Banana, Hazelnut and Chocolate Cake

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When Paris and I cook together, we make a lot of wholesome, healthy things. Like, a lot. There has been beetroot falafel, chargrilled apricots with chard and cous-cous, quinoa porridge…and those are just the ones we blog about. There has been many a grain salad Tuesday (#gst) in which we discuss our upcoming blog collaboration over various disgustingly virtuous, vegetable-based creations.

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But just occasionally, a hankering for something a bit less holy raises its head. More specifically, something that contains (stage whisper) sugar. Not even brown sugar, which for some reason seems healthier than white. No, this cake was made with the sin of all sins that is white refined sugar. The hashtag #refinedsugarfree will most definitely not apply. So there.

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This recipe is vegan, so all is not lost. Mashed banana and oil seem to do the trick of binding all the ingredients together, giving a convincing cake texture. It is denser than a cake made by beating the hell out of butter and sugar, but with a banana cake I feel that a bit of density goes with the territory. This is a great way of using up those bruised, blackened bananas lurking at the bottom of the fruit bowl (although a few were so far gone that we had to admit defeat and consign them to the compost).

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Have a gander at Avocado Please.

We used a square tin, measuring approx 30x30cm, lined with baking paper.


4 very ripe bananas, mashed

100g whole hazelnuts

250g self-raising flour

120g sugar

1 tsp vanilla paste (we used Little Pod)

100ml olive oil

120g dark chocolate


Preheat the oven to 180C. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking tray and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, keeping an eye on them, until the skins start to flake away. Take them out of the oven, then rub them in a clean tea towel to remove the skins. Roughly crush the nuts in a pestle and mortar. Put the flour and sugar in a bowl, then stir in the mashed banana, olive oil and vanilla paste. Break up the chocolate into chunks and add this to the mix, along with the hazelnuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake in the centre shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top. Eat.

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