Another chocolate recipe for my quest to use chocolate more often in my baking, starting last week with my homemade chocolate syrup and continuing with chocolate and banana loaf. The absolute thing I love about this cake is the fact no one could tell it had banana in it. Now let me explain, I bake with banana’s a lot. At least once a week, they are my favourite fruit and I always have huge bunches in the house and I like to eat them when they are still a bit green.
The minute they are all yellow I don’t like to eat them as they are, I don’t know why I just don’t. So I blend them or bake with them. I never tire of them but my partner does, he is not the world’s biggest banana cake fan (freak I know!) but unless I want a crane to lift me out of my house I need to bake things he will eat and I can give away to others.
So I decided to be a bit sneaky, I only had a couple of overly ripe banana’s they were almost black and I was never going to eat them and for me they were too far gone for even a smoothie for my liking anyway. So I set out to make a cake that needed bananas but didn’t taste of bananas. As lets face it bananas lend such a natural sweetness to cake and helps keep it moist. And I had my self-imposed chocolate challenge to follow!
So it was going to be a chocolate cake, I had a lovely bar of super dark chocolate in the cupboard and I always have cocoa powder in the house. I came up with the idea that if I used this chocolate which was 85% cocoa it would mask the flavour of almost anything, you don’t need to go that strong any good quality dark chocolate would work well but the 85% cocoa chocolate was really nice.
When I served it to my partner I drizzled my homemade chocolate syrup over it for an extra chocolaty hit. As he sat eating it I held my breath, would he guess there was banana in it? No, he didn’t I let out the breath I was holding. I had managed to disguise the banana successfully.
Now if you do want a stronger banana flavour use another banana, normally in any cake recipe that calls for bananas I add a minimum of 4 small or 3 large overly ripe bananas. You could do this with this recipe it would work wonderfully, this time I was trying to hide the flavour a bit.
All the sneakiness aside this is a wonderfully dark rich chocolate loaf that doesn’t need buttercream to tart it up. The chocolate syrup was more than enough or a little double (heavy) cream drizzled on top would make a perfect dessert or indulgent tea time treat. The bananas help keep it moist and the melted chocolate just tastes divine there really is no other word for it. And it’s simple to make apart from the chocolate that you need to melt. Everything goes into just one bowl, and that equals less dishes to clean!
- 75 grams good quality dark chocolate - I used 85% cocoa, (a scant ½ cup)
- 110 grams unsalted butter - at room temperature, (1 stick)
- 125 grams caster sugar (superfine), (2/3 cup)
- 2 large eggs
- 125 grams self-raising flour, (1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder
- 2 medium ripe bananas - mashed
- Pre heat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4. Grease or line your 1-pound loaf tin and put it to one side.
- Melt the chocolate either in a microwave on half power for 30 seconds at a time or in a double boiler, once melted put aside for the moment to cool slightly.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time mixing in between each addition.
- Add the flour, baking powder and cocoa, melted chocolate and mashed banana.
- And stir gently to bring it all together.
- Pour it into your prepared loaf tin and smooth the top out.
- Place in the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes until its firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in its tin for 10 minutes then transfer it to a cooling rack. Once fully cool, serve.