Wednesday, 21 January 2015

One Minute Banana, Date and Buckwheat Loaf (includes Thermomix instructions)

A deliciously moist and filling fruit loaf, perfect with a mug of tea, or in packed lunches for a wheat free, gluten free refined sugar free treat.

So, recently I've been trying to come up with filling yet healthy savoury and sweet snacks that I can make, bake and freeze in portions to add to my childrens' lunchboxes to sustain them throughout the day at school. Of course, that's not to say that this isn't also a great treat for grown-ups too... (It is, it is!!)

I'm not the world's biggest fan of bananas or dates on their own, but this was really tasty with the addition of a couple of spices - and also, most people would be hard pressed to guess that it wasn't made from wheat (there's no reason you can't substitute wheat flour, or spelt if you're not cooking gluten free and you want to, you may just need to slightly adjust the amount of liquid added. If cooking gluten free, ensure your buckwheat flour is certified gluten free).

Having an abundance of dried fruit in the cupboards, and several bags of buckwheat flour (which I'd put into a cheese and vegetable quiche/flan-type thing that had turned out nicely the day before - recipe to follow, of course), when I noticed three bananas starting to go a bit freckly, I decided to wing it, and see if I could actually bring them all together in cakey unity - and as luck would have it, it turns out I could so I'm sharing the recipe with you too! (And also so I can make it again - or even better, give the recipe to someone else not a million miles away to make, when we run out!).

So, without further ado, the recipe. If you're using a normal food processor, just blitz all the ingredients (except for the raisins) together until combined with the dates being relatively finely chopped, and then fold in the raisins by hand until evenly distributed throughout the mix. It will probably just take a bit longer than 30 seconds to combine and chop everything for the first stage.

Makes 12-16 slices (I cut each slice into two halves for lunchboxes, to give 24+ portions - I might even work out the calories later to see how it lies in the land of treats!)

  • 3 ripe medium bananas (freckly but not over-ripe: approx 260g of flesh)
  • 150g ready-to-eat dates, pitted/de-stoned
  • 75 butter, cubed (room temp if possible - substitute coconut oil or similar if cooking dairy free)
  • 50g maple syrup (or honey - optional, as it is quite sweet)
  • 3 eggs (UK medium)
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinammon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 250g buckwheat flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder (gluten free, if appropriate)
  • 100ml hot water, not boiling (e.g. add 50ml boiling water to 50ml cold water)
  • 200g sultanas (or raisins)

Large loaf tin (mine was approximately 9" x 5.5" x 3" deep - you will need something to accomodate about a litre of cake batter once it's mixed - 2 smaller tins will do, but reduce the cooking time), food processor, greaseproof baking paper.


1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas mark 5 / 170C Fan oven, and line the loaf tin with greaseproof baking paper.

2. Add all of the ingredients in order, right down to and including the hot water to the mixing bowl (don't add the sultanas yet). Combine for 30 seconds / Speed 5 (or high speed on normal processor).

3. Scrape down and stir in the sultanas briefly with a spatula, then mix 30 seconds / Reverse / Speed 3 (or mix in by hand if using a normal food processor).

4. Pour the cake batter into the lined loaf tin, and cook in the middle of the pre-heated oven for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

Ovens vary, so check your cake before the suggested time is up. If it is browning on the top too quickly, then move it lower down into the oven, and / or cover loosely with foil. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container for a few days, or slice into portions and freeze in something airtight.

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