I feel very fortunate to be visiting with my parents for a few weeks. Living the expat life is fabulous in many ways, but being away from family is always hard. We have the opportunity to visit at least once, sometimes twice a year; and of course Skype helps with the distance to see each other often.
But nothing beats in person, of course! While visiting, we are not only enjoying each other’s company and conversation, but we are also able to share experiences in the kitchen, which always brings us together. My mother has been making some delectable typical Spanish and Portuguese dishes, that I had been longing to eat again with her special touch. And I’ve been baking quite a lot more than I generally do.
I baked a Paleo carrot cake for my mother’s birthday per special request from my father. Okay.. it was her birthday and he chose the flavour.But we all enjoyed it.
I’ve also been making a lot of things to “teach” her how to bake Paleo style. The following cake is an example.
Since going Paleo, reading about and experiencing the nutritional benefits of this lifestyle, I’ve been trying to share my new-found knowledge with my family. Every day cooking is very easy to adapt to Paleo. However, baking is a more complicated venture.
Nut flours, and coconut flour especially, react differently to heat and liquid content. And although in Spanish pastry making the almond is used quite frequently, my mother has never really baked with nut flours alone. Therefore sharing my recipes and techniques with her is helping her learn how to use them.
(This is the batter with the swirl dropped into it. I apologise for the poor picture quality, which was taken late at night.)
Baking with bananas is a good starting point in Paleo/Primal baking. Bananas act as a binding agent and a liquid component at the same time. So it’s an easier ingredient to experiment with and add nut flours, coconut flour and/or starches, such as tapioca and arrowroot.
For this cake, I kept it simple. And it’s quite delicious and very easy to make; in fact, it’s a great recipe to share with children.
(The swirl incorporated into the batter.)
By making it in a bundt tin and adding the banana-cinnamon swirl, this cake is also a delicate and elegant dessert, which can be served at a party, yet works great for “every day” use.
We are enjoying it “bare”; but I do see it as a beautiful event cake with some icing….
By the way, I was inspired to make the banana-cinnamon swirls by this recipe from Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations.
- For cake:
- 4 ripe bananas, thoroughly mashed (1 1/2 cups or 400ml)
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- coconut oil, for greasing
- For swirl:
- 1 ripe banana, thoroughly mashed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a cake tin with some coconut oil (I made a bundt cake). Set aside.
- In a food processor, blender, or by hand, blend until smooth the bananas, eggs, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. (I did this by hand in a bowl, as I was being lazy and didn’t want to wash more dishes.)
- If using a food processor, pour the batter into a mixing bowl for the next steps.
- Add the almond flour and baking soda and mix well with a hand whisk.
- Add the coconut flour and mix well with a hand whisk.
- Pour the batter into the cake tin.
- For the swirl:
- Mash the banana and mix well with the cinnamon.
- Place spoonfuls of the swirl over top the cake batter and with a fork, cut the swirl into the batter.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.