Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Gluten Free Banana & Chocolate Layer Cake

This little layer cake is deliciously naughty, and as you can see from the banana chocolate icing smeared on my cake stand, gloriously messy to eat. Considering how darkly sweet the cake is, you might be surprised to learn that this westcountry recipe comes from the National Trust baking book; it seems old ladies have been tucking into this teatime treat at stately home cafes for decades, lucky things. I've adapted the recipe to make the cake gluten free, just switch to normal flour instead if you prefer.

Serves 8-10
Adapted from the Cornish Banana Cake recipe in The National Trust Teatime Baking Book by Jane Pettigrew. Buy the book on Amazon here.

for the banana sponge base:
225g peeled ripe bananas
200 gluten free self raising flour (Dove's Farm or M&S recommended)
90g caster sugar
90g unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon whole milk
half a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1. Turn the oven to 180C (160C fan ovens), and grease and line two 17.5cm round sandwich baking tins.

2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork and then mix with the caster sugar.

3. Next add the butter and beat until combined.

4. Sieve in the flour and stir well, before adding the beaten egg.

5. In a small bowl, combine the milk and bicarbonate of soda, and then pour this into the batter and beat in.

6. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 prepared baking tins, and bake in the oven for approx 35-40 minutes. You'll know they're baked when the tops bounce back under your finger and a skewer comes out clean.

7. Once out of the oven, leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

for the filling:
1 large ripe banana, mashed
50g unsalted butter, unsoftened
50g caster sugar

8. While the cakes are cooling, mix the banana, butter and caster sugar, beating well until the filling is well combined. If you find the filling isn't sticking together enough, as I did, then stir in a tablespoon of cornflour to thicken it.

9. Once cakes are completely cool, spoon the filling over the bottom one, and then sandwich it gently with the top one.

for the banana & chocolate icing:
225g icing sugar
1 large ripe banana, mashed
25g cocoa powder, sifted
1 large handful flaked almonds

10. Combine the icing ingredients, beating until smooth and chocolate black.

11. Spread the icing with a spatula over the top cake, then scatter with flaked almonds. Leave the icing and almonds to settle on the cake for 20 minutes before serving.

This cake was idly baked to the sounds of Bob Dylan's album Blood on the Tracks

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