BANANA BREAD CARAWAY CAKE
I am nibbling on this as I type — not very mindful, I know! I made this easy, simple, gluten-free vegan cake on Sunday night using some brown bananas that visiting bank holiday weekend friends brought with them. When I see overripe bananas, I just have to bake! As I already have so many banana bread recipes (check out this spicy chickpea one and this classic with salty butter), I was inspired to make something malty and with caraway — a favourite spice of one of my Polish friends and her youngest (who’s not even 2, and is my godson!). It was a total experiment of flavours and ratios, just going by eye for consistency, that was bang-on first time around. I’ve been here before when it comes to baking, and often when it comes to re-testing it’s not quite the same, but I made this lovely cake-bake-bread twice more since (yep, people ate it for brekkie and tea!) and it’s been a delight every time. I added some cacao for a malty touch in a simple mix of ripe bananas and chickpea flour, and I’m sure carob powder would be great too — especially for kids. If you don’t have jaggery or coconut sugar then go for maple syrup, which might give you a more sticky type cake — but I bet it will be delicious.
5 large ripe bananas (approx. 520g peeled)
¼ cup avocado oil (or olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee)
1½ cups (195g) chickpea/gram flour
⅓ packed cup (50g) jaggery or coconut sugar
2 tbsp cocoa/cacao
½ tbsp caraway seeds
1 tsp baking powder
For the topping
½ tbsp extra caraway (untoasted)
1 tbsp extra jaggery
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (gas mark 4).
Toast half a tablespoon of caraway seeds in a dry frying pan on a medium heat for a few minutes until just fragrant, being careful not to burn.
In a large bowl, mash the banana with the oil — I like to use a whisk and smash it down.
In another bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients, then empty into the bananas and mix until well combined.
Line a 9-inch pie dish with baking parchment and pour in the batter.
Sprinkle the top with the extra half tablespoon of caraway seeds and one tablespoon extra jaggery and bake for 25 minutes until well browned on top. Check that the cake is cooked with a skewer and return to the oven for up to 5 more minutes if needed (giving it a spin if one side of your oven is hotter… like mine).