Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf was the first gluten-free cake I developed for the cake stall three years ago. It is a firm favourite amongst my customers and ever since its creation I have never failed to include it as part of my weekly menu at the market. It is always the first to sell out and the one which provokes the most conversation with my customers.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I don’t know why I have waited so long to write about my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle, I guess I wanted to do it justice as it’s my most requested recipe. I’m glad I waited this long though as the photographs were finally taken in collaboration with Tara from Fork & Dram as part of our food styling day last month. Tara is an amazing photographer and stylist and has been of invaluable help in focusing the look of my photography.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I have limited time to work on the website these days as I am a full-time mum to Cole during the week and bake and work on the market stall at the weekends. Pockets of time where I can make and photograph my food specifically for the website are like gold dust. Tara has helped me understand how I can achieve photos I can be proud of efficiently and without any complicated set-ups or props.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I was thrilled then that Tara helped me capture the beauty of this cake. No to go all crazy-cake lady on you but this cake is kind of like my BFF. I can make this cake in my sleep, I never go to a market without it and it’s reliably delicious. That’s not to say that it was the easiest recipe in the world to develop, on the contrary getting the cake to rise evenly without falling in the middle was a bit of a stumbling block at first but there are tricks to ensure perfect results every time.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Do follow the recipe precisely, mix the butter and sugar on a low-medium speed until light and fluffy which ensures a good rise and then when the cake is finally in the oven don’t open the door for at least the first 40 minutes. I do like to check on my cakes to make sure they are all nestled comfortably in the oven after the first 20 minutes but this cake has a tendency to fall like a sozzled sailor on a two day shore leave. Resist the temptation.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

All the faffing is worth it though and to be honest even when the cake did fall, or didn’t rise properly, it was still amazing in flavour. Boy, does the Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle pack a punch. It made sense to me when I initially developed the recipe to add blueberries into a lemon drizzle. Blueberries provide such a delightful gentle counterbalance to the tang of citrus. But the cake is then taken stratospheric with the inclusion of peppery aromatic Basil. Lemons, fresh blueberries and basil are all added into the cake batter and then dredged over the top of the just baked cake to form the signature drizzle.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

The recipe method was originally inspired by the lemon drizzle cake featured in Outsider Tart’s cookbook Baked in America which is one of my favourite baking books. The key to their Drizzle is to use an almond paste which imbues the cake with an unbeatably moist texture. The taste of the almonds is barely noticeable, especially with the over-the-top citrus notes, the fragrance of the basil and the gentle pop of blueberries.

The beauty of using an almond paste here also means you don’t have to use very much flour as the ground almonds in the paste do a lot of the work for you. So with only a scant amount of flour in the recipe, an easy shop bought gluten-free flour is more than fit for purpose.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I’m very happy to finally share my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf and thank you to Tara from Fork & Dram for helping me bring the cake to life.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this everyday teatime cake is an absolute showstopper.
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
10 slices
Ingredients
For the almond paste:
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
For the cake:
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g blueberries
For the drizzle:
  • 80 g blueberries
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g granulated sugar
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
10 slices
Ingredients
For the almond paste:
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
For the cake:
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g blueberries
For the drizzle:
  • 80 g blueberries
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g granulated sugar
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and line and grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf tin.
  2. First make the almond paste by placing the almonds in a food processor and blitzing until finely ground. Add the caster sugar, golden syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and blitz again until a paste has formed. Set aside for a moment.
  3. Place the basil leaves, lemon zest and orange zest in a food mixer along with the sugar. Whisk for a few minutes together until fragrant.
  4. Add the butter, one cube at a time and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape the almond paste into the creamed butter and sugar and beat until combined.
  6. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then beat it into the rest of the batter.
  8. Roll the blueberries around in the empty flour bowl so that they are gently coated with the remaining dusting of flour then stir into the batter.
  9. Pour into the cake tin, smoothing the top then bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. To make the drizzle place the blueberries in a small saucepan with a dash of water and heat for about a couple of minutes until the blueberries are just beginning to soften but not so that they have burst. Leave to cool.
  11. Pour the blueberries into a medium sized bowl along with the lemon juice, basil leaves and granulated sugar. Mix together.
  12. Remove the cake from the tin onto a wire rack, making sure there is a baking tray underneath to catch the excess drizzle.
  13. Prick the cake all over with a cocktail stick and then spoon the drizzle over the cake.
  14. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes

I sell my cakes at local farmers’ markets in London but lucky for those who don’t live nearby I also love sharing the recipes for all the cakes I sell and if you want to receive more of my cake stall recipes then I have a FREE mini e-book of the top 3 Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes which are on my stall including Fig, Almond and Salted Honey Cake, Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes and Minted Brownies. The recipes are really special to me and if you want a copy of them then just click the button below!

