Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Resolve To Eat Chocolate

It's tough recovering from the holidays. My husband had almost two weeks off and we filled it with a lot of nothing. The good kind of nothing - sleeping in, staying home, scrounging meals from leftovers, and wrapping up in blankets on the couch to watch TV or read books. For my kids the holidays were all about wearing pajamas all day, no school, and eating stuff like candy canes and gingerbread men.

Now we're back to reality with stuff like getting up on time, work, school, and genuine menu planning. I get all inspired for healthy living in my post-holiday menu planning and grocery shopping. I load up the cart with fresh produce and when I get it home I get to watch it go bad as my children desperately search between the couch cushions for one last nugget of Christmas stocking candy.

Of course with bananas it's easy to rescue them from the compost pile. There are tons of banana bread recipes, but I wanted something a little more special, something a little more alluring. OK, I'll admit it, I'm going through chocolate withdrawal, too, and I wanted something a little more chocolate.

I turned to a new cookbook that a baking buddy had given me, Baking Kids Love. It's the latest from Sur La Table, and it's terrific. It's packed with kid-friendly recipes, and the directions are so easy and clear that even I can follow them. The recipe for Gone Bananas Chocolate Chip Cake sounded like the perfect way to indulge my chocolate craving and pretend that it's healthy. Bananas = healthy, right?

Gone Bananas Chocolate Chip Cake
- adapted from Baking Kids Love

3 large, very ripe bananas
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1- Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F with a rack in the center of the oven. Lightly butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

2- Peel the bananas and mush them in a medium bowl with a fork or potato masher. It's OK to leave a few small lumps. This should yield about 1-1/2 cups banana pulp.

3-In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

4- Add the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla to the banana mush and whisk to blend well. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the banana mixture into the well. Whisk until the batter is smooth and you don't see any more patches of flour. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.

5- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, until deep golden brown, firm to the touch in the center, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake cool completely.

6- When the cake is cool, remove it from the pan onto a serving plate.

7- Put the chopped chocolate into a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream until it just begins to boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes, then gently whisk until it's blended and smooth. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken, until the icing runs off the tip of a teaspoon like warm honey.

8- Using the teaspoon, spoon the icing evenly over the top, letting some of it drip down the sides. Let the icing set for 20 minutes, then slice the cake with a serrated knife.


Maria said...

I think I need some chocolate now! Love the photos!

CookiePie said...

That looks delicious! Happy New Year!

Melinda said...

Chocolate banana bread sounds like health food to me. I'll have two slices with a glass of carrot juice!

Don't you just hate being the grown up sometimes?

Marysol said...

I thought I was the only one who looked forward to "the day after."

Vegetating for a few days is a non-activity I look forward to, after the holidays.

Lynn, your banana/chocolate bread looks delicious, and the chocolate being drizzled over it made me very happy!

Pam said...

Eating more chocolate - now that is a resolution that I can keep!

Barbara said...

I'm all for your resolution as long as you keep coming up with yummy things like this! Wow. Chocolate and bananas! Haven't mixed those two since Disney World and as I remember, they were frozen.
I'm going to like your recipe!

Katrina said...

I'm so right there with you on that resolution! And I LOVE banana everything. Printing this one out for sure!

Anonymous said...

This bread looks so tastey, especially with the nice chocolate glaze/drizzle. Perfect to fill the sweet tooth.

Peabody said...

So nice of your baking buddy to get you that. ;)

I am all for a vacation of nothing, though like you said, those are hard to come back from.

The banana bread looks like a keeper.

tracieMoo said...

Gosh.. it's making me drool.. Love bananas and chocolate. they are just meant for each other!

Aimée said...

Love the sound of that cookbook, Lynn, I could always use some inspiration when baking with the little ones.

grace said...

chocolate waterfall food porn! well, i personally love the idea of contaminating a perfectly decent banana bread with lots and lots of chocolate. excellent.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

So rich and decadent! My son would absolutely love it.

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Wow I can practically smell that cake!!

Dolce said...

Happy New Year! Well... your resolution is one that I will surely keep this year !

The Cooking Ninja said...

Happy New Year, Lynn!

Your banana chocolate cake looks fantastic especially the chocolate dripping all over it. Yummy!

Getting back to routine after a long holiday break is hard for everyone. But I'm glad it is over after all the rich food that I have eaten over 2 weeks. Now I can eat normally and healthily.

june2 said...

Wow, I thought I'd seen EVERY variation on banana bread out there after reading an embarrassingly long food blog list for the last 5
years, but this! Well. Could anything possibly be better than this? Because this looks silly good.

LyB said...

Routine is hard! I'm having such a hard time getting back into the swing of things. I just took down my Christmas tree yesterday! So, I resolve to eat chocolate too. Can I come over to your house and bake with you? ;)

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

This is so refreshing to hear, after all the weight loss resolutions :D :D LOVE. IT. The loaf looks absolutely delicious, love the pouring shot!