Banana Dark Chocolate Chip Bread/Cake

It's almost healthy!

First and foremost- HAPPY NEW YEAR! Today is an exciting day; as I type this post, Nicholas is on his way back from the airport! Tomorrow I finally get to see him again, which means a lot more cuddles and a lot less baking.

Chocolate is my favorite, but sometimes I just feel SO guilty indulging. When these feelings arise, I start eating dark chocolate (it has a bunch of health benefits, ya know…). And when I REALLY feel guilty, I try to bake with fruit.

I dont know what to call this recipe…is it a bread? is it a cake? Lets not focus on semantics, lets just call this DELICIOUS. The texture is spectacular, the taste phenomenal. The mixture of banana and dark chocolate is like a love affair in your mouth. Oh, and did I mention it is super simple to make? It’s a unique treat to make and will only break your New Year’s Resolution a little :P.

This recipe is from Things For Boys. It makes one standard loaf, or two smaller aluminum foil loafs.

Ingredients:

2 cups AP Flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

7 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas

1 heaping cup dark chocolate chips

An additional 1/8 cup sugar for sprinkling

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease your loaf pan.
  2. Mash the bananas, I used a regular ol’ potato masher.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix in 3/4 cup sugar. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, melted butter, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with 1/8 cup sugar and bake for 50 minutes- 1 hour. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Sour Outlook and Sour Cream Cake

Today is a bittersweet day.  Tomorrow Nicholas and his family will be leaving to go to Italy for ten days. I am SO excited for him; after taking Italian last semester, I have learned about the beauty of the country and I think it is so great that he will be able to experience it firsthand. At the same time, Nicholas and I have never gone a day without speaking to each other, none-the-less TEN days of no texting, IMing, or skyping.

I have grown extremely close not only to Nicholas, but to his family. I had spent three of the past days with him and his relatives, watching their old home videos and laughing at memories. There is one member of the family that I have grown especially close to, however; his name is Buddy and he is a Cockapoo. They don’t offer dog tours in Italy, so Buddy will be spending the next two weeks with my family and puppies! He is my silver lining :).

Buddy is a sucker for the camera!

While I was visiting, Nick’s grandmother came over and brought a DELICIOUS dessert that I had never tried before. The treat was Sour Cream Cake: a moist, flavor-filled loaf cake that contained not only chocolate but also Walnuts. Don’t let the name scare you away: you DO NOT  taste the sour cream, it simply makes the cake moist and soft. After eating a few slices, and complimenting her creation multiple times, Nick’s grandma gave me her recipe! This recipe makes three loaves; a great baked good to give to family and friends around the holiday season!

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

1 cup  mini chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts

4 eggs

1 16 oz container of sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla (the original recipe called for 2 tsp but I LOVE vanilla!)

3 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

FOR THE TOPPING:

an additional 1/2 cup walnuts

an additional 1 cup mini chocolate chips

2 tsp cinnamon

4 tsp sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease three loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together until well blended.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring between each until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the entire package of sour cream and the vanilla, mixing in completely.
  5. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
  7. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Pour the mixture evenly into the three pans, about half full.
  8. In a tiny bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Sprinkle evenly over the three loaves. Sprinkle the additional walnuts and mini chocolate chips evenly. Put into the oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until browned and toothpick comes out clean.