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How to Make a Classic Victoria Sandwich

The Victoria Sandwich is the quintessential British cake, resplendent in any village tea shop worth their salt. It is the cake which can be called upon for any occasion, a special afternoon tea, birthday, Friday treat and of course is the cake to always sit pride of place on any Women’s Institute cake stall.

Victoria Sandwich

What is a Victoria Sandwich?

An utterly perfect cake in every way. Named after Queen Victoria who wasn’t allowed sweet treats in her youth so made up for it with gusto in her later years. The Queen had many foods of the day named after her but I think the Victoria Sandwich or Victoria Sponge must have been the one she was most proud of. At that time sponge cakes had always been quite leaden affairs until the invention of baking powder of which this cake was one of the first recipients, giving the cake height and airiness. It is a lovely easy cake to bake consisting of two circular sponges sandwiched together with a hearty helping of jam (and buttercream if you’re adventurous) and then sprinkled liberally over with caster sugar.

Victoria Sandwich

The Women’s Institute, of which I am a member and proud President of Stroud Green WI since you ask, is fastidious about the rules and regulations of a Victoria Sandwich; the number of eggs used, the flavour of jam, what sugar you use for dusting. So it’s here that I confess the Victoria Sandwich recipe I’m about to give might not win you first prize at a WI cake stall as I like to go a little off piste but that doesn’t mean I don’t adhere to a few of the rules, the ones I deem most important.

Ingredient tips for making a perfect Victoria Sponge

Kerrygold Butter for Victoria Sandwich

Butter. Not margarine – ever! The butter should be creamed into your caster sugar. There is no place here for the all-in-one method. The end results will speak for themselves. The most nutritious butter for the job is the product of grass-fed cows which are loaded with Vitamin K2 and for that local butter is your best bet. If you can’t your butter from local grass-fed cows then Kerrygold butter is the next best thing, found in most supermarkets and is about 90% grass-fed.

Clarence Court Burford Browns for Victoria Sandwich

Eggs. Burford Brown eggs from Clarence Court are the superior supermarket egg. Their yolks custard yellow and creamy creating a rich and very flavourful addition to your sponge. The WI insists that only 3 eggs should be used but in my mind 4 is the magic number for this regal Victoria Sandwich.

Doves Farm Plain White Flour for Victoria Sandwich

Flour. I don’t think you can go wrong with Doves Farm flours which are now agreeably prolific in the supermarkets. I use their organic plain white flour here to make a truly precious sponge. The fact that they are based in Hungerford, my home town, also doesn’t hurt.

Vanilla extract or essence? The addition of vanilla in a Victoria Sandwich is not obligatory but I love the taste and if you do too then you will pass over the essence which is artificial and not nice and go directly to the extract for a pure vanilla taste.

Whole Milk. Not a WI approved ingredient but it certainly makes for a creamier and lighter sponge. Only 2 tablespoons are required to be added at the end of the mixing stage but it really makes all the difference.

Victoria Sandwich

Do I need to weigh my eggs beforehand?

The traditional method of measuring out your ingredients for your Victoria Sandwich is to weigh the eggs first, in their shells, then use that measurement to know how much butter, sugar and flour to use. Or do what I do and if you use 4 medium sized eggs (which are between 53g-63g each in their shells) then you can’t go wrong with using 240g butter, 240g sugar and 240g flour.

How do you ensure against a wonky cake?

Digital scales here are your best friend. Place one of your greased and lined cake tins onto the scales, set to zero then pour in about half of the batter. Remove from the scales, put the other cake tin on the scales and set to zero again. Add the other half of the batter. Once you have equal weights of batter in your tins and you have smoothed them out then they are ready for the oven.

How long does it take to bake a sponge cake?

I like to bake my sponge cakes low and slow. This is a tall sponge since the batter boasts 4 eggs plus baking powder so if baked at too high a temperature the surface could easily burn without being fully baked all the way through. If you are worried that the surface of the cake seems to be browning too much before it is baked all the way through then loosely drape some tin foil over the top of the cake tin. The foil must not touch the top of the sponge as it could cause the cake to fall. I bake my sponge at 160°C for about 30 minutes which helps protect the cake and ensure an even bake. It is also vital not to bake the cake in a fan-assisted oven as the cake will just bake too quickly.

