Cherry and Cardamom Banana Loaf…

It feels like ages since my last post on here! I’ve started a new job, so back to adventures in restaurant land! One week of lates to get to a better idea of how front of house works, and now I am one week deep in a three week kitchen cross training crash course, with super early mornings! All a lot to take in, but I’ve been loving it and had some awesome support from both the people training me and the team I am working with!

Today I am trying to fit a whole weekend into a single day and still be in bed fairly early so that I will be up bright and early for work in the morning. Later I’m off to meet friends for pizza (gluten free for me) and wine, but this morning I had a bit of a relaxing time and ate cake for breakfast, specifically THIS cake.

I’m hoping spring really is just around the corner, because it is almost Easter, and I would like to be sitting outside surrounded by cherry blossoms and spring flowers, and sipping cocktails, not dodging blizzards and hugging the radiator like it is my long lost lover! But in the meantime there is cake, this cake is gluten free and vegan, and is a twist on a recipe I have used in a couple of previous posts, so if you have made them then you will know just how easy it is!

Ingredients

  • 120g frozen cherries, stones removed
  • 3 tbsp cherry jam/conserve
  • About 200 ml water
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 100g non dairy butter substitute (suitable for baking), softened
  • 100g unsweetened soya yogurt
  • 100g golden granulated sugar
  • 125g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1.5 tsp ground cardamom
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder

Optional extras to decorate, a couple of tbsp of icing sugar to mix with some of the cherry/jam liquid and some finely chopped dark chocolate and pistachios.

Method

  1. Put the cherries, jam and water in a pan over a fairly low heat so that the jam melts together and the cherries become extra juicy. The liquid will reduce down a bit but you don’t want it to reduce too much!
  2. Whilst doing this preheat your oven to gas 4 / 180C and line and 8″/20cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  3. Mix all the remaining ingredients together. There is really no special technique to this, just use a fairly big bowl so you don’t end up with flour everywhere, add all the ingredients except the cherries, jam and water which are warming in the pan, and mix together with a hand whisk, until it is thoroughly combined which takes about a minute if that!
  4. Put about a third of the mixture in the bottom of the tin, then layer in about half of the cherries, try to position them so that they aren’t on the outside of the cake along with a little of the liquid, no more than about a tablespoon. Layer on another third of the cake mixture, and then repeat with the cherries before topping with the final third of the cake mix, making the top of the cake as smooth as possible.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, and test to see if it is done with a skewer.

If you want to dress it up a bit then once the cake has cooled for about 20 minutes I mixed up a couple of tbsp of the liquid from the cherries with the same amount of icing sugar, and then added a tiny bit of shaved dark chocolate which will melt slightly because the cake hasn’t entirely cooled and help keep the sprinkle of chopped pretty green pistachios in place! I am awful at cake decorating though so I would love to see someone make this look a bit prettier!

I love that you can find frozen cherries in the freezer at the supermarket, although they’re not as tasty as fresh ones, they’re brilliant to heat up with wine and maple syrup to jazz up a store bought cheesecake, or to add to some porridge when you feel like having a more decadent breakfast!

I know I keep promising some non cake recipes soon, but baking means I have to drag out the scales, and actually measure stuff rather than throwing thing in a pan and hoping it tastes ok, which is what tired Beki is all about… also let’s face it, who doesn’t love a cake, especially one which is really easy to make… and delicious obviously!

B. xx

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