Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eggless banana almond fruitcake

My husband loves fruitcake in all forms – heavy and dense, light and fluffy, dry and crumbly, with exotic dried fruit or just with currants, with nuts or without, egg-free or eggful, fancy or homely, buzzing with alcohol or completely teetotal… you name it, he’ll eat it. Of course it goes without saying that he prefers fruitcake that's well-made to one that's second-rate... but in a pinch he'll eat the second-rate one too. In general he can be as nutty as a – pardon me for this – fruitcake when it comes to this variety of cake. Me, on the other hand… I can take fruitcake or leave it. It’s marginally more “take it” if it’s got nuts in it that cut the sweetness of all the dried fruit, so I usually add some to most fruitcakes I make.

And because Pete mostly doesn’t mind how his fruitcake turns out, as long as it’s not turned to coal, I feel free to experiment without worrying about “what ifs” like “what if the cake’s heavy like a brick”, or “what if it’s so crumbly that you choke on fruitcake dust”, and so on. (I’ve even made fruitcake with dark chocolate that needs to see the light of day at some point.)

Anyway, this cake combines the best of what Pete likes (dried fruit) with the best of what I like (banana) with some dried sour cherries (bought in the YewYessYay, naturally) thrown in for that “exotic” touch. The addition of mashed overripe bananas was a touch of genius if I do say so myself, because the flavour it gave the fruitcake – helped by the addition of cardamom powder – was luvverly. It was almost like an Indian fruitcake, if there is such a thing. If there isn’t, there is now.

The cake keeps well and stays moist at room temperature (under cover, that is, not left open to the elements) for at least a week that I can vouch for. We both think it tastes gorgeous too – let me put it this way, we’re all three made for each other because if he’s nutty about banana fruitcake, I’m bananas about nutty fruitcake, and the fruitcake is bananas and nuts anyway. See what I mean?

Recipe for:
Banana almond fruitcake


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Ingredients:

2 medium overripe bananas, mashed well
1-1/2 cups plain flour or wholewheat cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom seeds
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup Splenda 1/4 cup sugar
2 cups dried fruit (I used currants, dried sour cherries, chopped mixed citrus peel)
1/4 cup almond slivers
1 cup + 2 tbsp milk (or as needed)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 1/2 tsp baking powder

Method:

1. Sift the flour and spices together with the Splenda, sugar and salt. 2. Add the dried fruit

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and the dried cherries, mix them into the flour.

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3. Make a well in the flour-fruit mix, then add the almond slivers and the mashed banana.

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Mix again.

4. Add milk little by little, mixing as you go.

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The batter should be thick. It is the correct consistency when it drips slowly off the back of a spoon. Mix in more milk if it's too thick, to get it to the right consistency,

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5. Pour the batter into an 8" square or round pan sprayed with Pam or greased with butter.

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Bake at 180C for about an hour, or till the cake tests done. Start checking at the 45-minute mark as different ovens work differently. 6. Remove the cake tin from the oven, and let the cake sit in the tin for 10 minutes.

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7. Unmould the cake onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. This cake stays good at room temperature for a few days.

RECIPE: EGGLESS BANANA ALMOND FRUITCAKE

Ingredients:

2 overripe bananas, mashed
1-1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom seeds
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup Splenda
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups dried fruit (currants, dried sour cherries, chopped mixed citrus peel)
1/4 cup almond slivers
1 cup + 2 tbsp milk (or as needed)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Method:

1. Sift the flour and spices together with the Splenda, sugar and salt.
2. Add the dried fruit and the dried cherries, mix them into the flour.
3. Make a well in the flour-fruit mix, then add the almond slivers and the mashed banana. Mix again.
4. Add milk little by little, mixing as you go. The batter should be thick. It is the correct consistency when it drips slowly off the back of a spoon. Mix in more milk if it's too thick, to get it to the right consistency,
5. Pour the batter into an 8" square or round pan sprayed with Pam or greased well with butter. Bake at 180C for about an hour, or till the cake tests done. Start checking at the 45-minute mark as different ovens work differently.
6. Remove the cake tin from the oven, and let the cake sit in the tin for 10 minutes.
7. Unmould the cake onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. This cake stays good at room temperature for a few days.

4 comments:

tammy said...

So does a cake without egg turn out a bit denser, maybe a bit more like bread or a biscuit than a cake with eggs? I must say, I have never tried making one without eggs before!

Shyam said...

Hi Tammy

A cake without egg CAN be dense especially if you don't use enough baking soda/powder or some kind of "binder" - mashed bananas, flaxseed powder, etc to replace the eggs.

Chitra Nair said...

wow...bananas and dried fruit and nuts...eggless too...my favorite kind of cake...got to try this on the weekend!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I love banana and fruit cake too. Recently I tried the combination together and failed; but next time I now know where to look for a good recipe! Thanks for sharing.