How do I turn out my cake to avoid any ugly cooling rack marks?

This is not for the faint hearted but if you do want to abide by the WI’s rules then the surface of your cake must not be marred by the criss cross pattern of your cooling rack. The Victoria Sandwich is a sturdy little number and is unlikely to fall apart in your hands if you are careful enough. Leave your cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes exactly. Run a small palette knife around the edges of your cake which should have come away from the edges of the tin anyway. Get as close as possible to your cooling rack then turn the cake gently out into your hand so you are holding the surface of the cake for just a moment, as you use your other hand to thrust the cake tin aside and quickly place your cooling rack to the underside of the cake, flipping over with caution then leaving to cool. Perhaps don’t try this on your first Victoria Sandwich attempt as broken cakes can be very upsetting.

Victoria Sandwich

But what jam should I use for my Victoria Sandwich?

Any jam you ninny. Jam is delicious. Buuuttt… Again, my contemporaries at the WI are not so casual about the choice of jam and insist the only true jam for a Victoria Sandwich is raspberry jam. I may have deviated here slightly and used my Raspberry and Coconut Jam but really, can you blame me? Also it is important to use a nice thickly set jam. You can warm it up in the saucepan slightly to aid in spreadability but if your jam is too loose there is a high chance it won’t sit happily within the cake and will spill out before serving.

Victoria Sandwich

To buttercream or not to buttercream?

Gosh, now we are entering some choppy waters. The WI does not like their Victoria Sandwich buttercreamed, instead preferring the jam to sit uninterrupted in the middle of their cake. Delicious? Of course. But you know what would be more delicious? That’s right, buttercream. Any sort of fancy swiss meringue, boiled icing, French-this, Italian-that is not the thing for our schoolmarm of a cake. We need straightforward butter plus icing sugar and that-is-that buttercream. The buttercream adds moisture to this sturdy sponge and also gives the jam a bit of a helping hand in the luxury department. There is nothing better than a squidgy piece of Victoria Sponge oozing with jam and buttercream. Without buttercream is far too austere for this baker.

How do you make buttercream icing for a Victoria Sponge?

Well, I’m glad you asked. The rule of thumb for the easiest and most traditional of buttercreams is equal amounts icing sugar and unsalted butter. Beat these two lovebirds on high for 5-10 minutes and you will achieve the lightest fluffiest buttercream which pipes like a dream and melts in the mouth. For creaminess add a dash of whole milk and then for a little bit of flavour add a drop of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

Victoria Sandwich

Icing or caster sugar for dusting?

Ha! Use icing sugar at your peril. I am in complete agreement with the WI that caster sugar is the only sugar to use here. It glistens on the top and adds crunch, a most welcome texture.

The simplicity and importance of a Victoria Sandwich at teatime cannot be stressed enough. It is the cake I cannot possibly refuse and the one which is always the first to fly off of every single WI cake stall I have ever managed. It is a perfect cake.

Print Recipe
Victoria Sandwich
A classically perfect Victoria Sponge Cake
Victoria Sandwich
Servings
12
Ingredients
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 240 g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 240 g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
For the filling
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 175 g raspberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar for dusting
Servings
12
Ingredients
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 240 g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 240 g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
For the filling
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 175 g raspberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar for dusting
Victoria Sandwich
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line and grease 2 x round 20cm sandwich tins.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar on a high speed in a food mixer for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until completely incorporated, then add the vanilla extract.
  4. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate mixing bowl then add into the food mixer. Beat until just combined.
  5. Finally mix in the milk until completely incorporated then divide the batter equally between the two sandwich tins. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to settle for 5 minutes in their tins, then turn out onto cooling racks. Leave to cool completely before filling with jam and buttercream.
  7. To make the buttercream beat the icing sugar and butter together in a food mixer for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy, scraping down the sides occasionally for an even mixture. Add the milk, vanilla extract and salt and continue beating until combined.
  8. To fill the sandwich cake, spread the jam evenly on the top of one of the sponges, all the way to the edge. Then fill a piping bag equipped with a round nozzle with the buttercream and pipe the buttercream on top of the jam in circles, starting from the middle and working your way out. Leave about a centimetre from the edge of the cake. Smooth over with a small palette knife.
  9. Place the second sponge lightly on top so as not to squish the jam and buttercream out of the sides. Sprinkle a light dusting of caster sugar over the top of the cake. Serve to happy smiling faces.
Victoria Sandwich

