Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mexican Chocolate Banana Bread! (VeganMoFo day 8)

Finally finally finally, Monday night I took a crack at Celine's Chocolate Breakfast Cake. Yes, you read right. Chocolate. And cakey. And for breakfast. And healthy. So, yes, it actually is some kind of miracle. Let's cut right to the chase, shall we?

The Recipe (as I made it):
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (Blue Diamond is the absolute best!)
  • 2 tbsp. blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

The Method (undisputed, though of course I'm not this patient with cooling):
  • Preheat oven to 350F, and prepare an 8×8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, sift flours, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk in sugar.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together banana, oil, milk, and molasses.
  • Combine wet and dry preps without overmixing - this happens very quickly. Fold in chocolate chips (chunks).
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Leave in pan for about 30 minutes, then remove cake from pan, place it on a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing. (Yeah I so didn't do it quite like this. I let it in the pan for maybe 15 minutes, and then let it cool until it was only somewhat warm before cutting. And of course I don't have an actual cooling rack; mine just went on a plate.)


So, as far as the two-bowl system... OK, so I'm going to admit that I tasted the "wet" mixture once it was good and emulsified, which happened pretty quickly. And you know what? It tasted fantastic! Substitute the canola oil with, say, flaxseed oil, and cut down its quantity a little, and that would be a pretty great morning shake.


When I pour out this kind of thick batter, it always seems to me like some sort of goo monster reluctantly, thrashingly bending to my will. The chocolate chunks somehow added to the effect for this recipe...

Well. I grant you that mine wasn't quite as healthy as Celine's, as I substituted turbinado sugar in for her sucanant. She tends to be a bit more refined than me, both in ingredients and in method. I also doubled up on the cinnamon, which I didn't think would be very noticeable but was. All in all though, I stuck much closer to this recipe than I do with most, resisting the temptation to add completely unlisted ingredients and suchlike. I've got plans though; in the near future I want to try it again, with even more cinnamon and doubled up banana. Denser, moister, cinnamoner... oh, yes...

The resulting baked good? Well, it's freaking awesome. It's more in the "bread" category than really like a cake. Except for maybe like coffee cake, which is also really more like a sweet bread. But not at all like sweetbreads, which are a different subject entirely. Really I would say that, with the extra cinnamon, it came out like a fabulous mexican chocolate banana bread. And really, what could be wrong with that?


All hail the baked good that is both healthful and good-tasting! This one manages to include whole grain flours of both wheat and brown rice, and contains very little sugar. Chocolate and molasses each have unique nutritional benefits. Yes, this little square of goodness is a winner. I can see it becoming a staple around the house through the fall and winter.

Oh! And just as a side note: I put the pan in the oven to bake and then jumped in the shower (it was already 11pm). When I emerged a short while later, my little apartment smelled beyond amazing. A definite perk of baking at all, but this was exceptional.

Square pans are fun for several reasons, like that you can just flip the product out onto your hand a lot of the time. There's also the fact that your baked good is a square, and symmetry is fun. I like to cut square pan things first in four, and then on the diagonal. This has two main results. One is that each piece has the same amount of "crust". The other is that if you take pieces out in the right order, it ends up looking like a pinwheel. :)


As I discovered Tuesday around 10:30 am - Celine is right, it's even better on the second day!

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