Almond Flour Banana Cake(Gluten-free) with Chocolate Ganache

If you have some overripe bananas and you’re wondering what you can make with them, this recipe is easy, healthy, and tastes amazing.

I’m sure everyone has a repertoire of banana recipes to make – banana muffins, pancakes, ice-cream, etc. However, you might want to add this recipe to it too. It’s light and moist, no added oil plus the chocolate ganache takes it to the next level!! To be honest, the cake is not sweet enough for me but the chocolate ganache makes up for it. It’s velvety and chocolatey – absolutely yummy. Bananas and chocolate are a great flavour combination.

I used jaggery because I think bananas and jaggery go so well together. I chose to make a syrup with the jaggery and incorporated that into the cake batter. You can use a food processor, blender or stand mixer to make this cake. The chocolate ganache is also very easy to make. I chose milk chocolate as it’s my favourite but if you want something more healthy, you can use dark chocolate. I used fresh cream for the ganache but you can also use almond milk or even some espresso to make it more interesting.

Try mixing nuts or chocolate chips into the batter or swap the ganache for any other frosting that you like. This recipe is so versatile. You can even turn them into cupcakes. Do let me know if you make this cake.

PREP:  15-20 minutes  COOK TIME:  35 minutes 

Ingredients

3 medium ripe bananas

3 eggs

3 tbsp jaggery

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

21/2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 tsp baking soda 

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

For the Chocolate Ganache

11/2 cups milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup cream

Instructions

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C.

Mix the jaggery with a tablespoon of water and heat gently until it is completely melted. Strain and set aside.

Combine the bananas, eggs, jaggery syrup and both the extracts in a food processor or a stand mixer. You can also use a hand mixer. Blend until the mixture is really smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl – the almond and tapioca flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Blend the mixture until the ingredients are combined – do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake – it’s best to set a timer. Cool completely before adding the ganache.

Melt the chocolate chips and the cream together in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. The bowl should not touch the water. When the chocolate is completely melted, take it off the heat and cool for a few minutes. Pour it over the cake and smooth it out using a spatula to spread it out evenly. Refrigerate until the ganache is set. Slice the cake into 12-16 squares. Enjoy.

 

Strawberry Savarin

Strawberries are just divine. They burst with flavour when you pop them into your mouth. I can’t think of anything better than strawberries and cream on a hot summer day. It’s my favourite dessert. These berries are organic and they taste so much better and more natural than the hybrid variety. I’m sad that we don’t get them throughout the year.

I have made this Savarin several times. A Savarin is actually a brioche dough baked in the shape of a ring. It’s where bread meets cake! I once made the recipe from the queen of cakes – Rose Levy Beranbaum. It took two days but the result was superb. She recommends resting the dough overnight in the fridge and does not use instant yeast. I have used instant yeast for this recipe, which is quite easy. Don’t worry if the dough is wet. It all turns out perfectly in the end, I promise you. It’s quite simple to make and the syrup has to be poured on the savarin and left aside for a few hours. The best way to do this is to unmould it first and put it back in the mould after some time. I made some holes in the cake bread and then poured the sugar syrup over it.

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I used rosewater to flavour the syrup and the cream. It was a refreshing change from the usual rum or vanilla. Rosewater and strawberries turned out to be a lovely flavour combination. You can also fill the savarin with Chantilly cream and serve the berries on the side. Either way, it’s just delicious. If you want to make something special, then this savarin will be perfect. As you can see in the photo below, the texture of the Savarin is great.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 4050 minutes TOTAL TIME: 2 hours

Ingredients

135 gms plain flour

3/4 ozs instant yeast

15 gms caster sugar

2 eggs

3 ozs warm milk

40 gms butter

Pinch of salt

Syrup

120 gms sugar

1/2 cup water

1-2 tbsp rosewater

Crème Chantilly

Instructions

Grease a 7 inch Savarin pan.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar, beaten eggs and yeast to the warm milk and mix well. Tip the mixture into the centre of the flour and beat for about 5 minutes. A stand mixer is a good option, but if you don’t have one, then just beat well with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave to prove in a warm place until it doubles in size – around 40-50 minutes. Cream the butter and salt and beat it into the yeast mixture with the remaining sugar. Beat for about 5 minutes and pour the batter into the prepared pan and prove until the mixture reaches the top of the pan – around 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven at this point to 200C, while the dough is proving. Bake for 20-30 minutes until well browned.

