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  • Diane Lawton

how to make the best Banana, & chocolate cake

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

Banana, date and chocolate cake

Serves 6-10 depending on portion size

Ingredients for the cake

8 medium size ripe bananas

6 pitted dates

½ cup or 125 ml of olive oil (I use Extra Virgen Olive Oil)

3 medium eggs

1 cup or 200g of brown sugar

1 cup of cocoa or chocolate powder

1 ½ cups or 225g of self-raising flour (if you use plain flour add 1½ tsp of baking powder to the flour and stir thoroughly)

3 tsps of vanilla extract

3 pinches of salt

1½ tsp of ground cinnamon

Ingredients for the filling

5 tablespoons of either jam, peanut butter or fresh cream

Ingredients for topping

125g Bar of chocolate (I use 70% dark chocolate for a good rich flavour)


Preheat oven to 170 Celcius or 338 Fahrenheit

  1. Peel bananas and mash with a fork in a large bowl. Chop the dates with a pair of scissors into small pieces straight into the mashed bananas. Add the oil and stir. Whisk eggs separately and add to the mix. Add sugar and 3 pinches of salt. Add vanilla and cinnamon and stir into mix with a wooden spoon.

  2. Mix flour and chocolate powder together. Sieve into the banana mixture, dispose of any lumps left in the sieve. Stir slowly into the banana mix until there is no trace of the white flour.

  3. Line a dish or cake mold with non-stick baking paper that has been smeared with oil. This will to stop the cake sticking to the paper. Pour mixture into the mold or dish.

  4. Place in the middle of the oven. Cook for 45 mins or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 mins.

  5. Turn out onto a cake rack and leave to cool.

  6. Slice the cake in two lengthwise and see cooks tips (number 1) below. If you are happy with the taste and texture, layer jam, cream or peanut butter on both sides.

For the Topping

  1. Melt the chocolate in a ceramic bowl or glass jug placed inside a pan of boiling water. Use a heat proof glove to remove the jug and pour melted chocolate over the cake.

  2. Chill in fridge for an hour.

  3. Serve alone or with ice-cream, cream or custard. Or simply sprinkle with grated chocolate and or icing sugar, or finely chopped nuts and dates.

Cooks Tips:

  1. If the cake tastes too dry, after cutting the cake in two, place on a wire rack and drizzle fruit juice or a cream-based liqueur over both sides. Leave for an hour, or overnight in the fridge, the cake wrapped in greaseproof paper.

  2. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

  3. At stage 3 above, instead of making one large cake, I often put the mixture in cookie tins and make individual cakes instead.

  4. January 27th is National Chocolate Cake Day


5 Reasons I Hate Butter

  1. Butter is cholesterol on a plate. It’s high in calories and saturated fat, and can lead to clogged arteries and heart disease.

  2. Butter causes animal suffering. Factory-farmed cows have been found to have swollen udders, gangrenous teats, infected hooves, and oozing sores.

  3. A 5-week study in 47 people found that even moderate butter intake increased heart disease risk factors, including total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, compared to olive oil.

  4. A study looked at the diets of 6,000 women and found that the saturated fat in butter can slow down cognitive function.

  5. Consuming butter can increase the risk of ovarian cancer in women.

5 Reasons To Love Olive Oil

  1. Olive Oil is one of the healthiest fats on the planet. The mono-unsaturated fat in Olive Oil has been shown to control LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. It will keep your heart healthy.

  2. Olive oils are packed with antioxidants. They help reduce damage from free radicals and lower the risk of inflammatory conditions and diseases.

  3. Extra virgin olive oils are produced without heat or chemicals and retain the most antioxidants. Olive oil has antioxidants in varying amounts depending on how much virgin olive oil has been added to the refined olive oil.

  4. Olive oil’s heat stability is so good that you can re-use it a few times. An ideal cooking/pan frying temperature is about 350⁰ Fahrenheit. The smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is between 350⁰ F and 410⁰ F. Best practice is to filter the oil after each use. I use coffee filter paper, but a good sieve should do the job.

  5. The texture of cakes cooked with oil is superior to cakes made with butter. They stay moist and tender for longer.

5 Reasons To Love Bananas

1. Bananas are helpful in moderating blood sugar levels due to their pectin and resistant starch content.

2. They are beneficial for digestive health, due to the amount of fibre they contain.

3. Bananas help in weight loss diets. An average medium size banana has between 89-100 calories. One banana can make you feel full due to the high fibre content.

4. Bananas contain potassium and magnesium, both beneficial in heart and nerve help.

5. All fresh fruits and vegetables contain dietary antioxidants. Bananas also contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron and vitamin A. They help reduce damage from free radicals and lower the risk of inflammatory conditions and diseases.

5 Reasons To Love Dates

  1. Surprisingly dates contain nicotine and consuming dates regularly can improve the friendly bacteria in the intestines while inhibiting the pathological organisms.

  2. The fibre content in dates, combined with amino acids can help aid better digestion and absorption by the body.

  3. Keep your bones healthy. This fruit is rich in manganese, magnesium, selenium and copper. You need all of them to keep your bones healthy and help prevent bone-related problems.

  4. Dates are cholesterol free.

  5. Eating dates reduces your stroke risk because they contain magnesium. 100 milligrams of magnesium reduce your risk by 10 percent.

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