Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Banoffee Cake - gluten free


I have been letting those bananas get over-ripe again........ We seem to go through phases of eating loads of them and then suddenly find we don't...... but I still keep buying them........ I never learn......

Still..... not one to let much go to waste, I always either freeze them to use at a later date, or bake with them.


My favourite recipes for using them up are chocolate-banana-coconut brownies, Coco-Banana Freeze Bites, and chocolate-banana-coconut macaroon cookies. It used to be banana bread...... I seemed to be forever making the stuff, but I haven't had any in ages!


Recently though, I have had a bit of a hankering for delicious, moist, bananary sponge....... but with a bit of a twist. Banoffee! It is one of those all time favourite combinations....... toffee.... banana..... what's not to love? I have tried the banoffee combination as cupcakes (soft banana sponges, filled with sumptuous banana-caramel and topped with Mascarpone cream)........ boy, were they good! And more recently as a banoffee-coconut crunch trifle....... just divine!


This recipe for Banoffee Cake is far less decadent and perfectly down to earth....... but believe me, it is no come down. Based around a banana bread sponge, it is full of fruity banana, but also rich and caramelly with the addition of real dairy toffee which melts and mingles through the cake as it bakes.

Using ground almonds, golden syrup and buttermilk as well as the fruit, this sponge is fantastically moist and quite dense....... an ideal accompaniment to cold winter evenings with a mug of cocoa or just a plain old cup of tea...... It needs no dressing up or fancy icings....... the combination of flavours and sense of substance speak for themselves.


Don't misunderstand me......... By 'substance' and 'dense' I don't in any way mean 'heavy'. This is a bake that is comfortingly filling, but soft and melty enough to sink into and savour gently as the banoffee magic washes over your taste buds.


Bake them as individual mini loaves for a personal treat, or make as a tray bake to cut and share at work, with the neighbours or to freeze ready to pop in the lunchbox. I have even had a few sneaky slices for breakfast...... A bit naughty, but with the bananas and almonds, I can kid myself they are a reasonable alternative to cereal or toast!


I'm offering a slice or two to this week's Recipe of the Week with Emily over at A Mummy Too.


To the Biscuit Barrel with Laura over at I'd Much Rather Bake Than.... Laura's going to take a bit of a break from blogging to focus on her final year studies, so I guess this could be my last opportunity for a while to offer a bite sized treat to the challenge (which is one of my favourites). Good luck Laura! I have no doubt you'll do incredibly well... This month's BB theme is all about Comfort Food, so I think this cake is good to share!


The No Waste Food Challenge this month with Sliceoffme on behalf of Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. Another good use for those over-ripe bananas.....


And finally, Bake of the Week with Casa Costello.



Banoffee Cake

Ingredients

210g plain gluten free flour blend (I used Blend A from this post)
100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons GF baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
200g soft light brown sugar
130g unsalted butter - room temperature
100g golden syrup
2 large eggs - room temperature
3 medium bananas - mashed
170 ml buttermilk
100g dairy toffee - chopped into small pieces
1 extra banana to decorate

Method

  1. Base-line a 9 inch/23 cm square baking tin with baking paper (or use individual mini-loaf tins or cupcake cases).
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  3. Weigh and mix together the flour, almonds, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt, making sure any lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until pale and creamy. 
  5. Add the golden syrup and continue to beat until thoroughly combined.
  6. Add and beat in the eggs one at a time.
  7. Fold in the mashed bananas.
  8. Fold in the buttermilk.
  9. Fold in the flour and chopped dairy toffee, until just combined (being careful not to over mix).
  10. Pour the batter into the tin and smooth the top.
  11. Slice the extra banana and use to decorate the top of the batter.
  12. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the top springs back to the touch. 
  13. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
  14. Cut into squares and serve.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated

16 comments:

  1. I've got lots of over ripe bananas to use up and I do love a good banoffee cake/pie/ice cream. Love your mini loaves and thanks for the inspiration.

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  2. they look such perfect little bites #recipeoftheweek

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    1. Thank you! They are a great combination and very yummy!

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  3. They look delicious. I love the little slices of baked banana on top too. Dense cakey bakes are my favourite.

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    1. Thanks Katie. I love the way the baked banana decoration goes slightly chewy...... adds an extra texture as well! I agree with the dense cake preference..... If I am going to eat cake, I don't want to eat air!

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  4. love a mini cake like this and I adore that kind of puddingy texture in a cake it's why I love banana cake so much. These look so adorable... i'll take half a dozen please...

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  5. sounds delicious - banana and toffee is such a classic combination - dense always sound great to me in a cake

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    1. Thanks Johanna. Sometimes the classics are the best. And if it's going to be banana and toffee it has to be sticky and dense enough to be memorable. I'd much rather have a dense cake!

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  6. We all have bananas that ripe too quickly. My husband refuses to eat them so I have to. I cannot bear wasting food! That's why banana loaves are a great thing to bake instead of getting sick with overripe bananas!
    Great with toffee too. This is a beautiful and perfumed cake.

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    1. Thanks Alida. I agree.... food waste should be avoided at all costs. It is very rare not to be able to find a way to use most stuff up. Bananas do seem to be a very regular 'need to use up quick' ingredient though!

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  7. These individual loaves are so cute Kate and the idea of banoffee is a fantabulous one. I have a packet of toffees that have been hanging around for at least two years, NOW I know what to do with them. I never used to buy bananas as neither of us like them as straight fruit. So I'd buy a bunch for a bake and the rest would quietly go brown making me feel guiltier by the minute until I finished the rest of them off in another bake. Now I have discovered smoothies, it's another thing entirely and there will always be bananas in our fruit bowl and I don't feel I have to bake with them either - apart from when I feel like it! Which I do now, having seen these.

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    1. Thanks Choclette. I really need to start making smoothies! I agree that is a perfect and very healthy way to use up more of them, but I rarely seem to think of making them. Must get out the liquidiser.....

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  8. Yum! These look gloriously sticky and delicious :)

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