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.