them, like tigers and orangutans – just so that we can buy cheaper products as this is a cheap oil).  And this recipe is glorious! Nobody I have served it too can tell the difference between that and Nutella (please ask me if you would like the recipe).

However, that recipe does have dairy and sugar in it, so, whilst I wait for my latest shipment (including cacao butter – I need this to make a good version) to arrive in the post I came up with this quick solution to pour over some muffins I made yesterday (muffin version of my pear and blueberry loaf). It doesn’t taste like Nutella but rather like peanut butter meets chocolate bar and gets a kiss 😉

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

3 tbsp cacao powder

3 tbsp peanut butter (use 100% pure peanut butter – I found that most cheaper brands have a disgusting amount of sugar, added oil and additives in it – you can even make your own. Pop peanuts in a blender, combine and done!)

1-2 tbsp Dextrose (glucose) powder

1 tbsp oil (I used canola)
Ingredients

Combine all ingredients with a fork. Change any ingredient to your liking to make it sweeter, more cocoay (is that a word?) or less runny. Voila!

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