Guess what? It’s already April 1st in my time zone, which means… April Fools’!! Nobody panic, Sharky Oven Gloves is most certainly not launching into veganism (like I’d ever choose to cut butter and cheese out of my life…). Well, except for today’s post which does actually feature a vegan recipe (shock horror, I know). You see, this is my entry to the March Breakfast Club challenge, and I’m cutting it extremely fine with the deadline since it’s already April for me, but thankfully the timezones are totally playing into my favour with this! The challenge is being hosted by Makey Cakey and she chose the theme “deliciously dairy-free“, which was definitely a real challenge for me. I’m a total dairy fiend, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: one of my greatest fears is to suddenly develop lactose-intolerance. I drink a glass of milk every morning, I eat a heck of a lot of cheese and you are guaranteed to find at least three different types of cream hanging out in my fridge at any given time. So it’s taken me the entire month to actually come up with something to make for the challenge.
Initially on reading the challenge theme, I thought it wouldn’t be too hard, I could just make something that doesn’t involve milk or yoghurt. Or cheese, which I don’t usually have for breakfast anyway. Simple. And then I realised that butter is also dairy product. Oh. That complicates matters somewhat. Which is how I ended up with a vegan recipe for today’s post – I’ll be honest, dairy-free or vegan foods are not usually my top choice when it comes to trying out recipes. And by not usually I mean never.
I didn’t want to mess with the original recipe too much – baking without eggs, butter or milk is something that I never do so it’s difficult to judge the effects of changing the ingredients. I used wholewheat flour instead of normal flour, and added some banana chips and left it at that. After my new-found love of the combination of mango and chocolate, I very nearly threw some chocolate chips in, but then remembered that chocolate isn’t dairy-free. I also very nearly buttered the tin, but luckily realised that that would defeat the entire point of this. I wasn’t terribly convinced by how the recipe was going to turn out. The batter seemed odd to me, but I put it in the oven, crossed my fingers and contemplated drinking a big glass of milk whilst waiting for it to come out… It turned out better than I was expecting – it tastes totally delicious and although it seems a little dry, luckily the mango chunks give the loaf some moistness, which balances it out. As a result of this, I’m now slightly less distressed at the prospect of vegan or dairy-free baking, but my huge fear of suddenly developing lactose-intolerance still stands.
Mango banana bread
Makes 1 loaf
Slightly adapted from Joy the Baker
The batter seemed a bit odd and rather dry as it went into the tin, but it came out well – the mango chunks help to moisten the loaf whilst it bakes. I would perhaps suggest adding an extra half banana for moistness though. The banana chips are totally optional but add a lovely little crunch. This loaf will keep for a few days if wrapped and kept at room temperature.
2 large, very ripe bananas
70ml organic rapeseed oil
80g soft brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g whole wheat flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Handful of banana chips (reserve some for the topping)
Demerara sugar, for topping (optional)
1. Line a 12 x 20 cm loaf tin with baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C.
2. Chop the mango into about 1cm chunks. Set aside.
3. Using a fork, mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the oil, sugar and vanilla extract.
4. Sift the flour, spices, salt and bicarbonate into the wet ingredients. Tip the bran bits of the whole wheat flour in as well. Stir together with a spoon until just combined.
5. Add the chopped mango and crumbled banana chips, and fold in (don’t panic if it seems very dry). Spread the batter evenly in the prepared loaf tin, and sprinkle with the sugar and a few more crumbled banana chips. Bake for 45-50 mins, until lightly brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out just clean. Allow to sit in the tin for 20 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool fully.