from one generation to the next
The bananas grown locally in Queensland are amazingly good, particularly if you can buy them from a grower who harvests at a stage of ripeness that mean they don’t need to be gassed. Only those bananas will reach a state of unctuous creaminess that a supermarket banana will never achieve.
Real bananas are addictive, but some weeks, by the time market day arrives, there are over ripe bananas languishing in the fruit bowl. They’re perfect for a smoothie, for muffins, for an instant banana ice cream or banana cake. If time is tight, I simply peel off the skin and freeze the roughly chopped fruit to thaw and use at a later time but I never throw them out.
The inspiration for this recipe was our family’s favourite breakfast, sliced bananas, maple syrup and chopped pecans dusted with cinnamon on top of buckwheat pancakes. It a combo that’s delicious together.
Making a cake with buckwheat flour can be a gamble. The results of my experiments in the past have been mixed so I heeded the sage advice of baking guru Alice Medrich and handled the buckwheat flour with extreme care to avoid it toughening from being over processed.
The flavour combination lived up to expectation. The buckwheat flour makes a cake that is dense but not heavy, a great cake to slice and pack into a lunchbox. The nutty banana flavour is not very sweet, just moist and moreish. This cake is gluten free.
Buckwheat Banana Cake with Maple Syrup and Pecans
320g buckwheat flour
125g brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
125g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
3 ripe large bananas (approx 340g)
125ml thick natural yoghurt
125ml maple syrup
2 large eggs
60g butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 170C
Grease and line a large loaf tin with baking paper.
In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients and whisk to thoroughly combine and break up any clumps.
In a second bowl, roughly mash the bananas, then whisk in the yoghurt, maple syrup, eggs, butter and vanilla essence.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the banana mixture then lightly fold the ingredients together.
Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the loaf tin, smooth the top, then bake for approx 60 minutes or until the cake is cooked when tested with a skewer.
Tip the cake onto a cake wire to cool.
Ice, slice and enjoy.
Maple Cream Cheese Topping
90g cream cheese
90g icing sugar
15mls (3 teaspoons) lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
60g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
Beat the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar, maple syrup and lemon juice together until smooth and creamy.
Spread onto the top of the cooled cake and scatter the nuts on top.
Lightly press the nuts into the icing to make them stick.