Thursday, September 30, 2010

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake

It has been an unusually busy week (and it isn't over yet), so most of my cooking at home has been just enough to put something nourishing on the table.  Unfortunately there hasn't been enough time to blog about any of it. Instead, I thought I would end September with something short and sweet by sharing a recipe from an old issue of Gourmet—my favorite banana cake.

I mentioned once that in my house we almost never have more than one banana reach a state of ripeness appropriate for baked goods. This means that if I want a banana cake or a batch of banana bread I have to plan a few days ahead so I can purchase the necessary bananas and then allow them to ripen. But for some reason a week or two ago, three bananas hung around long enough to become well-speckled. Suddenly, there they were. I seized the moment and made this cake.  I'm so glad that I did, because now, even during a very busy week, I have something in my freezer to help start my day on a happy note. 

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake

2 1/4 (9 oz.) cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar, divided
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 medium)--see note
2/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (4-oz)
1 cup walnuts (3 oz), toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch square cake pan; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.  Cream the butter (1 stick) and 3/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in eggs 1 at a time until blended. Combine the bananas, yogurt, and vanilla and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Toss together chocolate, nuts, cinnamon, melted butter, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Spread half of banana batter in cake pan and sprinkle with half of chocolate mixture.

Spread remaining batter evenly over filling and sprinkle remaining chocolate mixture on top.  

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely, right side up.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine February 2008

Note:  Do not bother making this cake unless you have very ripe bananas...the skins should be well-spotted and the flesh very soft.  If the bananas are just a bit over-ripe the cake will not seem very sweet and will also have a slightly tough texture. 

Printable Version


Katrina said...

You KNOW I'll have to make this! Looks delicious.

Unknown said...

I just made this last week!! It was fantastic :)
Posted here -

Daphne said...

I have some very ripe bananas waiting for me today. This will be a wonderful dessert for Dan.