A crunchy mix of toasted walnuts and chocolate combine with melted butter, sugar and cinnamon, to make a luscious topping and interior layer in this classy banana cake.
As it baked, the house filled with banana perfume. It came out beautifully browned and we could hardly wait for it to cool.
We ate half of it (over three days) as a breakfast treat. The other half was downed as a dessert, accompanied with ice cream one night, and whipped cream the next.
Cooled and tucked into a large zipper-style bag, it stayed fresh and delicious for three days, but I must admit, not much was left on the third day – one small cube and a few crumbs, plus odds and ends of chocolate chips.
The original recipe called for a chopped 3/12- to 4-ounce bittersweet chocolate bar. My pantry is overloaded with semisweet chocolate chips, so I substituted them.
Banana Nut Chocolate Cake
Yield: 8 servings
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 use
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
2/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek style)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts pieces (3 ounces), toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch square cake pan.
2. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In separate large bowl of electric mixer beat together softened butter (1 stick) and 3/4 cup sugar 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).
4. With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
5. 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 (I found it easiest to spread by dropping large spoonfuls of batter in a single layer and then smoothing with spatula) and sprinkle remaining chocolate mixture on top.
6. 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. It is easier to cut if you turn it out of the pan after cooling for 30 minutes – the choice is yours. After it cools, invert on cooling rack – it may take a gentle tap to make it release. Then, immediately invert onto second cooling rack to cool thoroughly – right side up. Cake can be made 2 to 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Source: adapted from epicurious.com