I’ve always been a keen baker and my belief about cakes and everything sweet is that they should be made with butter in order to taste right.
I know butter, sugar and anything else you’re putting into the cake aren’t diet-friendly or healthy foods but they’re not meant to be – cake isn’t promising to be a superfood, it’s a delicious treat to be enjoyed infrequently, not to be scoffed every day.
The huge rise in so-called superfoods such as kale, chia seeds, matcha etc has not only been an excellent marketing campaign for some long forgotten vegetables (ahem kale), it’s also gone a long way to promoting healthy eating.
However, the rise of #eatclean has had some nasty side affects, and by the nature of the phrase – it suggests other food (eg sugar) is ‘dirty’ and should be avoided
I wholeheartedly disagree with this but when approached by Kirly-Sue’s kitchen to try out her new organic coconut oil I put my reservations aside and set myself the task of creating some recipes with it.
After a few minutes on Google I found hundreds of reasons why coconut oil is going to change my life and not only make me healthier but also improve my skin and hair.
But I also found a warning from the British Heart Foundation of the high saturated fat content (85%) so as with butter, it’s something to be used sparingly, not that you’d consider eating it from the jar, I mean it’s not the most visually-appealing thing in the world.
The texture is like soft wax or honeycomb and you can’t get away from the fact it tastes like coconut. Therefore if you’re going to use it in cooking be aware it’ll add a mild coconut flavour to whatever you’re making.
As banana and coconut go well together I decided to have a go at making a loaf cake and also threw in some poppy seeds to give the cake a crunchy texture.
You can eat this one as it is, or slather with butter. The coconut oil gives it a squidgy, sticky texture and the subtly coconut flavour is heavenly.
Not only do you get the enjoyment of a hearty, comforting cake – if the billions of online reviews are correct you’ll also be giving yourself a heathy boost while eating it.
150g self-raising flour
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
50g softened butter
2 tbsp coconut oil (I used one from Kirly-Sue’s Kitchen)
3 ripe bananas (the blacker the better)
A pinch of salt
100g poppy seeds (save a handful for the topping)
For the topping:
1 tsp coconut oil
1 banana (cut into slices)
50g unsalted butter, very soft
2 tbsp milk
350g icing sugar
How to make…
Preheat the oven to 180C/160 fan/Gas 4.
Mix the coconut oil, butter and sugar together until everything’s combined and you’ve got a light, creamy mixture (about five minutes with an electric beater, 7-8 without). This is the texture you’re after:
Mash up the bananas until they no longer resemble bananas and look more like mush (as seen here).
Add the bananas to the bowl and stir until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then sieve in flour and add the salt.
Continue mixing on a slow speed for a few minutes then add the poppy seeds. Mix again so the seeds are spread throughout the mixture and then pour into your loaf tin.
Put the tin into the oven and set a timer for 50 minutes. Keep an eye on the cake, it’s done when a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean, this can take around an hour or slightly longer.
When it’s done take the cake out and let it cool completely before moving onto the icing.
To make your icing, beat the butter, coconut oil and icing sugar together until the three form a creamy, thick icing. This takes around five minutes in the mixer, seven by hand (depending on your upper arm strength).
When it’s done, spread the mixture onto the top of the cake and sprinkle with poppy seeds and the banana pieces.