Delicious healthy banana & sticky date cake recipes from food and nutrition writer Louise Keats.

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Instagram is flooded with cakes and recipes people are making at home during this time of isolation.

Sydney based food guru Louise Keats has shared two of her most delicious cake recipes with Bondi Beauty: Banana Sesame Cake and Spelt Almond, Sticky Date Pudding.

Both are lower in sugar than traditional cake recipes, and both are made from scratch. Don’t panic when you see the long-ish ingredient’s lists, as they are not too hard to make.

BANANA SESAME CAKE

(Dairy Free, Vegan and Vegetarian)

INGREDIENTS

250g cashews (raw or roasted)
Banana Cake
2 oranges (approx. 350 g – see Tips)
100g sesame seeds, toasted
80g (1/2 cup) brown sugar or Rapadura sugar (see Tips)
110g (1/2 cup) macadamia oil
280g banana (peeled weight – approx. 3 bananas), cut into pieces
100g pitted Medjool dates
3 eggs
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
Cashew cream icing (optional)
2 tbsp lemon juice
80g (1/3 cup) coconut cream
1 tbsp tahini (optional – see Tips)
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
2–3 tbsp raw honey, to taste (for vegan, use coconut nectar)
nigella seeds (optional), for sprinkling
1 banana, cut into slices, for decorating
1-2 tbsp coconut nectar or honey, plus extra to drizzle

METHOD (cake, then icing)

1. Place cashews (for the icing) into a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 4-6 hours until softened (longer soaking will help produce a smoother icing). Meanwhile, continue preparing cake.
2. Preheat oven to 140°C fan. Grease and line a round cake tin (20 cm) with baking paper and set aside.
3. Using a vegetable peeler, remove zest from oranges (no white pith). Reserve orange flesh and set aside. Place 5–6 pieces zest, sesame seeds and sugar into a food processor or high-powered blender and process until finely ground. Add macadamia oil, orange, banana, dates and eggs, and process until just combined. Add flours, bicarbonate of soda and vanilla, and process until just smooth. If needed, scrape sides and process again until all ingredients are well combined.
4. Pour mixture into tin, smooth surface. Bake for 1 hour and 10-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave cake in tin to cool completely.
5. To make cashew cream icing, drain soaked cashews well. Place in a food processor or high-powered blender. Using the pulse action, process until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and process in 30 second spurts for 3-5 minutes or until icing is smooth, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula if needed. (Note: the texture will vary according to the type of processor you use.)
6. Spread cooled cake with cashew cream icing. Drizzle with coconut nectar/ honey. Scatter over seeds and banana slices.

SPELT ALMOND STICKY DATE PUDDING

INGREDIENTS

200g fresh dates, pitted

250ml (1 cup) boiling water

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

200g (1 1/4 cups) wholemeal spelt flour

70g (1/3 cup) rapadura sugar or brown sugar

60g whole almond meal (see tip)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

100g (1/3 cup) unsweetened apple puree

80ml (1/3 cup) melted coconut oil (or olive oil)

2 eggs

Natural yoghurt, to serve

METHOD (cake then icing)

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan). Grease a round 20cm cake pan. Line with baking paper.
  2. Place dates in a large heatproof bowl. Pour over the boiling water. Stir in the bicarb. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften, then use a fork to lightly mash.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, almond meal, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add apple, oil, eggs and date mixture. Stir until combined. Spoon into the prepared pan.
  4. Line the base of a roasting pan with a tea towel. Place cake in the prepared roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach two-thirds up the side of the cake pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from roasting pan.
  5. Meanwhile, for the caramel, cook sugar and 125ml (1/2 cup) water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened and reduced by half. Stir in cream and vanilla. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes, until smooth.
  6. Spoon half the sauce over the pudding. Serve with yoghurt and remaining sauce.

Fore more from Louise, click here.

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Renae Leith-Manos

CONTRIBUTOR

Renae Leith-Manos travels the world writing (www.renaesworld.com.au). She has had a colourful media career as a journalist in many magazines and newspapers, and spends her time writing, consulting to new businesses, running, doing yoga, swimming & cycling.
She's likes healthy eating, but thinks chocolate cake is just as important as kale chips.
She spends most weekends hanging out with her gorgeous twins.

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