I am running out of time. Having been away for seven weeks in Kuala Lumpur since September, followed by six weeks here in London, I am now heading back to KL in December.
Last weekend I made a short trip to Philippe Conticini for a croissant fix. Decent croissants, lousy tea. Their grey and weak matcha latte, the colour of dull dishwater, was the most disgusting rendition I have come across anywhere. Worse than the one I had in a corner café in Haringey earlier in the week. I take responsibility for imagining that a non-specialist café can serve good matcha latte. My question really is: if you can’t serve something that is of an acceptable standard, why serve it at all? In this instance I also blame Mr Conticini for letting his good name down by putting greed above good taste.
This weekend I am visiting my parents-in-law and want to bring a gluten-free cake. Here is my take on a banana cake which I baked in a 6-cup Bundt pan. Apologies for the uninspiring photos, as it gets so dark so early these days.
The plain flour is from gluten-free specialists Freee, and is made up of rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat flours. An alternative is Bob’s Red Mill which has a gluten-free baking flour made up of sweet white rice, whole grain brown rice, potato, whole grain sorghum and tapioca flours and xanthan gum.
What if you are unable to get pre-packaged gluten-free flour? I came across this recipe in the Kyotofu baking book. I have not had much success with their recipes but they did include one for making your own gluten-free cake flour. It looks ok to me and I include it here in case you need it.
Homemade gluten-free flour, makes around 1 kg
(from Kyotofu by Nicole Bermensolo with Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn, published by Running Press, ISBN 978-0762453979)
395 g brown rice flour
395 g white rice flour
64 g cornstarch
63 g tapioca starch
90 g potato flour
2 tablespoons xanthan gum
Whisk together all of the ingredients until evenly combined and store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.
For the Banana Bundt:
130 g unsalted butter, softened
150 g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
350 g very ripe bananas (peeled weight), lightly crushed
170 g gluten-free plain flour
50 g ground almonds
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon gluten-free bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
100 g fat-free yoghurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 g each softened butter and gluten-free plain flour to line the Bundt pan
You will need a 6 Cup Anniversary Bundt Pan. The cake can also be made in a 2 pound / 900 g loaf tin.
How to Make:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan.
Brush 10 g of softened butter evenly over the entire inside of the Bundt pan, taking care to fill every corner.
Sift over 10 g of plain flour, moving the pan around to coat evenly. Remove the excess flour by turning the pan upside down and giving it a tap (do this over a sink). Set the pan aside.
Sift the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl (I used a KitchenAid with a flex edge beater), beat the butter and sugar until lighter in colour and texture.
Add in the flour mixture, eggs and yogurt. Beat on a low speed for 20 seconds, until you get a smooth batter.
Add the bananas and vanilla extract. Beat for another 20 seconds on a low speed.
Pour the cake mixture into the Bundt pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until the cake bounces back slightly when touched. The bounce will not be very pronounced as there is no gluten in the cake. A metal skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
This bundt will slice into eight thin and eight thicker pieces – perfect for a sharing with the family on a weekend away.