Prep time: 10 minutes
About this recipe
This cake, with its deep dark mahogany appearance, looks like it ought to be part of the family of devil’s food cakes. Although it in no way is. There isn’t much that is devilish, or unhealthy, about this cake; it contains no fat or refined sugar. I suppose you could call it a ‘clean’ cake, in that sense. The inspiration behind it is the chocolate cake from my client’s story of the fragile boundary between clean and dirty, love and loss. Just like the special cake she shared with her mother in that story, this one is also softly fudgy in texture. Here however, carob’s smoky-sweet, quite-but-not-quite-chocolatiness is the dark star – its rich flavour is enhanced by the sesame and spice, which ensure that this cake teeters nicely on the boundary between savoury and sweet.
- 260g peeled ripe bananas (this is approximately 2 large or 3 small ones, the riper the better)
- 40ml honey
- 40ml maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 125g spelt wholemeal flour
- 25g carob powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tablespoons each of white and black sesame seeds (save a few to sprinkle on top)
When baking, all ingredients should be room temperature so bear this in mind for the egg and milk in this recipe
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line the bottom of a 1lb loaf tin (approximate interior dimensions of mine are 19cm x 9cm x 6cm) with baking parchment. Or, simply use an appropriately-sized tin-shaped parchment liner.
- Put the peeled bananas into a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork – it is ok if the bananas are not completely smooth; a few soft chunks are quite nice in the finished cake. Add the honey, maple syrup, egg and milk to the bowl and, either by hand or using an electric mixer, whisk until the ingredients are evenly combined.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to mix slowly – stop mixing when you can no longer see any of the dry ingredients in the batter.
- Spoon the mixture carefully into your lined loaf tin and sprinkle with the reserved sesame seeds. Bake for around 40 minutes. The cake is ready when it feels firm to the touch – don’t worry if the surface cracks, mine always does. A skewer/cocktail stick will also come out clean, without any residue of the cake’s former life as a batter. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin before removing. Store in an airtight container or wrap tightly, first with an inner layer of clingfilm or parchment and then with an outer layer of foil. The cake will easily keep for a week – it slices better and gets better as the days go on.