Some great recipes to try

Undated Handout Photo of CHOCOLATE TEA CAKE. See PA Feature FOOD Sugar Free. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FOOD Sugar Free.
Undated Handout Photo of CHOCOLATE TEA CAKE. See PA Feature FOOD Sugar Free. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FOOD Sugar Free.

From page 28

BANANA BREAD

(Makes about 12 slices)

Ingredients

4 ripe bananas, about 700g

75g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

1 egg, beaten

150g white plain flour

50g wholemeal plain flour

4tsp baking powder

1/2tsp salt

75g sunflower seeds

Method

lPreheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas mark 6. Lightly grease a 22 x 11 x 7cm/1kg loaf tin with a little butter.

lPeel and mash the bananas in a large bowl (a few lumps are OK). Add the melted butter, followed by the egg, and stir well.

lAdd both flours, the baking powder and salt to the bowl. Gently fold everything together until well mixed. Set aside about one tablespoon of the sunflower seeds, then fold the rest into the mixture.

lUse a spatula to transfer the mixture to the loaf tin. Shake gently to distribute it evenly in the tin and then smooth the top with the spatula. Sprinkle the reserved sunflower seeds on top.

lBake for 55-65 minutes until well browned and risen. Leave to cool in the tin.

CHOCOLATE TEA CAKE

(Makes about 12 slices)

Ingredients

1 Earl Grey teabag

110g pitted dried dates

75g wholemeal plain flour

25g cocoa powder

100g unsalted butter, very soft, plus extra for greasing

2 eggs

2tsp baking powder

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of salt

50g no-added-sugar plain dark chocolate, plus extra for decorating

Method

lUse the teabag to make a pot of tea, using about 150ml boiling water and leaving it to brew for five minutes. Pour off the tea into a measuring jug, then soak the dates in 125ml of the tea for at least four hours or overnight, reserving the remaining tea for the ganache.

lWhen the dates are softened and have absorbed most of the tea, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 22 x 11 x 7cm/1kg loaf tin with a little butter.

lPlace the soaked dates, and the tea they were soaking in, in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa powder, butter, eggs, baking powder, cloves and salt and process for three to four seconds, until everything has combined.

lScoop the cake mixture into the tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes until well-risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before removing and placing on a serving plate.

lMeanwhile, make the ganache. Break up the chocolate into small pieces and place in a small saucepan with the reserved tea over a low heat until the chocolate has melted, then stir well. lPour into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until the mixture has set. Spread it on the cooled cake. Use a vegetable peeler to create curls of chocolate and sprinkle over the top of the ganache to decorate. Eat within two to three days.