Saturday, March 21, 2009

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake


If you are bored on the weekend and want to save some money and have something yummy in your lunch bag, why don't you make Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake ? A great way to use very ripe bananas, this easy-to-make cake incorporates everything you love about banana bread and adds a few more favorites—chocolate, walnuts, and cinnamon—for good measure. (It's also much more tender, with a light, moist crumb.)

yield: Makes 8 servings

active time: 30 min

total time: 2 1/2 hr

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 2/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4-ounce) bar 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts (3 ounces), toasted , cooled, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch square cake pan.

Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt.

Beat together softened 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. Beat in bananas, yogurt, and vanilla (mixture will look curdled).

With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.

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.

Cooks' note: Cake can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

The recipe for Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake comes from Gourmet magazine, February 2008, and is posted on Epicurious.


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