While the Savarin is baking, prepare the syrup. Dissolve the sugar in the water and boil steadily for 5 minutes. Flavour with the rosewater and set aside.

Loosen the savarin from the pan and turn it out carefully on to a wire rack. When it is still warm, put it back into the pan and make small holes with a toothpick. Baste the savarin with the syrup until the cake is completely soaked through. Leave it in the pan for 4-5 hours or overnight and turn it out carefully on to a serving plate. Fill the centre with the strawberries and serve with Chantilly crème.

Easy-Mix Fruit Cake

Every now and then, I get this yearning for fruit cake. There’s nothing like a slice of cake to keep your troubles at bay!  This quick and easy mix recipe is super easy and oh, so delicious! It’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

I used up some mincemeat that I had made in 2019. It was still so good and smelt fabulous with all the rum in it. For those of you who don’t eat eggs or have an egg allergy, you could substitute flax eggs instead. Flax eggs result in a “gluey” substance similar to egg whites. There are many recipes for flax eggs online.

One of the main ingredients in this recipe is condensed milk. That’s another thing I just love. It always comes in handy to have it, especially when you run out of milk. Or having a spoonful of it – now that’s something we are all guilty of!

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Each oven is different and my cake was done in 11/2 hours. So, be careful and check the cake after one hour.

I had some of this cake left over and I stored it at room temperature in an air-tight container for about two weeks and it was as fresh as the day I made it. That’s saying something in the heat and humidity of Chennai.

PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 2 hours

Ingredients

4 cups mixed dried fruit

1/2 cup water

1 cup self-raising flour

1 egg

400 gms sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

Line the base and sides of an 8 inch round cake tin with 3 layers of parchment, making sure that the paper is 2 inches above the edge of the tin.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Place the fruit and water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute uncovered. Remove from heat and cover. Cool to room temperature.

Stir the remaining ingredients into the fruit mixture and spoon it into the prepared pan. Bake in the oven for about 2 hours. Cover the cake lightly with foil and cool in the pan.

Cherry Coconut Cake

This cake is one that I love – the classic English Cherry cake but with a little twist. I used freshly grated coconut and it was delicious.

It’s so easy to make that you can make this into a little afternoon/Sunday project with the kids. It’s made using a saucepan – no messy bowls to wash up! The cake is moist and the cherries are juicy and succulent. Now that’s what I call a really good reason to try out this cake.

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It’s best to use a medium-sized saucepan and a wooden spoon for mixing. When adding ingredients to a hot mixture, it’s important to stir quickly. I used a dark chocolate icing for the cake and garnished it with coconut shavings. You could use dessicated coconut if you prefer it.

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Perfect with a cup of tea!

PREP: 25 minutes COOK TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients

150 gms butter

11/2 cups coconut, grated

11/2 cups self raising flour

3 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1 cup red glace cherries, halved

Chocolate Buttercream

125 gms dark chocolate

125 gms butter

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Grease an 8 inch round cake pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour or when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the buttercream, melt the chocolate and butter in a small heatproof bowl over hot water. Cool to room temperature. beat with a wooden spoon until thick and spreadable.

Top the cooled cake with the chocolate butter cream and decorate with flaked coconut and maraschino cherries, if desired.

Toasted Coconut Cake

This lovely cake made partially from coconut flour has an intense coconutty flavour and tastes rather like pound cake. This recipe is from King Arthur Flour.

I had some coconut flour sitting in my fridge and I was wondering what to do with it. When I saw this recipe featuring coconut flour and cake, I knew I had to try it.

I personally found the batter a little too thin. I recommend reducing the amount of milk to 1 cup instead. I also used coconut butter instead of the mascarpone cheese and the frosting was heavenly.

I make my own coconut flour by toasting grated coconut in my oven and grinding it in the blender. I also do not throw away the coconut after extracting the coconut milk from it. I use that also to make coconut flour. You’ll be surprised at how much coconut flavour is still left in it .

This delicious cake is a great dessert for any occasion. This recipe makes an 8-inch two layer cake.

