I decided to de-clutter a little while back, and that included giving up some old cookbooks I wasn’t using or couldn’t use due to allergies in the house. But those will all go to good homes in the end, so I didn’t mind too much. After that I thought it might be awhile before I stumbled across a cookbook that would convince me to take it home.
I was wrong.
While out and about in Melbourne I stumbled across a large bookstore and couldn’t help ducking inside to take a peak. I was amazed at their range of gluten-free cookbooks, but flipping through a few promising candidates I was disappointed with their range and/or their use of hard to find or expensive ingredients. I had about given up, but I decided to give the fancier baking books a squiz. Nestled in amongst them was one book titled Vegan and Gluten-Free Baking: Over 80 delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes! It had the little Love Food stamp on it that I recognised from an old and useful cookbook I used to have a long time ago, and flipping through the book I was impressed.
Each recipe in this book has a photo. But it doesn’t stop at one. Each also has a few progress photos, and cook’s tips, etc. I don’t often see that sort of thing in cookbooks, so I was excited to be able to see what the batter should look like and to see what the author suggested as variations or flavour couplings in the little tips. Each recipe also uses either gluten-free plain flour or gluten-free baking powder, which makes cooking each recipe that much simpler and cheaper. Better still each recipe is also done in grams and mls and tbsp and tsp, etc, which makes measuring out the ingredients more precise, and makes replacing them even easier.
I decided to attempt to go through the book from start to finish, skipping in emergencies, as a couple of later posts will show, so that I could get a better feel of the book and see how it would turn out. I picked the second recipe in the book, this banana bread, as the first thing to do as I still had a whole heap of frozen bananas to use up. I was delighted at how well this banana bread rose, and how lovely a flavour it had! But be careful not to leave it in the tin for too long, as this bread can steam itself if stuck in it’s tin with no room to breathe and cool.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Baking’s
Chocolate and Banana Loaf
Serves: 8-10, Prep: 25 mins, Cook: 40-45 mins (Mine took about an hour because I had to use a smaller tin.)
- 250g g/f self-raising flour
- 1 tsp g/f baking powder
- 1 tsp g/f bi-carb soda
- 150g brown sugar
- 85g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (dairy-free, and option here to use vegan chocolate)
- 85g blanched almonds, roughly chopped (I used pecans)
- 3 ripe, unwaxed bananas (Or use frozen, de-frosted bananas)
- 225ml almond milk
- 100ml rapeseed oil (I used regular vegetable oil)
- 1 tsp almond extract (I used vanilla as I couldn’t find the almond extract at the time)
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan-forced) and grease and line a 900g/2 lb loaf tin.
- Sift the flour, bi-carb soda and baking powder into a bowl and then stir in the sugar.
- Add the chocolate and chopped almonds and stir. Stirring them in with the flour helps stop them from sinking later.
- Stir in the bananas, extract, almond milk and oil.
- Pour the mix until the baking tin and smooth the top.
- Bake in the oven for 40-45 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave the bread in the tin to cool and firm up for up to 15 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.