Not too many years ago I was baking regularly and going through a staggering amount of sugar. Rather than beat myself up about that I choose to see that just by making it myself I was avoiding all the artificial additives you find in processed versions of desserts.
After quitting sugar and when food intolerances became an issue for the boys and me, I was worried I wouldn't be able to bake anymore, or at least not anything that other people would enjoy. While I've had quite a few flops I am now at a point where I can quite easily convert a recipe to be free of wheat or gluten, dairy and refined sugar without any drama.
And the results can be spectacular!
You know how you always have a soft spot for the sweets from your childhood? For me it's custard - think vanilla slice, custard tart or just plain custard with sliced bananas. So with that in mind I decided to create my own version - something that would be free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar, something that would be sweet and luscious and feel a bit special.
I had the opportunity to bake it when we had family over for morning tea during the school holidays and I had some time to play in the kitchen. I find a slice is always a crowd-pleaser and it's certainly easy to do a big tray of something and slice it up to feed everyone.
We all LOVED this slice. Perfect for morning or afternoon tea, but special enough for dessert.
Wholefood Banana Custard Slice (Gluten and Dairy Free)
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tbs coconut sugar
150g melted butter
400ml coconut cream
300ml rice milk
4 egg yolks
2 tbs arrowroot flour
125g rice malt syrup
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (save the bean for something else)
2 tbs gelatine (I use Great Lakes - the red one)
3 bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, juiced
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a 20 x 30 cm slice tray with baking paper and set aside.
To make the base, mix all ingredients together (TMX - 6 secs / SP 4), then tip into the prepared tin and press in firmly with your hands or the back of a large spoon.
Bake for 15-20 minutes - when done it will be evenly golden brown and still a little soft, it will firm up as it cools.
Remove from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack to cool completely.
While the base is cooking, start to prepare the custard.
If you're using the Thermomix, place all custard ingredients into the bowl and cook for 9 minutes / 90 degrees / SP 4.
No thermomix? Place the coconut cream, milk and vanilla into a medium pan over medium heat until it starts to steam. Meanwhile, use a whisk to beat together the egg yolks, arrowroot and syrup until smooth. When the milk is steaming pour it over the egg mixture and whisk together. Place a few tablespoons of the mixture into a small bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine and stir to dissolve. Pour all the custard mixture back into the pan, add the gelatine mixture and cook over low heat until it starts to thicken, stirring constantly with a large spoon or spatula. This could take 20 minutes so be patient!
Leave the custard to cool for 10 minutes before pouring over the cooked base, then place in the fridge to chill until set (at least 4-6 hours or overnight).
Just before serving, slice the bananas into thin rounds and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the lemon juice and toss gently to combine, making sure all the banana gets the juice. The lemon stops the banana going brown but also adds a lovely flavour.
Using the baking paper on each side as a handle, carefully lift the slice out of the tin and place onto a serving board. Gently slide the paper off and discard.
Layer on the banana pieces and dust the top generously with nutmeg.
Cut into 12-16 pieces and enjoy!
What was your favourite childhood sweet treat?