Wednesday 11 January 2012

Hip, hip, hurray!

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!

Banana brownies

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
4 eggs
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.


  1. What a scrummy looking cake and what a lovely blog you have :-) thanks for visiting my blog today and taking the time to leave a comment. it's always a joy to discover new people to share the joys of veggie growing and motherhood with. x

  2. Yes, the joys are plenty! And for sure there will be some stuff on veggie growing later this year. The kids love it, Tijm has been out already sowing beans. I hope it is not too early and they will grow...

  3. Bananas and chocolate - it just has to work every time right? Thanks for joining in Foodie Friday, lovely to see you again

  4. Yum. Have to agree with Mari. Banana & chocolate is a winner. I'm a big fan of Dove's gluten free and often use it in cup cakes if they're being eaten that day as they're much lighter than when you use wheat flour. They just don't store as well.

  5. Yes, Dove's farm is great. Just a shame, like you say, that glutenfree stuff dries out faster. But I still have some of these brownies left and they are still good. Must be the banana!

  6. You do have your cooking challenges in the kitchen! Of course it us all worth it, and you live in a country where you can get the ingredients you need. In some more exotic countries you'd really be in trouble!

  7. Miss Footloose, my experience is quite the opposite. The European diet is very heavily based on wheat and dairy. In other countries staples like rice, corn, tapioca etc are usually quite common. They are also more likely to use non dairy fats. Off course it depends on where you go, and whether you want to eat the same as at home. We traveled in Asia this summer and it was a month of bliss. Here I struggle when I eat out, there, never! Even breakfast was no issue, there was always fried rice or rice porridge. In Africa there are many corn based things to eat. Sometimes it is easier when you get away from the touristy places which cater to western tastes. For instance in Madagascar I ate the local rice bread, which no tourist did and our guide thought I was mad, haha.

  8. You really do have to think about food in your house. It must be quite tough to come up with ideas, but wow that cake looks delicious! I love bananas and chocolate, so match made in heaven!

    Thank you for linking up to Family Frolics! Please come back this week with another post. :)

  9. Just to let you know i pinned your cake and it has already been repinned 3 times tonight!

  10. Thank you multiple mummy! Need to get into this pinning business I suppose...

  11. Wow, superb blog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you make running a blog glance easy. The whole glance of your site is excellent, let alone as} the content!
    Metal Man ABB8700SG Blue Flame 9-13 Variable Shade Professional Auto Darkening Welding Helmet