Bananas and Crunchy Toffee

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
100g sugar

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.


Filed under Breakfast, Cakes, Caramel, Fruit, Recipes

21 responses to “Bananas and Crunchy Toffee

  1. Shirley@gfe

    Wow, that cake is beautiful! It looks scrumptious. :-) I’ve never heard of almond flakes before.

    Hair length … I try to grow my hair longer, but then get annoyed and cut it short again. Good luck with the decision!


  2. i’m the girl with the short hair dear. doesn’t bother me… but that’s just me. =P SuperExpressFedEx me the banana cake! haha.

  3. That looks gorgeously sticky and sweet. With your hair I would say you need to decide if you are more bothered about how easy it is to manage versus how much you care what you look like. Which side you swing on this may be influenced by whether you have kids or not. If you don’t have any yet I’d keep the long hair whilst you have time to style it!! Otherwise is there really no middle ground? Does a bob not suit you?

    • vicvickvicky

      Hi Sarah,

      HAHA! Good one abt the kids. I don’t have any yet (looonnngg way to go) and the bob I’ve done. Guess i’m now more inclined to the long hair option!

  4. You should grow it out. Because – it’s almost summer, and summer is all about ponytails and braids and pinned-back hair so you can get the worst of it over during the summer. I’m biased. I like long hair. POlus, I figure I’m not going to want long hair forever so I should take advantage of it now when I can still be bothered with it.

    Also: yum. I love bananas. That looks superb.

  5. Crunchy banana toffee cake is a real winner! It looks seriously dangerous. Must make it soon!

    Hair. Hmmm. A big decision. I had short hair, grew it out, stayed with it for about a year and now have modified it somewhat so it is slightly shorter and doesn’t hang in my face all the time. Guess this does not answer your question, but this will: cut it. It will grow if you don’t like it and in the meantime you will have a lovely light haircut for the summer!

  6. I’m going through the same thing with the hair!! i went to the hairdresser last thursday determined to chop it to shoulder-length but the salon was full and i had to make an appointment for the next day (but couldnt since i had other plans). Now 1 week later, i’m glad the busy salon saved me from my impulse… although the thought of shorter hair still pops up from time to time. Sigh, us and our fickle, girly minds! But back to your dilemma, i thought i’d let you know that I REALLY like your style right now, short hair really suits you! Not everyone call pull it off and you’re lucky you’re one of the ones who can rock it. But i also understand how you don’t want to be the-girl-w/-the-short-hair, so i guess you can grow it. I mean, you can always chop it off anytime you want but it takes time to grow it out… might as well start now! Hope this helps :D

    BTW, i love the almond topping on the cake!

  7. Crunchy banana toffee cake. Are you kidding me?! I want it right now!

  8. Lucie

    On the subject of hair, I would say grow it out! Then if you want you can cut it again, but at least you’ll never have that lingering feeling of “what if I had grown it out?” that’s what I’ve done in the past!
    On the subject of your cake, one word: ahhhh! That crunchy toffee seems amazing–I’m excited about trying it on simple banana bread too!

  9. This sound interesting and good!

  10. I love all the rich flavors in this cake! Looks scrumptious. I can’t give you advice without seeing you! If short hair suits you – as in looks cute I would say stick with it.

  11. Shari GOODMAN

    I love, love love the crunchy topping! It looks heavenly!

  12. oh man what a great topping!
    gives me an idea to use my walnuts chop them up and use them instead
    on some banana cupcakes – yum!thanks for sharing :O)

  13. by the way i used to be known as the girl with the short hair but thanks to extensions i am now the girl with the long hair :P

  14. Hang in there and grow it out! Thats my vote ;)

    How delicious does this look? What a topping

  15. You totally crack me up dear!! I’ve been through what you’re going thru so many times. I used to have very long hair as a kid, then I snipped it short like a boy for ages all thru my teens and then I got sick of looking like a boy. In junior college, I struggled to get the lengths again. By the time I made it into uni, it was all long and sleek again but the flyaways pissed me off. Then Rihanna came onto the scene, so..bang! I went back to my rock chick roots. Only thing is it requires you to keep cutting so u don’t get to tht annoying in-between stage. Then I decided to find back my femininity and I’ve long tresses again. Depends what you really want. But I say if you want a change, get it snipped and invest in loads of styling products. It’s SO FUN trust me, short hair is amazing.

    By the way, (gosh look at me rant away about hair) this looks so delicious. Send me a slice. xx

  16. This is definitely an oh wow cake!

  17. I would let it grow! Then again, my hair is down to my butt right now just because I’m too lazy to do anything about it. Once anatomy is over. I swear. Just think, if you let it grow and get annoyed with it, you can always cut it but you can’t do the opposite!

    This cake looks awesome. I’ve been in such a banana bread mood lately.

  18. Your cake looks fantastic.
    It really doesn’t matter what length your hair is as long as you have a good haircut.

  19. this might be the most appetizing and unique use for brown bananas that i’ve ever seen. hello, toffee topping! bravo to you, vicky. bravo.

  20. Wow, that cakes looks so amazing! The crunchy topping sounds awesome!

    The growing out hair from short to long totally sucks, but you just have to endure it to get past that stage to long hair! If you can’t, you’ll just have to stick to short hair!

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