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

A Tres Leches cake is a traditional cake popular in Central and South America. Although if you search for Tres Leches on the internet you can see it’s pretty popular all over America. Just like my Nanaimo Bars last week, this is a recipe that I have repinned from dozens of food bloggers and always vowed I would make myself. I usually get caught up in my own individual cravings though and cakes I intend to make inspired by other people’s recipes often get placed on the back burner. I am pleased then that last week I perfected my Nanaimo Bar recipe and this week I managed to balance my craving for a traditionally British coffee and walnut cake with the Tres Leches cake I had been wanting to make for so long.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

Sometimes I have to make cakes a few times to get them right, either re-addressing the amount of sugar, especially when I’m adapting American recipes as I don’t like things too sweet, or adding vanilla here and there or maybe ramping up all the ingredients if the cake turns out too shallow. Here especially there was a lot to balance out as I was doing a bit of a recipe mash-up but oh my did I get this one bang on first time round.

If you are not familiar with a Tres Leches Cake then the name is Spanish (which you had probably worked out yourselves) and means ‘three milks.’ This refers to the soak that the cake is given after baking, drizzled usually with a mixture of evaporated milk, condensed milk and whole milk (although I have seen the latter frequently substituted for single or double cream). Technically in my recipe I have drizzled the cake with four milks though as I also added some coconut milk which is an idea I stole shamelessly from Joy the Baker, as well as the basic method, but then she adapted her recipe from Alton Brown so it’s natural recipe evolution.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

Wikipedia says that although the Tres Leches cake has its traditional home overseas the origin is probably Medieval European. This makes complete sense as when Luke came home from work and I thrust a piece of this cake at him to try I caveated it with the breathless sentence, ‘I think this is one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever made. You won’t like it.’ He hates trifle, which to me is incomprehensible, as he claims that he doesn’t like the soggy cake at the bottom. What the deliciously vanilla scented thick doorstop at the foundation of a trifle, lightly fragranced with sweet sherry and dripping with fruit juice? He’s insane. Still you can see how this three-milk soaked cake bears a resemblance to the British Trifle or French Rum Cake or Italian Tiramisu.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

I’m not sure what made me marry up my Coffee and Walnut craving with the Tres Leches but the two cakes have come together in blissful harmony. I haven’t included large pieces of walnut in the sponge but rather ground up some toasted walnuts and mingled them with the flour which adds a density to the sponge, creating an even better carrier for the après soak. I used the best instant coffee I could find as it seemed a bit of a waste of time to fiddle around with the cafetiere for the job. Instead I used Nescafe’s Azera Americano, a barista style instant coffee apparently, which although I am not a coffee drinker I am assured is a great substitute if you can’t be doing with cafetieres.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

This cake is most definitely latte inspired, not only due to the heavy amount of dairy involved but also because the coffee taste is subtle, especially in the whipped latte cream adorning the top. The caramelised walnuts give the finished cake a textured crunch, contrasting wildly to the soft sponge and dreamlike latte cream. However, you must keep the cake in the fridge due to all the dairy involved and I found the next day when I had some for breakfast (yeah, so what – pregnancy cravings, ahem) that the caramelised walnuts had slightly softened overnight which was just as good as the crunch the day before. Although, this cake really could do no wrong in my eyes. Despite the amount of moisture added to the cake after baking the cake still retains a solid yet light structure and is moist rather than soggy, it’s actually really rather amazing.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

Oh, and Luke did like the cake and believe me after 14 years together he doesn’t worry himself with tact when it comes to giving me his honest opinions on my baking and cooking, so if it converted him to the idea of a soaked cake and you are already a fan then you are in for an absolute treat.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 16 squares

200g plain flour
75g walnuts, toasted then ground
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
115g butter
225g caster sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaped tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water, then cooled
200g evaporated milk
200g condensed milk
75ml single cream
75ml coconut milk
½ cinnamon stick
1 cardamom pod
pinch of salt

For the whipped latte cream:
1 heaped teaspoon coffee
2 teaspoons boiling water
300ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar

For the caramelised walnuts:
75g caster sugar
50g chopped walnuts

Also: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C then grease and line an 8 inch square baking tin.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ground walnuts, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition then add the vanilla.
  5. Spoon in half of the flour mixture and mix in well then add the coffee, beat into the rest of the ingredients then add the rest of the flour. Mix in until just combined.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the tin then place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, turn out of the tin and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile prepare the soak by whisking the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream, coconut milk, cinnamon and cardamom pod in a saucepan over medium heat until it is just warm. Remove from the heat.
  9. Portion the cake into 2 inch squares and poke four holes into each square with a cocktail stick.
  10. Arrange the cake in a dish with high sides then spoon the glaze over.
  11. Cover the dish with clingfilm then refrigerate overnight.
  12. Remove the cake from the fridge to take the chill off whilst you prepare the toppings.
  13. Begin with the caramelised walnuts by the placing the walnuts on a baking tray in an oven pre-heated to 180°C for 5 minutes until toasted. Remove and set aside.
  14. In a smallish saucepan pour the caster sugar evenly into one layer and heat over a medium heat. The sugar will slowly melt, beginning at the sides. Carefully shake the saucepan every so often so the sugar melts evenly, do not stir. As soon as all the sugar has melted drop in a pinch of salt.
  15. Prepare a baking sheet with baking parchment before pouring the walnuts into the molten sugar and stir in with a silicone spatula. Quickly coat the walnuts with the sugar then tip onto the baking parchment, spreading out in 1 layer. Leave to cool then chop finely.
  16. To make the whipped latte cream, mix the coffee with the water, stir in until dissolved then set aside.
    Whip the cream for a few minutes with the icing sugar until thick and cloudlike. Pour in the coffee and mix in well.
  17. Remove the cake squares from their dish, spread the whipped cream over each one, sprinkle some caramelised walnuts over then add a final dusting of ground cinnamon.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread
Sometimes a cake shouldn’t be for celebration but should be made just because you want it and need it. This kind of cake is perfect for that purpose as it’s a quick mix, and although you might have to wait 50 minutes for it in the oven, as soon as it comes out there’s none of this cooling or pesky icing to deal with. I ate this one warm, the crumb hadn’t yet set so the texture was soft and toffee like. However, if you are not greedy and petulant like me then you can leave this cake and then leave it some more. The treacle, bananas and use of oil rather than butter mean that this cake will happily mature over a few days, it’s texture improving as the loaf gathers itself together and dampens with age. Although if you can leave this cake without going back for another slice every hour on the hour then you’re a stronger character than me.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

I made this cake in homage to the amazing chocolate banana rye bread that Nyborg’s have been doing lately. They have a market stall in Ally Pally and since I have been unable to attend Ally Pally farmers’ market recently (due to my treacherous defection to Falkland Road Market N8) I had to console myself by coming up with this recipe.

Now this isn’t a bread like the one Nyborg’s sell, since I’m not a bread baker by any stretch of the imagination, it’s more of a teatime loaf cake. A chewy, dense, malty, sticky teatime loaf cake which warms your insides and is totally moreish. Now that Autumn has muscled its way in I have been naturally turning to dark cakes with intensity. Black treacle and muscovado sugar are a natural fit with the robust rye crumb, as the bananas aid and abet the sticky licky loaf. I chose Lindt chocolate, which I wouldn’t normally bake with, to scatter throughout, as I love the large flat pieces of chocolate which gently melt in the oven but are kept in gooey pockets throughout the loaf.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

This cake is definitely made for the kind of weather I’m seeing right now. This week, not only have I unarchived my winter coat but I’ve also been sticking the heating on left right and centre, basically as soon as my husband leaves the house as he’s under the impression that if it ain’t December, then we make do with jumpers. The bitter winds and cold rain have come and sucked all the life out of our morning and evening walks with the puppy. As encouragement to make it out in the soggy chilled air, I definitely need this kind of treat to welcome me back into my centrally heated house, with a good strong cup of builders on the side.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

3 ripe bananas, mashed
80ml Coconut oil
80g Black Treacle
80g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
185g Rye Flour
40g Cocoa
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
60g Lindt Dark Chocolate pieces, kept in their squares

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and lightly grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the bananas, coconut oil, treacle, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. In another mix sift together the rye flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until only just combine. Fold in the pieces of dark chocolate.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the loaf tin then bake in the oven for about 50 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin to finish cooling on a rack.