PREP: 35 minutes COOK TIME: 45-55 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

170 gms unsalted butter

11/2 cups sugar

1 cup coconut flour

2 tbsp vanilla extract

½ tsp coconut flavour, optional

6 large eggs

1 cup milk

Frosting

2 cups heavy cream

½ cup coconut butter

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

¼ to ½ tsp coconut flavour, optional

3/4th cup toasted coconut

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease two 8-inch layer pans.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bow, beat the butter, sugar and coconut flour until well blended.

Add the vanilla and coconut flavour. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Scrape the bowl and mix again, to fully combine.

Divide the batter between the pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake the cake until the edges are just beginning to pull away from the pan and the top is lightly golden. An inserted toothpick will come out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Turn them out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the heavy cream and coconut butter in a large bowl and beat at a low speed until the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened. Add the confectioners’ sugar and slowly add to the whipped cream. Mix in the coconut flavour and beat at medium speed until medium peaks form.

To assemble, place one layer on a serving plate. Spread with ¼ of the whipped cream frosting and place the other layer on top. Spread the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle toasted coconut over the top and sides.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Orange Curd

Today is World chocolate Day and I thought it’s ideal to make this cake which is really RICH! It has both chocolate and cocoa and a hint of espresso which brings out the flavour of the chocolate even more.

The cake itself is really moist, dense and fudgy. The top will be crusted over which is perfectly fine. This recipe is from King Arthur Flour and is one that I will be making again and again. There are very few baked goods that can be made without flour and this cake doesn’t have to be labelled as “almost as good as”. It’s sumptuous and decadent – the perfect finale for a special party.

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The recipe features chocolate ganache as a frosting but I wanted to make the chocolate and orange combination which is just wonderful. I had earlier made No-bake Chocolate Mini Tarts with lemon curd and that was pretty special too.

Dark chocolate is nutritious, a powerful source of antioxidants, is known to improve blood pressure and improve blood flow, raises HDL and protects LDL from oxidation, may reduce heart disease risk, may protect your skin from the sun and could improve brain function.

This cake does not contain any flour or leavening and is ideal for those following a gluten free diet and also for Passover.

The eggless orange curd is from here – https://noopurskitchen.com/eggless-orange-curd/ .

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

8 tbsp unsalted butter

¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp espresso powder, optional

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 large eggs

½ Dutch-process cocoa

11/2 cups orange curd

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Grease an 8 inch cake pan lightly and line it with parchment. Grease the parchment also.

Melt the chocolate and butter over very low heat in a small pan. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.

Stir in the sugar, salt, espresso powder and vanilla. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth. Add the eggs, beating briefly and fold in the cocoa powder. Do not over mix at this stage.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cake for 25 minutes. The top will have formed a thin crust. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife or nylon spreader and turn it out on to a serving plate. Do not be alarmed if the edges crumble a little bit – that’s fine. Cool the cake completely before glazing with the orange curd.

Spoon the curd over the cake, spreading it to cover the top. Allow the curd to set for a few hours before serving the cake.

One-bowl Butterscotch Cake with Banana Frosting

Butterscotch and banana go beautifully together. Having had some ripe bananas and butterscotch chips which were also sitting in my pantry for sometime, I decided to use them together. Of course, it was a cake – what else could it be?

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The cake was so moist and lovely. The butterscotch morsels and the banana frosting tasted great. Just the thing with a hot cup of tea in the evening. Delicious!

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You can also make cupcakes and frost them individually.

 

PREP: 20-25 minutes COOK TIME: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

11/2 cups brown sugar, packed

½ cup butter

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

For the banana frosting

2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter

1 tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup bananas, mashed

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Combine with the brown sugar, butter and 2/3 cup milk in a large mixing bowl. Beat at a low speed until blended and then at a high speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining milk, eggs and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes longer. Fold in the butterscotch chips and spoon the batter into the cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until the sides pull away slightly from the the tin and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool.

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and mashed bananas and beat until smooth. Fill and frost the cake.

Strawberry Meringue Cake

I love strawberries. I could eat them everyday, several times a day! They were in season a while ago and I seized the opportunity to make something. When I saw this recipe from an old Woman & Home magazine, I just knew I had to make it. Simply heavenly!

Baking is my first love, especially cakes and pastries. I loved the idea of baking the cake and meringue together. I have made meringue layered cakes before by making the meringue separately and then assembling it. What I loved about this recipe is that you bake the meringue together with the cake. So easy.

