banana chocolate cake

Chocolate-Banana-Applesauce Cake

fullsizeoutput_97d5.jpeg

When I was a kid my mother sometimes made macaroni-and-cheese using somewhat older, hard-around-the-edges American cheese that didn’t look fit to eat. I thought it was appalling.

But she told me that these cheese wasn’t spoiled, just hard because maybe it wasn’t wrapped quite so well, and that in any event she would never make any dish for us using an ingredient that could be harmful.

Of course.

And also, why waste perfectly good cheese that’s going to melt anyway. So if it isn’t perfect to eat cold, as is, it is perfectly fine for macaroni and cheese.

And it was. She made delicious macaroni and cheese.

My children are appalled if I use an ingredient that’s past its sell-by/expiration date. I feel the same way my mother did. I would never use an ingredient that is spoiled or harmful. But some of those expiration dates are meant more as a “use them soon because the flavor or texture won’t be perfect” than “do not eat this EVER!”

So recently, I noticed that in addition to some fresh bananas turned black-spotty, my snack packages of applesauce were a month beyond their expiration date. Rather than give the applesauce to my grandkids and have my daughters feel appalled, I used it in chocolate cake, in the place of eggs.

Not only was I able to use up a perfectly good ingredient, the cake was delicious and also a good vegan choice.

So there.

Chocolate-Banana-Applesauce Cake

  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate

  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 medium ripe bananas

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup applesauce

  • 1/3 cup apple juice (or orange juice)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8”x8” cake pan. Melt the chocolate and set it aside to cool. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set the flour mixture aside. Mash the bananas and place them in the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a hand mixer and bowl). Add the sugar and mix at medium speed for a minute, or until well blended. Add the applesauce, juice, vanilla extract and melted chocolate and beat for 1-2 minutes, or until thoroughly blended. Add the flour mixture and beat for 1-2 minutes, or until throughly blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 9 servings

Banana Chocolate Cake

My grandson wanted to bake a cake with me. I think he actually liked the licking-out-the-bowl part the best and I actually was most thrilled that he came up with the idea about combining banana bread and chocolate cake.

I looked through my recipes for endless variations of banana bread. And chocolate cake. I fooled around with them, combining this and that from several of the recipes and came up with the one here. It's dairy-free, so his sister, my 3-1/2 year-old grand daughter, could eat some too. And we added some chocolate chips, just for good measure.

He did like the licking-out-the-bowl thing.

He also told me the cake was too dry. But I think that was because the temperature indicator on my oven has been cleaned so often for so many years that the numbers have disappeared and I can only estimate the proper cooking temperature. I do have an oven thermometer but that also needs "updating." so I don't know if the cake baked at exactly the right temperature.

Also, I forgot to set the timer.

Anyway, everyone else declared the cake delicious. Even my grandson said it was and would want it again when I finally decide what oven I want to get to replace the old one.

So here it is, the creation.

Banana Cocoa Chocolate Chip Cake

  • 1-3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch (8-cup) bundt pan. Mix the flour, cocoa, salt, cinnamon and baking soda together in a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the shortening and sugar at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until well blended. Add the bananas and blend them in thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and blend them in thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and beat until batter is well blended. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a cake rack to cool completely.

Makes 16-18 servings

 

 

Banana-Chocolate Cake with Dried Cranberries

Banana Chocolate Cake with Dried Cranberries

Today is last time our local Hadassah chapter will be hosting a Tea for cancer patients and caregivers at Stamford Hospital. The women have been baking and serving hot tea and pastries for 5 years now — in fact today is our 5th Anniversary — to great festivity and much success. The patients, who have been undergoing chemo and other treatments have looked forward to our bi-weekly party. Their caregivers have also enjoyed the respite that this little get-together brings.

Unfortunately we have to stop. Fortunately, it is for a good reason. Stamford Hospital is in a building boom, growing into a modern, state-of-the-art facility. Construction is going on everywhere and there is simply too much confusion already for so many people to be bringing in tables and teapots and cakes and cookies.

We will be back. Afternoon Tea has meant too much to too many people over the last five years for us to give it up.

So, everyone, we’ll see you later, for sure.

This is the last cake for awhile.                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Banana-Chocolate Cake with Dried Cranberries

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup sour cream, plain yogurt or kefir
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a (10-inch) 8-cup bundt pan. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the sugar and eggs for 2-3 minutes or until well blended. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla extract and beat for one minute or until thoroughly blended. Add the bananas and sour cream and beat them in. Add the flour mixture and beat until the batter is well blended. Fold in the cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 50-55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a cake rack to cool completely.

Makes one cake, serving 12-16