I hadn't intended to post this today, but as is usually the case with these things, there's a story here. I've lately become quite obsessed with low fat, healthy cakes because mum loves cake but has to watch her cholesterol intake, so every time I see a  healthy or vegan cake recipe, I perk up like a Doberman getting a whiff of burglar.

This time it was banana bread by a bewitching cook named Stella, who has a clutch of alluring but healthy cake recipes in her repertoire (I don't use those two adjectives in the same sentence very often). I wanted to try her vegan, low fat, no cholesterol recipe, in no small part because of the gorgeous photo she'd posted alongside.

I followed the instructions to a "T" and everything was dandy until I realised with a shock that I'd forgotten to top the batter with the broken pecans, chocolate chips and rolled oats I'd set aside in a cup. Ask me why I forgot. I'll tell you. I was watching Point Break; the hormone/focus scrambling effect of a twenty-seven year old Keanu Reeves is not to be trifled with.

Twenty-three minutes into baking, I opened the oven door with trepidation and peeked in. The cake had risen quite high and a pale, thin crust had already formed. I was supposed to have added the topping 10 or 15 minutes into baking. I did my best to salvage the situation but a window once closed, stays closed.

The cake itself was lovely, so fragrant and moist,  but not very pretty thanks to my distracted state. Mum loved it though, telling me, "the best tasting cakes aren't always the prettiest". Each time I sliced off a piece, more topping rolled off the cake. After dinner, hubby wanted something sweet and all we had was vanilla ice cream (soy based - hubby has a problem with lactose). I scooped some out and spied the saucer of cake topping at the same moment that I remembered a jar of leftover sticky toffee pudding sauce made last week.

Two minutes later, hubby was tucking happily into his serendipitous sundae. When he was done, he asked for another. I had one too; someone really should come up with Banana Bread and Sticky Toffee Pudding Fall Out ice cream. Haagen Dazs - you listening?

Prep Half a day      Cook 50 mins      Serves  any number


Ingredients for Stella's banana bread (see link above)
1 Keanu Reeves movie DVD (or substitute with Hugh Jackman, Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp or whomever you prefer)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 - 3 scoops vanilla ice cream per person
As much leftover sticky toffee pudding sauce as you like/have (or substitute with commercial toffee or butterscotch sauce)


Make banana bread according to Stella's recipe. When done, put batter filled tin into oven.

Go put on movie with hunky male lead in tight wetsuit (or whatever you've chosen) and watch, preferably in bed, with a glass of wine in hand. After 25 minutes, jump up, startled, spilling wine over freshly changed sheets.

Run to kitchen, heart aflutter, and open oven door. Despair at half baked, rapidly crusting cake and scatter topping all over cake, in a frenzy, while swearing lustily (make sure no minors are within earshot).

Wait for topping to roll around before settling resignedly at sides of tin. Rearrange topping and drizzle with maple syrup and melted butter. Heave a sigh, chastise self and return tin to oven. Go back to room and continue watching movie for another 20 - 25 minutes, while scrubbing ferociously at wine stain.

Remove cake from oven and wait 5 minutes, hoping for topping to set into sticky glaze. Turn cake over onto rack and shower counter with hot, sticky praline. Cuss under breath as minor walks in, looking for banana bread. Scoop topping into saucer, all the while giving it the evil eye, and set aside until someone asks for dessert.

Put ice cream into bowl or coupe and drizzle generously with sauce. Top with as much praline topping as you like and tuck in. Lick lips with satisfaction and consider suggesting new flavour to eminent ice cream manufacturer. Return to kitchen to make second sundae.

Sorry Stella - no more eye candy loaded, cult surfing movies when baking, next time ;)