I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog about my cooking for an embarrassingly long time Then a name I felt was perfect came up in my head as I was trying to focus on things more serious, read when I was studying for my most ridiculous exam yet. Three weeks of slow work later, here it is. Hello!
It was easy to pick the opening recipe: is there a better way to welcome someone than with a freshly baked cake, its sweet, cinnamon-y smell lingering in the house?
The recipe is based on one that my mom uses for making her banana bread. Some particularly rainy week I made it pretty much every day, mixing in whatever I found in the pantry, partly to prevent repetitions, partly on a mission to add flavor once I found myself out of overripe bananas. It’s an example of quick and easy vegan baking, asking neither for unusual ingredients nor equipment. And it smells sensationally.
Pear and Walnut Loaf Cake
Notes: *flaxseed can be easily ground in pretty much any blender or food processor. You can prepare more and keep whatever is left after making this recipe in an airtight container in the fridge
(makes 1 25-cm long loaf cake)
3/4 cup walnuts
1 tbsp ground flaxseed* + 3 tbsp hot water
2 medium-big bananas (not too ripe)
4 tbsp neutral-tasting oil (I use sunflower)
1 ½ cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium pear, hard
Place the walnuts in the loaf tin you’re going to bake your cake in, spreading them into a single layer. Start the oven (180°C), put the tin inside to toast the nuts while you prepare the batter.
Mix the flaxseed and water in a medium bowl. The mixture needs 5-10 minutes for the binding superpowers of flaxseed to activate, so prepare the rest of ingredients in the meantime.
Using a fork, mash the bananas on a cutting board. Measure out a cup of the flour, one tbsp scant. Add baking soda, salt and spices, mix. Check on the walnuts, give them a toss.
Add the mashed bananas, followed by oil. Give it a quick mix with the fork. Add the prepared cup of flour, plus missing ½ cup, followed by sugar. Mix. If the batter is very thick and difficult to mix, you may want to add a tbsp more water.
Take the walnuts out of the oven, so the tin can cool down slightly. Cube the pear, mix in. Chop the walnuts, fold into the batter. By now the tin should be okay to touch. Line it with baking powder.
Transfer the batter into the tin. Bake in 180°C for 1h - 1¼h, checking the after as early as 30 minutes to avoid burning. If it gets too dark, cover it with foil. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out completely clean. Let it cool in an open oven so it can set properly.
Slice and enjoy with your morning coffee or evening tea (I’d be happy to hear how it turned out, too!)