Banana Crumb Cake

Yesterday was a day spent baking, baking, schooling, baking, schooling, and then baking some more.  It was a day spent experimenting with new recipes–some of which turned out, and some of which need a bit more tweaking.  To guarantee something tasty and sweet for the evening, I made this banana crumb cake, whose recipe was developed in the same experimentation manner.

Now, I’m not going to profess that this is the banana cake to end all banana cakes, but I will say that it is certainly my favorite by far.  Decisively moist and dense, with a warm touch of cinnamon to accent the banana flavour, and a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg to add an alluring sophistication, this banana cake is rustic enough for a Saturday picnic in the countryside, but elegant enough for a classy Sunday brunch.  Not to mention that it is free from nuts, eggs, and dairy (if you omit the streusel, the cake really is delicious either way), which is great when you find yourself in a situation where you have an understocked fridge.  Though, if you feel inclined to add a handful of chopped walnuts, go ahead!  I think they would make a lovely addition.

Banana Crumb Cake

Inspired by Boy and the Rabbit (http://boyandtherabbit.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/banana-bread-bites/)

Streusel:

20 grams whole wheat flour (2 tablespoons)

30 grams whole grain instant oats (1/4 cup)

25 grams turbinado sugar (2 tablespoons)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

a pinch of ground ginger

a pinch of salt

20 grams pitted dates, chopped fine (about one medjool date)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Cake:

2 large, very ripe bananas

75 grams pitted dates (about 5 medjool)

110 grams cooked chickpeas (2/3 cup)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons maple syrup

80 grams whole wheat flour (1/2 cup)

100 grams whole grain instant oats (1 cup)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Place your rack in the center of the oven.  Line the bottom of an 20 cm springform pan with parchment paper and then grease and flour the pan.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the streusel.  With your fingers, mix in the dates–slightly smashing them together with your fingers.  Add in the butter and mix thoroughly until all of the dry ingredients have been moistened.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the bananas, dates, and chickpeas.  Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add in the vanilla extract and maple syrup and pulse to combine.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining (dry) ingredients.  Mix together thoroughly with a whisk before pouring in the banana mixture.  Using a spatula, fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.  Pour into your cake pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle on your streusel and place in the center of your oven.  Bake for 20-27 minutes, or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let the cake cool completely on a cooling rack before serving.  The cake will stay fresh wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for three days (if it is warm in your house, I would recommend keeping it in the fridge).

Makes one-20 cm cake

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