Saturday night and everyone had to work... cue crazy cake! This delightful creation sends some people up the wall - one girl at work didn't sleep after having a little slice. To others, it's just a very yummy chocolate cake. It's moist to the level of a brownie. And it's dirty little secret: it's very healthy, for a chocolate cake. There's almost no flour in it, and I've quite often forgotten to add the oil at the end and it's still been great. This version is vegan, but if you're not a follower, then subsitute the 3 bananas for 3 large organic/free range eggs. Whenever I make cakes for work, I always feel sorry for the vegan staff who can't have any, so today was their treat, too.
3 ripe bananas
250g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tblsp maple syrup
80g plain flour (spelt would work too)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
25g cocoa powder
50g ground almonds
250g quality dark chocolate
250g cooked beetroot, grated
100ml strong coffee, espresso style
30ml rapeseed/sunflower oil
Preheat your oven to 160 and line a 20cm round cake tin, or treat at brownies and use a square tin.
1, In a large bowl, crush the bananas with a fork until pureed. A mixer would make this easier if you have one, but the manual method works too. Mix the caster sugar, maple syrup and vanilla in thoroughly, until you have a smoothie like texture.
2, In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt, cocoa powder and ground almonds. Gently fold this into the banana mix.
3, Over a pan of simmering water, place a bowl large enough to hold the chocolate and melt slowly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for about ten minutes.
4, While this is cooling, add the beetroot, coffee and oil to the cake mix. It will be quite liquid in comparison to a regular cake mix.
5, Finally, mix in the melted chocolate and pour into the cake tin.
6, On the middle shelf, cook for 1 hour. When this is done, cover with foil and return to the oven for another 45 mins-1 hour.
While the cake is cooling, make the icing up.
150g good-quality dark chocolate
45ml strong coffee, espresso style
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tblsp maple syrup
1, Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
2, Mix in the coffee, vanilla extract and maple syrup. The mixture may seize but keep mixing and it will come back to being thick and glossy.
3, Spread loosely over the cake top and sides, swirling with the back of a spoon.
Serve in big chunky slices and wait for the reaction.