Gluten-Free Banana Cake (and Meatless Week)
Gluten-free banana cakes
With more and more friends eliminating wheat from their diets, I’ve taken to baking more gluten-free items for parties. It is nice to be able to serve a birthday cake without fear that someone might fall severely ill, or suffer any discomfort after sharing in a special moment for a friend’s big day.
moist, light, and perfect warm out of the oven
Gluten-free baking, I’ve found, is actually quite simple if you use the right flours. There are many great blends out there. I enjoy using both my friends’ Shauna and Jeanne’s formulas (of Gluten-Free Girl and Four Chickens fame, respectively.) I stay away from the pre-mixed gluten-free flours you can purchase at supermarkets, because they often contain a bean flour, which imparts an unpleasant bean taste to your baked goods.
But before we get to the recipe, I’d like to announce the second round of Meatless Week. Some of you may remember my experiment with going Meatfree for one week back in May. (Missed it? You can read my whole week’s worth of entries here.) In essence, I went meat-free for one week back in May to help reduce some of my carbon footprint. At the end of the week, I vowed to do it once more in August, when the farmer’s markets here in Seattle are at their peak.
My original proposed week of abstinence was for the week of the 16th. However, Food Network Canada contacted Seattle Magazine last week and asked for a representative to speak about some of the wonderful street food we have in the city. Part of the filming will include taking bites of (meat) sandwiches on camera. (Since my Seattle Magazine food editor Ali Scheff prefers to remain anonymous, I volunteered.) The filming takes place on the 16th and 18th, so I simply can not go vegetarian next week. Instead, Meatless Week is scheduled for August 23rd-29th. Will you join me?
On Aug. 23rd, I will have just finished a whirlwind eating trip in Richmond/Vancouver B.C. with some friends, so Meatless Week will be a wonderful way to get back into the kitchen and cook a little healthier, a little lighter. I will be sharing mostly easy Chinese vegetarian recipes, similar to the dishes I cook most often at home. On Friday Aug. 27th, my husband and I will be dining at Allium, a relatively new restaurant that opened on Orcas island in the old Christina’s space. (We had our third date at Christina’s, and I still remember the incredible view, so I am excited to revisit. A quick look at the menu confirms that Allium has a number of exciting veggie-friendly items.) On Saturday Aug. 28th, we will be celebrating the wedding of two friends, Jaime and Chelsea, on Orcas Island. I will be happy to share photos of what I’m certain will be a beautiful wedding. I can’t think of a better way to end Meatless Week than on such a festive note!
If you’d like to join me in doing a small bit of goodness for the environment, and go Meatless from Aug. 23rd-29th, please leave me a note in the comments section. I would be honored to link back to your blogs that week.
Gluten-free banana cake with salted whiskey caramel and cream. Photo by Jackie Baisa.
(And now, here’s what you’ve been waiting for: Gluten-Free Banana Cake)3/4 cup brown rice flour 3/4 cup white rice flour ½ cup tapioca flour ½ cup potato flour 1 tsp guar gum 3/4 tsp kosher salt 3/4 tsp baking soda 1 ½ tsp baking powder 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil 1 cup light or dark brown sugar 3 large eggs ¾ cup sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 cups over-ripe bananas, mashed (about 5 large bananas)
1 cup buttermilk*variation: to make a regular banana cake, simply substitute 2 cups of all-purpose flour for the brown rice, white rice, tapioca, and potato flours. Eliminate the guar gum.
**to make banana-lavender cakes, eliminate the cinnamon and instead use 3/4 tsp of dried lavender buds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix together the flours, guar gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, stir together the oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla extract. Add the mashed banana, and the buttermilk. Dump the flour mixture into the batter, and stir until well-incorporated (i.e. no white streaks of flour.)Line and grease muffin tins, or three 8″ or 9″ cake pans with parchment paper and oil or butter. Fill the tins or pans 3/4 of the way with batter. Bake until the tops are golden, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Depending on the size of your muffin tins, this will take between 20 (for small muffins) to 30 minutes (for large muffins.) Cakes baked in an 8″ round cake pan will take around 35-40 minutes, and cakes baked in a 9″ round cake pan will take about 25-30 minutes.
To make a trifle, you need 3 cooled cake layers.
Salted Whiskey Caramel & Bananas for Trifle1 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup water 1 cup heavy cream 1 stick unsalted butter 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or more, to taste) 1 tbsp whiskey, bourbon, or rum
6 medium bananas, sliced into 1/4″ piecesHave you cream, butter, salt, and whiskey measured and close at hand.
In a heavy bottomed skillet, add the sugar and water and swirl it around so the sugar begins to dissolve. Melt the sugar on high heat without stirring. (Swirl the pan periodically if you see one area of the sugar turning golden faster than another.) The sugar will begin to melt, and turn golden, then a light brown, then a deep amber. Immediately turn the heat to low, and pour in the heavy cream. (The mixture will bubble up, then subside.)
Stir in the butter, the salt, and the whiskey, cooking for another 2 minutes or so until the caramel thickens up a little bit. Add in the sliced bananas, and turn off the heat. Stir the bananas into the caramel to coat.Whipped Cream for Trifle
3 cups of heavy cream
Beat the cream in the bowl of a stand-mixer on high speed until it holds medium-stiff peaks. (I chose not to sweeten the cream in this recipe, since there is already plenty of sugar in the cake and the caramel.)Layer the cake, caramel, and whipped cream in a trifle dish, alternating between layers. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The trifle will keep for 1 day in the fridge.
Posted: August 12th, 2010 under Uncategorized.