Aug 242013

Paleo Banana Peanut Butter and Chocolate Torte CakeFor all you lucky people of the world who don’t have to contend with food sensitivities and can pretty much eat whatever you like whenever the mood strikes you, please understand that those of us who can’t tolerate gluten, dairy, soy, etc. have different expectations when it comes to baked goods.

We’ve accepted that substituting or excluding key ingredients will alter the taste, texture, and overall outcome. So we make allowances for that, and for the most part learn to be satisfied if what we make bears even a slight resemblance to the real thing conventional recipe.

I remember a few months ago everyone on Facebook was sharing a paleo-friendly recipe for pancakes, consisting of ripe bananas, eggs, and sometimes a nut butter. You whisk it all together and then cook it like you would pancake batter, and it works! Except, it tastes a bit too much like an eggy banana bread, and it’s moist and heavy to the point of nearly being soggy. So my kids weren’t fooled, even with ample amounts of maple syrup. But to me, they were close enough.

One of my favorite gluten-free recipes is the one from Whole Foods for peanut butter cookies. Only I use maple syrup and/or honey instead of the sugar, so they usually bake softer and more cake-like instead of crumbly like cookies. The last time I made this recipe, I spread the dough out on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper, and baked it as a very thin cake layer. When it was cool, I cut it into squares, and we ate them like bar cookies.

Today I had 3 overripe bananas on my counter, a can of refrigerated coconut milk that needed to be used soon, half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and an urge to make something experimental. Which made me wonder what would happen if I combined the peanut butter cookie recipe as I made it with the paleo pancakes. So that’s what I did, only I didn’t think to take photos of the step-by-step.

Oh, and I have tried multiple times to use my recipe plugin, but it doesn’t seem to want to work, and I can’t figure out why, which sucks. I will try again later, but in the meantime I want to get this post done, so…

Gluten-Free Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Torte

Paleo Torte CakeA thin grain and gluten-free banana bread/peanut butter cake layered with dairy-free chocolate filling.

For the cake:
3 eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 cup peanut butter (all-natural creamy)
1/2 cup maple syrup

For the filling:
half a bag of chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon peanut butter (more/less to taste)
1 can of coconut milk, chilled overnight in the refrigerator

Whisk together the eggs, bananas, maple syrup, and peanut butter. Pour into a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until done. Allow to cool completely.

Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter. Scoop out the thick “cream” that separated from the coconut milk and add to chocolate, whisking well.

Spread chocolate over cake layer and chill to set up. Cut cake in half lengthwise and stack the layers. Repeat.

The cake will go very moist–almost soggy–in a few hours. This is great if you like a bread-and-butter pudding type of texture. Otherwise, wait until just before serving to assemble. Either way, it’s still yummy.

I’m curious to know if separating the eggs, beating the whites until stiff, and then folding them into the batter would help lighten the cake and make it rise more while baking. I may have to try it, and if I do I’ll let you know. Also, I used 3 bananas because that’s what I had, and the original pancake recipe called for 3 eggs and 3 bananas, but I’m wondering if only using 2 bananas would work better. Or maybe using less peanut butter is the way to go. Again, a few things to consider if you’d like to tweak this recipe. Please share your results if you do.

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