Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Banana chocolate chip cake

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I started cooking and collecting recipes in 1988, when I graduated from college and moved to New York. Banana bread is one of the first things I learned to bake. I know this because of the writing on the recipe card in my steel box. The box has a lot of yellowed clippings from The New York Times and some index cards with my handwriting.


I remember the blue Flair felt-tip marker I used to write down this banana bread recipe. The marker lived in a can on my desk in my Upper West Side apartment. I remember looking at this recipe card often in my tiny galley kitchen. What I don't remember is where the recipe came from, and it doesn't say on the card. But it's a great recipe, very flexible and forgiving. Over the years I've made changes that stuck - more banana, butter for margarine, yogurt for lemon juice. Now I use this master recipe as a base for muffins, cakes and sometimes even cookies.

Adding chocolate, by the way, was a change I made only after meeting my husband, a confirmed chocoholic. As far as he's concerned, nothing without chocolate qualifies as dessert. He's a wise, wise man.

Banana chocolate chip cake
  • 4-5 medium bananas
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups flour (a combination of white and whole wheat is fine)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set it aside.

Put the bananas in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and turn it on for about 30 seconds. The paddle will break up the bananas nicely. Stop the mixer and add the butter, yogurt, sugar and eggs; turn it on again and mix until everything is well combined, about 1 minute.

Onto a piece of parchment paper, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold up the sides and, with the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients a little at a time, until they are just incorporated. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl from the machine. With a spatula, mix in the wheat germ and chocolate chips. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (except for the melted chocolate). Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving. No need to unmold the cake - serve it right from the pan.

28 comments:

Maria said...

I wish I could have a piece right now!

Sarah said...

I had a craving for banana chocolate chip muffins the other day and baked a recipe from King Arthur flour which was actually delicious. (I wanted to use whole wheat flour so I could pretend they were highly nutritious!) I will try these, they sound delicious!

Monet said...

Doesn't yogurt do amazing things in banana bread? I started using it a few months ago, and I love the difference. This sounds like a recipe that has long been close to your heart...which means I want to try it in the very near future. Thanks for sharing, Erika. As always, you brighten my day.

Megan said...

Tried and true recipes are the best and this looks perfect. I have to have chocolate with my bananas. :)

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme said...

I have a very old banana bread recipe that uses buttermilk and soda along with the bananas and pecans. I have to say, though, the addition of chocolate chips to the batter - genius! Definitely going to add some next time I bake banana bread.

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Sounds like some great memories with this recipe. Love the addition of the chocolate inspired by your hubs :)

Vishaal @ Manipal Cook said...

That looks absolutely yummy! Congratulations on the blog of note!

Restaurant said...

my favorite cake. Simple and delicious recipe. I will try to bake it.

QueenoftheFall said...

OMG. That sounds so yummy! What could I use ILO the yogurt?

Erika said...

@Queen - you could double the butter instead of the yogurt, if you prefer, and also add 1 Tbsp lemon juice. I use the yogurt as a way to cut down on the fat, but if you'd rather have the butter, go right ahead. You could probably also substitute 1/2 cup applesauce, but then you'd have to take out some of the sugar to keep it from being too sweet.

And if it's an issue with dairy products, try plain soy yogurt. I've found that soy yogurt works just fine for baking.

Hope that helps - try it and let me know what you think!

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

Bananas and chocolate chips...my favorite two food groups. Great looking cake!

It.is.a.junk.mail.box said...

I am so hungry now...

Drake Sigar said...

Just pump it directly into my veins.

Erica said...

That looks so delicious!!

RICHSISTAH said...

Looks goods. First time to your site. Congrats on the Blog of Note. Well deserved.

A Thought For Food said...

I think I can smell that cake. My mom makes the most amazing banana bread and it's one of those recipes that I took with me when I moved to Boston and I can't get enough of it. Great recipe!

Erika said...

@Richsistah - thank you for telling me about the Blog of Note thing, because I had no idea until I saw your comment. I am thrilled! And welcome to all you new readers who are visiting for the first time. I am honored and delighted to see you and hope you find lots of interesting recipes to keep you busy in your kitchens. Hugs and kisses all around!

Cake Duchess said...

Looks delicious! I can't wait to try your recipe:) we love banana breads and I have some ripe bananas ready to go!
Lora :)

Toni Tralala said...

This looks so scrumptious! I'm going to prepare this for my fiancé! hihi.

New follower here. :)

Holyoke Home said...

oh lord have mercy that sounds good.

Thinking about all the handwritten recipes in the world that will be lost to the electronic age.
Congratulations on the well deserved Blog of Note!

Beatrice said...

That looks absolutely delicious. I'll have to make this someday.

SirNewerbeg said...

Nice Blog!

Caren Gittleman said...

you had me at banana chocolate chip cake!!
What a deliciously beautiful blog! Congrats on being a "Blog Of Note!" I had the honor on Oct 5, 2010...isn't it fun?!

I am now a subscriber to your blog and happy to be!

Cat Chat http://opcatchat.blogspot.com

Erika said...

Thank you everyone for all the nice compliments. I just did a little dance. My husband thinks I'm nuts but is smiling right along.

@Holyoke I have thought exactly the same thing about the loss of handwritten recipes. I'm trying to take photos of them whenever I think of it. I have photocopies of my grandmother's recipe cards - seeing her handwriting makes me cry every single time.

@Caren Congrats to you too - love all your kitty cat photos!

Barb said...

Yum, yum! I liked seeing your handwritten index card and reading of the memories it invoked. This cake has good vibes, that's for sure. Also, I could maybe count it as a fruit instead of a pastry...Thanks!

müzik dinle said...

Yum, yum! I liked seeing your handwritten index card and reading of the memories it invoked. This cake has good vibes, that's for sure. Also, I could maybe count it as a fruit instead of a pastry...Thanks!
eğlenceli müzik dinle
hit.müzik
müzik dinle

~Marcus K. said...

This is my girlfriend's favourite type of cake! Banana chocolate cake is the best!

beccles suffolk said...

What I love about Banana chocolate cake is its texture. I add walnuts in mine so I could get that crunchy texture.

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