Striped banana and chocolate loaf
This recipe was the first vegan baking I ever did. I was going through a phase of being sick of London, so I went with my boyfriend to stay on a canal boat his aunt and uncle live on. I had only been vegan for a few weeks so wasn't quite sure what to bring that could make cooking easier- but I figured cake always helps everything.
The great thing about loaves is you can keep them in their tin and they'll handle a fair bit of transportation. A bus, a train and a car ride later, and we were on the canal boat and a slice of this cake couldn't have been a better way to start what was a wonderful stay away from the city.
I've come back to this recipe again and again as it doesn't need too many vegan replacements- the apple sauce and vinegar instead of eggs keeps the cake really moist. I used some pear compote my Mum gave me for this recipe instead and it worked even better. And although you can do as many layers as you like, I usually just do one middle layer of chocolate, so that once it is all cooked you can see some of the chocolate mix peep through the top layer of banana. The recipe is originally from That's So Vegan- a great source for vegan baking ideas, but I wish she hadn't stopped!
This recipe is also a great way of using up over-ripe bananas. It might not look too pretty en route to the oven but once it's baked, you'll forget it ever looked like this...
Makes enough for one 11x22cm loaf tin
1/4 cup sunflower oil
3/4 cup organic sugar
1/3 cup soy milk
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
3 ripe bananas, peeled
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
2 cups plain flour (or you could do 1 cup wholemeal, 1 cup plain, as the original recipe suggests)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 170 celsius/ 350 fahrenheit, and grease a loaf tin before lining with greaseproof paper.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. In a separate cup, mix in the soy milk and vinegar and leave to curdle for a few minutes.
Mash in the bananas to the sugar and oil mix, before adding the applesauce, soy milk and vinegar combination and vanilla if using. Now sift in the flours, baking powder and salt and stir until just combined.
Pour a third of the mixture in to a separate bowl and stir in the cocoa powder for the chocolate middle layer.
Next pour half of the banana batter in to the loaf tin, followed by all of the chocolate mixture, and the final half of the banana batter.
Bake in the oven for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.