I partnered with my friends All Good Organics last year to create some recipes using their fabulous Fair Trade bananas. This was one of the recipes I loved most and they've kindly let me share it with you.
This gorgeous layer cake is far more simple than it looks and is absolutely beautiful for a celebration. You'll feel so pleased with yourself when you can pop this beauty on the table and impress those who get to sure it with you. The cake itself is thrown together in a food processor and will take only minutes to prepare. I find it easiest to make the cake layers the day before you plan to serve it. Follow my tip about dividing up the cream filling - it'll ensure you get nice, even layers.
Choosing to buy Fair Trade products is a kinder choice. You can be sure that farmers and their families are paid a fair price. Fair Trade helps farmers with sustainability as well, to ensure their crops are kind on the environment, good for the health of the growers and continue to bring them stable income well into the future.
Banana layer cake w/ vanilla cream & dark chocolate crumbs
This recipe will make just two layers. Double to create the full four layer cake.
1 very ripe All Good organic banana- peeled
4 large free range eggs – lightly beaten
¼ cup pure maple syrup or honey
¼ cup melted coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla essence
1 ½ cups ground almonds / almond meal
½ cup dessciated coconut (choose organic to avoid preservatives)
½ cup brown rice flour (could also use spelt flour – though not gluten free)
zest of one lemon
Filling – this makes enough filling to create 4 layers. Halve if only doing two.
2 x 200 grams packages mascarpone cheese
2 x 250 grams packages cream cheese
4 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons good quality vanilla paste or seeds from 1 vanilla pod
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
To Garnish: 100 grams dark chocolate – roughly chopped with a sharp knife, additional fresh banana slices. Can also use edible flowers or fresh berries.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
Place the banana, eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla into a food processor. Process for 2 minutes until smooth-ish. Add the remaining ingredients and process for a further minute until thoroughly mixed, scraping the sides as necessary.
Grease two sandwich tins very well. Split cake batter between the two tins and give them a wiggle on the counter to flatten out the top. Bake for 25 minutes until lightly golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes before removing from tin. Cool completely before placing in the fridge for 1 hour to prepare for layering (it is easier to ice the layers when cool and firm from the fridge)
Repeat this process to make two more layers.
Take the mascarpone and cream cheese out of the fridge one hour (or longer) before you plan to mix the cream together. Use a standing mixer, electric beater or a wooden spoon to mix all the cream ingredients together thoroughly. Taste and add more sweetness or spices if you prefer.
Spread the cream out evenly in the bottom of the mixing bowl. Use a knife to cut right through the middle both horizontally and vertically. This will give you four (roughly even) portions of cream to apply to each layer. Spread the cream on each layer evenly using a wide knife or palate knife. It is easier to spread the cream on each layer separately on a board and then construct the cake. I like to let each layer of cream slightly hang over the edge of the cake. Once the layers are assembled I gently run a knife all the way around the sides to smooth out. It gives the sides a smooth but rustic and pretty look.
Garnish the top of the cake with sliced banana and the chopped chocolate.
Cake will last 3 days in the fridge. Leave at room temperature 1 hour before serving.