When you’re on the FAILSAFE diet – there really isn’t a shortage of sweet treats. But good quality, nourishing and satisfying sweet treats that aren’t full of heaps of sugar, are harder to come by. So, I can up with this yummy cake as a way to have my cake and eat it too! And it gave me a chance to get re-acquainted with Aunty Carob.
I kinda think that poor ol’ carob gets a bit of a bad rap. Mention “carob” and you get the same response when you mention Caro instead of coffee, chamomile tea instead of Earl Grey, Grapetise instead of Champagne. It’s seen as a sad second to the real thing. It’s the make-do substitute. It’s the stuff you have to eat when chocolate is off them menu. It’s Chocolate’s kinda frumpy, a little serious Aunty with the sensible-district nurse shoes.
She might buy you books instead of cool toys for your birthday. She might remind you to mind your manners when you’re out in a cafe. She might feed you healthy, home-made bread spread with an inch of no-salt-no-sugar peanut butter and topped with home-sprouted alfalfa sprouts. But she’s always got a supply of yummy bikkies in her baking tin. And she’s always got a myriad of great activities planned to do to fill the holidays when you visit. She’s the aunty you go to when you want someone to talk to. She’s the one you turn to when you need someone to listen to you without judgement, but with familial understanding and concern. She actually your favorite aunt and you’re so thankful she’s there.
Well, that’s a bit of an over-exaggeration for little Carob, but it’s a sweet picture, and I just want to encourage you to give carob another chance. Most certainly this recipe can also be made with cocoa/cacao instead of carob – you just replace it 1:1. But I dare you to give Aunty Carob a go – she won’t disappoint you. 😉
PEAR CASHEW CAROB BANANA CAKE
150g buckwheat flour
100g cashew nut meal (dry roast your cashews and then blitz to fine in a Vitamix or Thermomix or high powered blender)
50g rice flour
50g starch of choice (tapioca starch or potato starch – not cornstarch as it is not FAILSAFE)
30g carob powder
30g mesquite powder (optional – if you omit – increase buckwheat by 30g. Also I’m not sure of mesquite’s FAILSAFE status. Ostensibly it should be low salicylate as it is a bean, but I’m not entirely sure and as far as I’m aware, there is no chemical analysis data available)
2½ tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bi-carb soda
A good pinch salt.
3 x bananas chopped into small chunks
100g oil of choice – if you’re doing the FAILSAFE diet then your choices are either rice bran oil or canola oil
100g maple syrup
250g puree pears
150g -200g mylk of choice
- Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and toss banana chucks through the dry ingredients.
- Blitz wet together with the pears to make a slurry and add to the dry ingredients.
- Mix quickly and gently to combine. Don’t overmix.
- Add a little more mylk if the batter is stiff.
- Pour into tins. Cook in 180oC oven until skewer comes out clean. Around 45 mins for large cakes and 25 mins for muffins.
- Drizzle with carob-pear drizzle and top with coarsely chopped cashews.
Use the juice from your tin of pears, or you can buy small tins of pear juice. Put juice into a pot and simmer with attitude until the liquid is 3/4 reduced. Whisk in 1 tbsp carob powder (more if you want it stronger) and 1 tbsp sweetener of choice (optional). Allow to cook for around another 10 mins until a thick syrup results. Watch it carefully, as it can go too far and burn at this stage. Also remember that it will thicken upon cooling. Drizzle over the top of your cake and store the remainder in a clean jar in the fridge. It’ll keep well for a few weeks and is delush on porridge and in hot drinks. Tweet!