So, I’m continuing to cruise on through Food52’s Genius Recipes. Today’s selection is Chocolate Muscovado Banana Cake from Nigel Slater. Curiously enough, it was in the breakfast section rather than in desserts. After making it, I can understand why. It is very much akin to what I’d consider a banana bread rather than a cake.
Since the purpose of this project is to learn more about cooking and techniques, I’ll tell you what I learned here. This is a good–indeed, very good–banana bread but, in all honesty, I prefer my own Go To recipe. (I’ll post it sometime in the future!) For me, one of the draws of something like banana bread is the mix-it-up-and-go aspect of it. I just can’t stop thinking about it as a quick bread. This recipe was a bit precious for a quick bread heretic like me. It called for me to sift the flour, carefully fold ingredients together, chop chocolate into gravel-sized pieces. As I mentioned above, the result was good but I can’t say that it was better than my own recipe which is much less fussy.
Muscovado, a brown cane sugar with a nice molasses flavor, was tough to find in Topeka. I was always able to pick it up without any problems when I lived in Orlando. My neighborhood Publix carried it so I was a bit surprised that I had to search a bit and then only found it in a health food store. I do think the muscovado was worth searching out. I love darker sugars and molasses flavor. I found it to be a good combination with the banana, giving it a caramelly tone. Dark brown sugar would substitute just fine.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup muscovado sugar
- 3 ripe medium-sized bananas
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3.5 oz dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a standard-sized loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl.
- Peel the bananas and mash them up with a fork or potato masher. Keep them lumpy. Stir the vanilla extract into the bananas.
- Chop the chocolate into pea-sized chunks. (Or just use chocolate chips.)
- Using an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs into the butter and sugar gradually until fully incorporated.
- Fold the chocolate and bananas into the egg/sugar mixture.
- Gently mix the flour and baking powder into the banana batter.
- Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until the cake is browned and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let sit on a rack for 15 minutes. After that, remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on the rack. When the cake has fully cooled, peel off the paper and slice thickly