I'm honestly not quite sure where time has gone. Just a moment ago I was pregnant and living in Melbourne and now our little cookie is 10 months old (today infact and yes, that's where I've been ) I feel the past 10 months have disappeared down the rabbit hole, much like Alice once did. Instead of meeting a funny cat and going on an adventure through a colourful world, I'm making funny noises at my son, learning all about his little personality and what it is like to look after a little person 100% of the time. Which, in itself is a little bit of a new colourful world. Note to self, double check recipe ingredients are in cake when small child is vying for your attention or you'll end up putting the cake in the oven without the eggs in it! Thankfully I noticed after only a minute so the cake in question was saved.
It's an amazing little world that you enter when you become a parent. I'm learning each day. I have listened to all the Mum's (and Dad's) I've known and taken on little bits of their advice, becoming a Mum in my own way, as my gorgeous husband becomes a Dadand we (try to) figure it all out together.
This banana cake on the other hand is a little bit easier to figure out and a lot less colourful. Cue the coloured cakes for our little cookie's birthday party. Bring on the multi-coloured layer cakes I say! However, back to my rather subdued (in comparison) birthday cake... this fella (not sure when I decided it was a boy) is laced with a touch of cinnamon, but the real kicker is the toasty warmth the hazelnut meal adds to the lightness of the crumb and the flavour that fills your mouth when you take a big whopping bite. I topped this naturally dairy free cake with a slathering of sinful cream laden ganache, but apparently you can make it with coconut cream if you can't handle the dairy.
I made this cake again on my birthday, I'd run out of bananas so subbed the remaining 80g with apple puree and it was delicious. I didn't have any hazelnut meal left either so almond meal it was. Thanks to the subtle flavour of almond meal I thought I'd kick up the cinnamon by another teaspoon and voila. Another cake. Another birthday cake. Oh. I made chocolate mousse, carrot cake and cheesecake for my birthday morning tea too and watched one of my favourite movies; Grease. Such a classic. A bit like this cake.
P.S. I've been getting back in the kitchen and working on Volume 4 of The Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine
Banana Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Ganache
The cake is dairy free, the ganache is not. I made quite a thick ganache, which I would change to a thinner version next time. Teresa Cutter suggests you can make the ganache with coconut cream for those that are dairy/lactose free. Check out her notes on making ganache here . You can easily substitute your favourite gluten free flour mix for the total 210g of flours stated below. If nut free try using desiccated coconut rather than hazelnut meal. Coconut is drier though, so do watch the cooking time, it may be slightly less.
Update: I made this recipe and baked them as cupcakes. It made 15 cupcakes, although if you filled them a little higher you might make 12 larger ones at a pinch (you don't want them to overflow!) and I baked them for abbot 16-18minutes. Warm from the oven and dusted with icing sugar, delicious!
150g brown rice flour
30g quinoa flour
30g corn flour
55g roasted hazelnut meal *
2teaspoons gluten free baking powder
285g (approx 1 cup or about 3) mashed banana
150g brown sugar
125ml (1/2cup) oil - vegetable or a light olive oil is fine
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease (with oil if dairy free) and line a 20cm round tin with baking paper.
In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients; flours, hazelnut meal, baking powder and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl whisk together the wet ingredients; mashed banana, sugar, oil, vanilla essence and eggs until sugar has just dissolved.
Combine wet into dry and mix until just combined. Pour into baking tin and bake for approximately 42-45minutes. A skewer inserted should come out clean.
In saucepan bring 200ml cream to just below boiling point. Remove from heat and add in 200g finely chopped dark chocolate (I used 72% Whittakers which is dairy free). Allow to sit for a minute or two before stirring and making sure the chocolate has melted. Allow ganache to cool for an hour or three or it will run off your cake. This depends entirely on how warmth your kitchen environment is, so check it every now and then. Pour and smooth the ganache over the cake and decorate with some roughly chopped roasted hazelnuts.
*To make roasted hazelnut meal: roast whole hazelnuts for a few minutes in the warmed oven. Remove skins, cool and blitz in blender to form fine crumbs. You can also use normal hazelnut meal.