A moist, delicious, not-too-sweet cocoa and berries vegan and refined sugar-free banana loaf, sweetened just with a banana and some dates.
I already wrote several times in this blog about my aversion for refined sugar since I follow a sattvic diet.
Apart from all the reflections about health, insulin, glycemic index, addiction, and so on, I find it so unbearably sweet, that I completely banned it from my diet.
That said, the experiment of today with this cake really deserved to be shared so: here it is!
Start with soaking the dates in hot water for 10 – 15 minutes and then blend them in a food processor until they get creamy.
Add the chopped banana and smash it with a fork. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk well until nice and smooth.
Now mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and pour in the wet mixture. I always add part of the milk first and then the rest gradually, until I reach a creamy (not too fluid though) consistency.
Last but not least: add the mixed berries. I used frozen ones, which are cheaper and work perfectly.
This cake has a very consistent mass and needs almost one hour to bake. As usual, after 40 minutes, make a test with a knife or a skewer and see if it comes out clean.
The taste and the consistency of this loaf will make you happy at the first bite!
I do love its subtle sweetness. However, if you have a sweet tooth, you might want to add a couple of spoons of maple syrup to support the dates and develop a more intense sweetness. (read the notes in the recipe)
MOIST COCOA, DATES, BERRIES & BANANA LOAF (VEGAN / REFINED SUGAR-FREE)
For a loaf tin of about 25×15 cm (10″ x 5″)
- 1 cup (140 g) of whole spelt flour
- 2/3 cup (100 g) of raw almond
- 1/2 cup (75 g) of corn/potato starch
- 1/2 cup (60 g) of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of coffee powder (optional)
- 1 ripe banana (about 80 g)
- 1 cup of pitted dates (about 175 g) *
- about 1 cup of coconut milk **
- 1/3 cup (70 g) of coconut oil (if solid, liquefy on low heat)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- 1 cup (120 g) of fresh or frozen berries
* You may add 2 or 3 tablespoons of maple syrup if you know you have a sweet tooth!
** Add 2/3 cup first, then the rest. The quantity of liquid really depends on the type of flour you use, on the size of the banana, on how soaked your dates are.
1. Soak the dates
First of all place the pitted dates in a medium bowl and pour in boiling water. Let them soak for 10-15 minutes.
2. Grind the almond and make the date paste
Place the almonds in a small food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer the almond flour in a large bowl.
Drain the soaked dates – keeping some of the soaking water in the bowl – and transfer them into the food processor. Blend until creamy. If necessary, add some of the soaking water.
3. Preheat the oven at 180°C (350°F)
Line a 30×12 cm (12″ x 5″) loaf tin with parchment paper.
4. Mix dry and wet ingredients
In the large bowl where you put the almond four, mix all other dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl pour the date paste, the banana mashed with a fork, 2/3 of the coconut milk and all the other wet ingredients except the berries. Combine well with a whisk until creamy and smooth.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry one and mix quickly with a whisk or a spoon until just combined, without overmixing. Add, if needed, the rest of the coconut milk and finally the berries.
Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Don’t open the oven door in the first 40 minutes.
Let sit your cocoa loaf in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer it onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.