Thursday, January 26, 2006

I Can’t Stop Making Chocolate Cakes!

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It started a few weeks ago when we celebrated the Wee’an’s seventh birthday. I made a two-layer chocolate fudge cake with filling and icing. I used to bake things like that all the time, but somehow they had dropped out of my repertoire for more than ten years. Layer cakes were considered déclassé at my culinary school, but they can be so satisfying. I just love saying the words “chocolate cake,” or “chocolate layer cake,” or “layer cake,” and “chocolate cake” again.

So why have I not been posting more chocolate cake recipes? Well, I have not made up all that many original recipes for chocolate cakes—I am still busy trying existing cakes and making my favorites again and again. This week I found myself with some very interesting dry apple cider made from northern spies gone flat and it seemed like a good jumping-off spot to think about a new kind of chocolate cake, but I used the cider in this soup. Today I made a chocolate cake with one banana, one tangerine, six prunes and a bottle of Guinness (Thanks to Full as a Goog for the idea of adding Guinness to chocolate cake). I had previously been very happy with the banana/tangerine/chocolate combination in Georgetown Banana Cake, reproduced below. I will also post the recipe for the chocolate/prune/Guinness cake if there is a groundswell of support, but while the flavors were perfect, the texture was a bit on the heavy side, and I will need to tinker a bit before it is blogworthy.

Well, I wrote two whole paragraphs without mentioning hominy. I can’t wait anymore! Hominy, hominy, hominy! Tonight I made fritters from leftover hominy grits, into which I mixed some caramelized onions and roasted sunflower seeds. These grits take very kindly to the skillet, and formed a shattering crisp crust around their creamy little centers. You can figure out the recipe right? Just form cooked grits into pancake shapes and fry in hot oil. Seeds and onions optional but very nice.

And here’s the banana cake. I made this up while I was visiting a friend who had some
over-ripe bananas she needed to use up. That’s how I need to reorganize my files: Recipes to use up one over-ripe banana, recipes to use up two over-ripe bananas, and so on. It is a true act of faith to keep buying bananas—the triumph of hope over experience.

Georgetown Banana Cake

1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (one or two shakes)
2 very ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 tangerine
½ cup oil
½ cup sour cream (or yogurt)
chocolate chips (optional)
walnuts or pecans (optional)

preheat oven to 400 degrees
Grease a cake pan or loaf pan with oil or butter and sprinkle with flour.
Set aside.
Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and soda.
Mash the bananas and squeeze in the juice from the tangerine.
Grind up the rind from half the tangerine with oil, add to the banana mash.
Add sour cream and two beaten eggs to the banana mash.
Stir the Banana mix into the flour mix. If desired, add the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. If desired, sprinkle the nuts on top
place in oven. After 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350, and bake until done
(about 20 more minutes)

NOTE: Recipe provided is not for cupcakes pictured above.


Blogger שלום בערגער Zackary Berger said...

But why stop at integer numbers of bananas? I think you should also have "recipes to use up 1.5 bananas," "recipes to use up sqrt(2) bananas," and of course everyone's favorite "recipes to use up pi bananas."

2:13 PM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

zsb is right as usual. The real trick is using up imaginary numbers of bananas.

1:38 AM  

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