Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Maybe we can sleep in, I'll make you banana pancakes, pretend like it's the weekend now...

OK the title is deceiving (no pancakes today,) but the comfort is still there...

YUM! Perfect with a glass of milk!

I woke up early this morning and it was overcast and cool, not the sight I’m used to when day after day since the start of summer it’s been in the nineties starting at nine a.m. I enjoyed the change, instead of feeling like I was bogged down by the heat I felt energized to finish my never ending to do list. However, at the same time I just wanted to curl up with my exciting chem book and a cup of tea and relax on my window seat having Jack Johnson play in the background (Aaaw...)

Summer classes are coming to a close, and the stress of coming out strong on my finals is starting to grow. I don’t know what it is, but when I’m stressed I always resort to the kitchen for comfort, it's a huge reliever of tension, especially baking. Perfect timing, since the bananas I had bought a few days ago were now tar black thanks to the heat, (nice appetizing image, i know.) As you could guess I had the idea to make banana bread, hence the only reason you intentionally keep bananas that long.

The only time I buy bananas is when I have the urge to make banana bread, because any other forms of bananas are not personally enjoyable. This distaste went as far as telling people I was allergic to bananas as a child, so I wouldn’t have to encounter the odd fruit. I was not a picky kid when it came to fruits and vegetables, but somehow the smell and taste that tickled my throat as I tried it, was not pleasing. I never thought I would acceptingly come across any form of banana unless it was against my free will, (to me that would be a horrible torture,) until I tried a piece at a local coffee shop. The combination of the fruit being in an over ripe stage and breaking down during the baking process turned the once unpleasant fruit into a sweet moist ingredient in an almost-pound cake-like dessert.

Most recipes I’ve read have the basic ingredients of flour, sugar, vanilla, butter and the star of the show, way too ripe bananas. Now, this is a fine start, and has turned out nice tasting breads, but that’s what they tasted like, dry-crumbly-holds up to it's name sake-bread. The bananas added moisture, but the butter seemed to dry it out (even with the fat content) and turn it into a dense sweet bread with a crisp crust. Finally I found a recipe from MyRecipes that tasted more like a cake, and was packed with moisture, but knowing myself, I always find ways of improving recipes. This recipe was already considered low-fat with 187 calories a slice, but after looking over the recipes I found better ingredients to both replace the existing ones, and add flavor, yet keep the moisture.

For the reason that this cake really is a cake and over exceeds the expectations of bread, the name has been changed accordingly.

Gooey Indulge-Away Banana Cake
Adapted from

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup clover honey
4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2 egg whites
4 large ripened bananas (mashed)
1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup malt sweetened carob chips
Cooking Spray

Yields 1 loaf, 16 servings (1 slice is 140 calories)
Pre-heat oven to 325°F

In medium size bowl, whisk or sift dry ingredients (salt, flours, and baking soda) together.

In separate large bowl, blend together applesauce and sugar. Spray measuring cup with cooking spray and measure honey (for easy removal), add to bowl and continue to blend. Add eggs and whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add yogurt and vanilla. Add bananas and blend until desired texture,(I like to leave the bananas slightly chunky for a bigger flavor.)

Slowly Incorporate dry ingredients into wet batter, after fully mixed fold in carob chips until evenly distributed. Pour batter into 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan that is coated lightly in cooking spray, and bake on the middle rack for 45 minutes. Check after 30 to make sure it is browning evenly. Once a tooth pick comes out clean the cake is done. Cool for 10 minutes, and remove from pan, cool another few minutes and eat, or store wrapped in cling wrap in the refrigerator to hold in the moisture.


Kristen said...

That looks soooooo good :) Moist and delicious.

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