You read that correctly. Sugar free cake.
(And, no, I can't believe I'm writing this either.)
So as not to look like a cheap nightclub DJ who takes requests (though if I were, I would because I am all about you, people, all about you and your pleasure), I won't point out that Ladyy Aradhya hit me up on Facebook the other day asking me for a healthy vegan cake and that's exactly what I'm giving you.
I won't do that. OK?
This is all quite interesting for me actually. People wanting healthy cake, I mean. I have a colleague who has recently given up sugar for one reason or another (she's a vegetarian rather than a vegan, but hey, let's not point fingers), and I thought this was quite the most awful thing. Not because I think people should be eating bucketloads of sugar (though I know it may seem like I do), but because I love to cook, and I know my colleague (let's call her Flora, which isn't her real name, but I like to protect my sources) does as well. Cutting sugar out means that lots of foods are suddenly off the menu, because sugar lurks where you'd least expect to find it. Have a look at some labels. It's actually quite shocking where the stuff shows up.
But let's call a spade a spade: I thought no sugar meant no cake and that made me want to cry.
Turns out I was wrong. Flora brought some banana cake into work, and honest to whoever it is you think I should be honest to, it was delicious. Sweet and moist, with a little hint of spice, I couldn't believe it didn't contain any added sugar.
I demanded the recipe, and since it is not in my nature to leave well alone, have fiddled with it to make something different, removing the butter, milk, nuts and egg and adding cocoa, orange, oil and different dried fruits.
Now. Listen to me for a moment. Do you think you can do that? For here is the thing: all that is required to make a moist, rich and sugar free cake is a few pantry staples, very ripe bananas and slightly below average intelligence. Of course, those with superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, will find it to be advantageous.
Behold the recipe. And thanks Flora for the inspiration.
Sugar Free Cake
You will need:
100g plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas
zest and juice of 1 orange
80g dried fruit (I used vanilla scented prunes I found in Paris. Just saying.)
- This is so simple you could even get a toddler to do it. Pre heat the oven to 180°C (maybe don't let the toddler do that bit) and oil a 6" cake tin. I think that's around 18cm, at a guess. This amount of batter would also make 6 cupcakes and they would need around 18 minutes in the oven.
- Mix the dry ingredients (the flour, cocoa, baking powder and cinnamon) together in a bowl. In another bowl, mash the bananas and add everything else. Stir well and fold in the flour mixture.
- Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out without any crumbs.
- Invert on a wire rack and cool.
Note: If you aren't vegan, you can replace the orange juice and zest with one extra tsp vanilla and add 3 tbsp milk, along with one egg. I find with banana cakes that egg isn't always necessary. However, I would still use oil and not butter to keep the cake soft.