Chef Renee had a group of gluten-intolerant friends come for dinner a couple of weeks ago.
“I’m not really a gluten-free baker,” she told me, but being the professional that she is, she set to work to create this banana bread for her friends.
Everyone loved it, she reports.
“There were also some folks there who do eat gluten, but they loved the GF cake, so everyone ended up eating it and not eating the chocolate spice cake I had made with wheat flour for the regular eaters,” she recalls.
To add some pizazz to this dessert, slice off the top of the cake and spread it with strained yogurt which has thickened or with softened tofu cream cheese. You can sweeten either of these toppings with a little brown sugar or honey to taste.
To amp things up further, serve the cake with a shot of your very best bourbon.
Gluten-Free Almond Spice Banana Cake
© Renee Marton
Preheat oven to 350F.
Liberally butter or spray loaf pans—I recommend 2 or 3 disposable small loaf pans, rather than the traditional loaf pan, which is too wide.
1 ripe banana
1 cup gluten-free flour
1 cup almond flour
½ cup sweet butter, very soft or melted
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons xanthum gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
Mix both flours together with xanthum gum, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Make sure there are no lumps (push through a strainer, or process briefly in a food processor).
This step, as well as step 3, is easier to follow if you use a standing mixer, but you can also use a hand held mixer, or even mix by hand using a wooden spoon. Blend the banana, butter, bourbon and sugar together until everything is well blended and somewhat soupy. There should be no lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well.
If you are using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. If using a hand held mixer, use the beaters, and if mixing by hand, use a wooden spoon supplemented by a whisk. Slowly add the flour mixture until completely incorporated. The batter will be thinner than a batter using wheat flour.
Pour the batter into the two loaf pans, about ¾ of the way up. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, on the center shelf. Use a toothpick to make sure the cake is fully baked.
Cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Unmold and finish cooling on a plate.