I remember it clearly, last year January, me and my bump. December with it’s lights and cheer was over and the only thing left to do was wait. Eleven dark days can last very long. But finally, suddenly, it happened and today we celebrate. A little party for a little girl. She is one today.
No party without cake so we debate what to make.
‘Dada,’ Jasmijn babbles.
Tijm has a think, and asks, ‘Jasmijn can’t have any milk, can she, mummy?’
I admit, he’s right. ‘And mummy can have no gluten,’ I add. Baking is no simple affair in our house.
‘Chocolate!’ Linde yells.
‘No,’ says Tijm, ‘Jasmijn can’t have chocolate either.’
‘Yes, she can,’ I respond. ‘She can have dark chocolate, without milk.’
Tijm shakes his head. ‘She wants apple pie.’
I look at the fruit bowl. ‘No, we only have two apples. Not enough.’
Tijm runs over to the kitchen and returns with a bunch of bananas. ‘Banana cake,’ he shouts. And then, before Linde objects, ‘No, I know. Banana-chocolate cake!’
And so it was decided. We made a gluten and cow’s milk free cake, with bananas and chocolate. I used my favourite brownie recipe. A very simple recipe, easily whipped together. I had never yet made it gluten free, but it was time to try. The only thing we had to do was substitute the butter with a dairy free alternative. Since there was no margarine in the house I used a mixture of cocoa butter, coconut fat and sunflower oil (50 g each). The coconut fat gave a sweet coconutty flavour to the brownies, and the mashed banana made them scrumptiously moist. Honestly, our free from version tasted better than the original!
You can easily play around with this recipe. You can make the original, by leaving out the banana and use wheat flour and butter. Alternatively, depending on what you want to leave out, substitute one or more of the ingredients. Or, even better, get creative and come up with your own version!
160 g butter, margarine or alternative
160 g dark chocolate
300 g sugar
170 g flour (I use Dove’s farm gluten free)
1 dash of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 mashed bananas
handful of chopped nuts (optional)
Melt the butter or substitute with the chocolate in a large saucepan. Turn off the heat. Then, one by one, add the sugar, the flour, eggs, and other ingredients in the above sequence. Stir well after each addition. Finally add the mashed banana, nut or other inclusions, and stir well. Pour the mixture into a greased baking tray and bake for around 30 minutes at 180 degrees.