against the grain.

i am a firm believer that chocolate does not have to be involved in everything.
that one can get by without it. you can curb a sweet-tooth without it.
that given the right ingredients, everything can be lovely and wonderful. it does not always have to include chocolate.
especially in banana bread.
if you have beautifully dark over ripe bananas, the elixir which they contain should be enough.
i have stated this over and over and over. things have enough sugar already and we should appreciate them for it.

then you encounter the rainy day.
that day where darkness hang over and the thoughts of being cozy enter your mind and then that little pest - chocolate - creeps in there too.
a day where you would like nothing more than to curl up with a mug of something hot and a warm hearty baked good.
a day where banana snack cake with a hint of chocolate peeking through hits the spot.
it's the day where i eat my words....for just this one moment.

now this is not an everyday cake. it's not meant to replace our favorite around here. it's meant to be brought out on only very special occasion.
like a rainy day.
today is such a day.

banana snack cake.
it's moments like these where i wish my kids were nut people - biting into a shard of a toasted pecan would be a welcomed surprise - a pleasant little crunch. and if you have some laying around, a dollop of softly whip cream on top wouldn't be the worst either.

preheat your oven to 350. spray a 8x8 pan with cooking spray. set aside.

if you want to add toasted pecans now is the time to toast them. you will add 1/2 a cup plus 3 tablespoons of pecan halves or broken chunks to a pie plate. put in the oven for 5 minutes. toss and check. if not browned enough, put back in for one minute increments till you are sastified - DO NOT LEAVE YOUR OVEN! you will forget about them and have to start over only to find out that was all you have. not that i am speaking from experience or anything....
once they are toasted, let cool and chop into smaller pieces - split into two bowls - 1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons.

add 2 eggs to your stand mixer or bowl and blend slightly. add 3 bananas or one cup of mush to eggs and blend slightly. add a 1/4 cup of canola oil and blend slightly. {are you following the trend here?} add 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract. blend. add in 1/2 a cup of white sugar and half a cup of brown. blend. now add in 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup all purpose flour - unbleached!!! - 1 tsp of baking soda and 1/2 a tsp salt. gently blend this in. add one cup of chocolate chips or chunks and your optional 1/2 cup of toasted pecans. once all incorporated scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and give it a couple turns by hand just to make sure you get all the bits in there. pour into your prepared pan,  sprinkle the top with the reserved 3 tablespoons of toasted pecans and bake for 55 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, remove from pan and serve either slightly warm or room temp.

will keep for 3 days in an airtight container but we all know it won't survive the night.

No comments: