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Vegan Banana Cake

I am not sure why I thought of making a vegan banana cake as so far I have been making a very traditional one and it always turned out nicely. But then there is so much talk about the so-
called superfoods which I liked to try in a cake. There are some superfoods I would  not touch, no matter how healthy they might be but chia seeds have become one of our favourite seeds in our family. They are so versatile and don't really taste like much but sprinkled on a smoothie it adds a nice crunch to it. Don't let them sit too long though or they become soggy and starting to gel. Funny seed that is.

The chia and almond spread is from the health food section at Coles which seems to be widely available. I bought the spread because it somehow attracted me without knowing what I am going to do with it in the first place.
It actually works well instead of peanut butter but also adds nice flavour to the cake.


Vegan banana bread

30g linseed (finely ground, I used a coffee grinder)
150ml canola oil
200g plain flour
50g wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 a good pinch of mixed spice
200 g brown sugar
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons chia and almond spread

Preheat oven to 180C. Stir together linseed and oil and let sit. Combine both flours, baking powder, spices and sugar in a large bowl. In another bowl mash bananas and mix with chia and almond spread and linseed-oil mixture. Combine dry and wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Fill into a Gugelhupf or loaf tin and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar.


French Toast a la Kate Gibbs

A little while ago Kate Gibbs, Margaret Fulton's granddaughter, visited us at Breville and talked about her new cook book "After Toast". She had also made a 12 hour/80°C slow-cooked pork shoulder with brown sugar crust in the Breville Sous Vide. It was devine.
I am so intrigued to get my hands on one of those sous vides soon, especially after she mentioned how perfect it is for BBQ parties. She tends to sous-vide steak beforehand and just slaps it on the hot grill when the guests are there. Et Voila; always the perfect steak with a beautiful char grilled smokey finish. Sounds good to me.

Her new cook book is aiming at the aspiring cook and is filled with easy-to-make recipes. It will give you inspiration for breakfast, lunch and dinner yet also has delicious ideas for snacks and desserts.
The photography and styling is beautiful and they went to my favourite farmers market at Eveleigh for the market shots. Very nice!

Happy winner of the After Toast cook book.

This weekend I could no longer resist to try her recipe for spoonable French toast with maple berries. I am in love with raspberries at the moment and the combination of custard bread, maple syrup and tart berries really resonated with me.

As Kate puts it her take on the classic French dish is ideal for the sleepy-headed at breakfast time.
Instead of individually frying them and tossing them the whole dish goes in the oven and is spooned out. It's ideal to share and easy to make. 

There is no actual photo of the finished recipe in the book but that is how my French toast a la Kate Gibbs looked like.

Here is Kate's recipe for French toast

500 ml milk
3 free-range eggs
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon caster sugar (see note)
1 tsp vanilla extract
10g butter (oh yes, use butter, it's French after all)
6-8 slices yesterdays bread, cut into triangles
125g raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp maple syrup
yoghurt, to serve

Preheat oven to 180degrees.
Whisk together milk, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
Butter a 20cm baking dish and arrange half the bread slices in the dish. Scatter most of the raspberries over, then top with remaining bread slices. Pour milk mixture over the top, then decorate with remaining raspberries. Drizzle with maple syrup and let it all soak for 10 minutes.
Now bake for 45-50min, or until golden brown on top but still soft inside.
Serve with dollops of yoghurt.

Now, I actually added 1 tablespoon of caster sugar to the milk mixture and instead of yoghurt used double cream. I know it's so much fatter but then again, it's so French! I also used a loaf tin and layered the slices in a different way but it works just as fine.
Can't resist maple syrup so would definitely serve some extra to drizzle over when scooped on the plate. Delicious!


Cassie's Charity Bake Sale

My dear colleague Cassandra baked all week and through the night for her charity bake sale on Valentine's Day - truly amazing! Everything looked so beautiful and she made over $700 which she gave to a local animal rescue centre. Good on ya, Cassie!

There were cakes, cupcakes, gluten free cupcakes, caramel popcorn, chocolate bark, peanut brittle, shortbread hearts, cake pops and pink meringue kisses.

I bought the chocolate bark and peanut brittle and both were delicious. For the recipes check out Cassandra's blog Food is my friend