I have a dilemma. Those of you who shudder at the thought of a potentially girly post, scroll right down to the bottom for the definitely-not-girly banana cake with crunchy toffee almond topping. The rest of you? Stay with me, I need advice. You ready?
Okay, here goes. Should I cut my hair? I completely understand that you probably can’t help much since most of you haven’t even met me, but we’ll just do this hypothetically. I’ve basically had long hair all my life before I chopped it off 7 years ago and have had it pretty short up until now. Now, I have the option to grow it out or chop it- it’s at that ghastly-odd-in-between length.
I’m starting to get irritated with it, the strands tickling my face. But at the same time, I don’t want to be the girl-with-the-short-hair. Oh blah, tell me someone out there is going through this agonizing hair phase too!
Alright, I’m all out of hair rants. In the spirit of Friday night (aren’t we lucky we get it every week?), I baked a banana cake with crunchy toffee almond topping. Some days I’m all for fluffy cake, but the way I roll with banana cake is dense, moist and substantial. The sort of cake you can sink your teeth into and know you’re going to get a mighty awesome chew outta it. The crunchy toffee almonds are great for textural contrast, and I may have slightly over browned my caramel but it turned out working well with the sweet, honey tinted cake.
And well, how detrimental can it be? It’s got overripe bananas, honey, almonds and brown sugar.
Crunchy Toffee Nut Topping
150g almond flakes
1) In a medium saucepan, melt the sugar over a medium heat. Do not stir at all, but if some parts brown faster than others, swirl the pan to distribute the sugar.Once it’s a caramel brown, immediately remove from heat. It will continue browning even when it’s off the heat so do take it off slightly lighter than you intend for it to be.
2) Quickly mix in the almond flakes until evenly coated and pour over semi cool cake, piling high in the middle. Allow to cool completely before cutting yourself a large slice of textural love.
Gluten Free Banana Cake (adapted from Classic Essential Cakes)
*gluten free and dairy free
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 cups mashed overripe banana (abt 4 medium)
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp bicarb soda (baking soda)
1/2 cup soy milk
1 3/4 cup GF flour blend
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup almond meal
1) Preheat oven to 180 degreesC. Grease and line a 8inch round baking pan wit parchment.
2) In a large bowl, sift the flour blend, baking powder and baking soda. Mix in the almond meal.
3) In a bowl of a KitchenAid, with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar for 1 min. Add in the flour and beat on high for 1 min.
4) Add in the vanilla and soy milk. Beat for 30s. Add in the mashed bananas and honey. Add in the flour mix and beat to combine.
5) Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until skewer inserted comes out alomst* clean.
6) Pour the almond topping over it and leave to cool completely. You’ll need quite a strong knife to cut through the mountain of crrrunch.
*Mine had a tiny bit of batter on it, but it’s coz of some larger banana chunks.