No bananarama here, just banana-love

I have a confession.

I don’t like bananas.

It’s a bit strange really – I adore banana in things that utilize the flavour (tarts, cakes, smoothies etc) but I cannot bring myself to grab a ‘nana, peel back the yellow skin and take a bite. There’s something about that thick, sticky texture that makes me think that it’s akin to eating a mouthful of clag paste.

* Note for international readers – clag paste is this horrid non-toxic glueing paste often found in kindergarden and primary school classrooms to be used for crafting projects. For some reason, kids seem to like the idea of eating this glue for fun, and so the phrase “like eating clag” is one that most Australians will comprehend.

Now, since I adore bananas but cannot eat them as is, I’m always on the lookout for new recipes that I can use them in so I can enjoy that slightly cloying sweetness and rich scent. When I came across this post by my fellow Australian food blogger Jules of Stone Soup, I knew that it was one I had to try.

This cake really is everything that you’d hope for in something that’s meant to celebrate this most interesting of fruit. Dense, moist and soft, when it’s baking it fills the kitchen with the most heavenly banana-y aroma, and you’ll fall in love from the first bite. Mind you, when the recipe says supermoist, it’s not kidding, so be prepared for it and don’t think that just because it’s a very wet cake, that it’s undercooked (only assume that if your cake refuses to hold it’s shape and falls apart when you’ve pulled it out of the tin!).

This is also another recipe for those of you whom cook for coeliacs can bookmark, as it doesn’t have a single smidge of flour and relies instead on almond meal to hold it together – though you’ll have to make sure that any banana-lovers aren’t nearby or you could very well have a battle royale on your hands, with the cake stuck in the middle!

Because I rarely leave well enough as it is, I’ve made a few amendments to the recipe that I think slightly enhance the banana-ness of the cake, hopefully the banana lovers among you will love it as much as my brother and me :)

Super Moist Banana & Almond Cake (adapted from here)

Ingredients
250g almond meal
2 eggs
50g brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
250g overripe bananas, peeled (approx 3 medium-sized fruit)
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Icing sugar, to serve
Natural yoghurt or creme fraiche, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C. Grease a 22cm fluted tart tin with removable base. Take a large square of baking paper and moisten (give the whole thing a quick dip in some water, then carefully wring it out), then use it to line the tart tin (base and sides).

2. Beat eggs and sugar for 10 mins or until pale and fluffy, then stir through the ground almonds and baking powder. Use a fork to mash the bananas, then stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Pour this into the almond mixture then stir to just combine.

3. Pour into tin and sprinkle over sliced almonds to cover the surface. Bake 45 mins to an hour or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in tin on a wire rack till completely cooled.

4. Just before serving, dust lightly with icing sugar and serve with creme fraiche (if you want to be naughty) or natural yoghurt (if you want to be good) or just enjoy as is :)

[tags]bananas, coeliacs, celiacs, fruit, cake, recipes, sweets, dessert, baking[/tags]

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