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When I took the cakes out of the oven, the meringue had risen almost to the top of the pan. They did go down after sometime, but that didn’t affect the taste. There’s only one word to describe this cake – divine. It looks pretty spectacular too. And it’s easy to make – so what are you waiting for?

Don’t worry if the cake batter is a little thick. You will need to gently level it with your fingers.

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Strawberries, sponge, meringue and a creamy yogurt filling – strawberry cake doesn’t get better than this!

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PREP: 35 minutes COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

50g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

4 large egg yolks

½tsp vanilla extract

75g plain flour

25g cornflour

2tsp baking powder

5tbsp double cream

Icing sugar to dust

For the meringue

4 large egg whites

225g caster sugar

For the filling

150ml double cream

150ml thick Greek yogurt

400g strawberries, hulled

Instructions

Butter and line 2 8-inch loose-bottomed sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat again. Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder into the mixture and fold in. Finally, fold in the cream and mix together gently. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins.

In a separate clean bow, beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, then gradually add the sugar a dessertspoonful at a time, beating continuously until thick and glossy. Divide the meringue between the tins and layer on top, making sure that you don’t mix the meringue with the cake mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack – meringue side uppermost. For the filling, whip the cream into soft peaks, then stir in the yogurt. Lightly crush 250g of the strawberries and stir into the cream.

Place one cake meringue-side up on a plate and spread two-thirds of the cream on top. Put the other cake on top, meringue-side up and fill with the remaining cream. Top with strawberries and dust with icing sugar.

Lemon Cheese Cake

I have no idea why this cake is called Lemon Cheese Cake. It has nothing to do with Cheesecake. I guess it’s because the filling is like lemon cheese. The filling is really gorgeous – intensely lemony! I loved it.

I used 8 inch cake pans because I wanted the height, but you could also use 9 inch cake pans. It keeps very well in the fridge for up to a week but it didn’t last that long at my home. If you love lemons, then you will probably like to try this out. I am definitely going to make it again. It’s easy and delicious. Perfect for a summer afternoon.

This recipe is from American Cooking.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

31/3 cup flour, sifted

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

8 egg whites

Filling

8 egg yolks, beaten

1 cup lemon juice

5 tbsp flour

21/2 cups sugar

115 gms butter (¼ lb)

½ cup hot water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 165 C. Grease and flour three 8 inch cake pans.

Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and stand in peaks.

Cream butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add a third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternating with a third of the milk. Beat well. Repeat this process twice until all the flour and milk has been incorporated, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Spoon the batter into the tins and level the surface gently. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the cake tests done. Cool the layers thoroughly and remove from the pans.

To make the filling, beat all the ingredients together with ½ cup hot water together. Cook in a double boiler, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and is of spreading consistency. Cool and spread between the layers of the cake. Dust with caster sugar on the top.

Snow-capped Fairy Cakes

These fairy cakes look stunning, but they’re actually very simple to make. The caramelized apples were a last minute addition. I had them sitting in the fridge for sometime and I was wondering what to do with them. They contributed a lot of extra flavour to the cakes, especially because it was salted. Quite yummy!

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Children can help make these cakes and this keeps them busy in the kitchen. These cakes keep for about three days. I doubt whether they will last that long though.

This recipe is adapted from BBC Good Food Magazine. This recipe makes about 18 cakes.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

175 gms butter

175 gms caster sugar

3 eggs

225 gms self-raising flour

Finely grated zest of a lime

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp milk

½ cup caramelized apples 

For the Icing

1 egg white

4 tbsp lime juice

175 gms icing sugar

Fruit jellies and silver balls to decorate

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 190 C. Line muffin tins with 18 paper cases or butter and flour 18 cup cake molds.

Melt the butter and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer it to a large mixing bowl with all the cake ingredients except the caramelized apples and beat for a few minutes until smooth. Fold in the caramelized apples and spoon the mixture into the cases/molds until three-quarters full. Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned and firm. Cool on a wire rack.

For the icing, put the egg white and lime juice into a heatproof bowl. Sift the icing sugar into it and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the icing for 7 minutes until glossy and standing in soft peaks. Remove from heat. Whisk for another 2 minutes until slightly cool.

Swirl the icing on to the cakes, decorate and leave to set.