Fancy-pants & fair trade banana mini cakes
As an exception, you can also read this blog post in Dutch!
After a very busy, but fun week (a visit to the zoo with my nieces, doing some shopping with mum and sis, a fall picnic shoot) I finally made the time to do some baking. What you see here is basically a regular banana bread wearing her (yes it's a she) Sunday best. That means you have two options. Either you pour the bather in a normal loaf tin, or if you feel like it, go all out and follow the instructions found at the bottom of this blog post. Life is so simple, isn't it!
But this is more than a blog post with the best banana bread recipe ever. See, from tomorrow on it is fair trade week here in The Netherlands. The folks over at Max Havelaar, the Dutch fair trade organizations asked me to pay a little attention to fair trade on my blog and I am happy to do so. When I do grocery shopping I want my food to be fresh, local, and honest. Why is the latter so important?
Well it's not that hard to figure out. When you are doing your job, you want to get a decent pay right? So do those hard-working people on the other side of the world who pluck tea, grow cacao or coffee trees or make sure you can have a banana every day of the week.
I feel good when I buy fair trade certified products, knowing that farmers or organizations in far away countries get a fair pay, knowing that my food isn't grown by children who should be at school, and that they live a reasonably good life compared to the people who work at a non-fair trade certified organization or aren't affiliated with a fair trade cooperation.
Next week I will tell a little bit more about fair trade. For those of you who are interested, I wrote about the topic in my Sri Lankan travel adventures.
In today's recipe I included two products which are easily available fair trade. Bananas from Colombia, and coconut milk from Sri Lanka (+ Brazilian oranges, if you swap the grapefruit). Did you know bananas are the most traded fruit in the world? I don't know what I would do without them. What is your favorite fair trade product and why? Let me know in the comments!
Mini layered banana cakes w/ grapefruit & goat cheese buttercream
(makes 2 layered cakes)
For the cake
1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (or butter)
1/2 cup coconut milk (or buttermilk)
1 tbsp maple syrup
For the buttercream
2 tbsp fresh goat cheese (room temperature)
4 tbsp cream cheese (room temperature)
1 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1 cup confectioner's sugar
grapefruit, zest + 1 tsp juice
For the Swiss meringue
2 egg whites
50 ml honey
a pinch of salt
How to make it:
1. Start with the cake. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F. Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and stir.
2. Add the wet ingredients: the bananas, egg, coconut oil and milk, and the maple syrup. Mix with a whisk until you have a smooth batter.
3. Grease your tin(s). Pour the batter into either the tiny tins or a regular loaf tin. Fill until 3/4. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes (or 65 minutes when making one loaf) until golden or when a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool when done.
4. While your cakes are cooling, prepare the buttercream. With a hand mix cream the ingredients together, except for the sugar, juice and zest. When smooth, slowly add the confectioner's sugar.
5. Add the zest and juice and briefly mix again. Set aside.
6. Make the Swiss meringue. Put a double boiler on medium to low heat and whisk the egg whites, salt and honey. Keep stirring until the mixture reaches a temperature of 71C/160F.
7. Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer (or mix with a hand mixer), beat on medium high speed until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks. This can take up to 10-12 minutes.
8. Assemble the cake. Spread the buttercream between the layers, make a crumb coat with the meringue. Cover the top with another thin layer of buttercream. Add some fresh grapefruit zest and some slices of banana. Enjoy!