chocolate chip banana cake
The house smells faintly of slow-cooked pork and wood smoke. The aromas strengthen each time someone opens the patio door. I can see the Big Green Egg from my vantage point on the sofa, soft wisps of white smoke puffing from the vent in the top. My husband has been manning the grill since 7:30 this morning, and when the meat comes off in just a short while, the pork will fall from the bone with the gentlest nudge.
I’m not a professional football fan, but I’m thankful tonight is Super Bowl Sunday, if only for the fact that Sam has volunteered to make pulled pork for a friend of his – and thus, for us.
My knitting needles are beside me on the sofa, 58 stitches of a lovely blue yarn line the cable. I’m still working on my Color Tipped Scarf, but I wanted something fresh that I could travel with later in the week. I’m headed to San Diego for a meeting on Thursday, and I’m anticipating hours of plane-ride knitting.
I thought I’d make a sweater next, but I saw this wrap some time ago, and I can’t get my mind off of it. I tend to listen to my heart. Or my gut. Or whatever other internal organ from which these instincts arise. The point being: I’m making this wrap. I will not let the pattern’s knitting chart intimidate me, either.
Well, maybe just a little.
I have made two banana cakes in the last two weekends. If it weren’t for those overripe bananas I forgot to eat during the week when they were appropriately ripe, I might have made a pie or cookies or some other treat. Because I was determined to bake. I had overripe bananas, though, and I didn’t want to make my old standby, banana bread. I wanted something…more.
I plan to eventually share both cakes with you, but for today, you get this version – a chocolate chip banana cake. The combination of chocolate and banana is one of my favorites, and this cake takes advantage of that blessed match.
After our dinner of pulled pork, baked beans, and coleslaw tonight, we’ll be eating slices of the other banana cake…the one I’ll share with you next time.
Chocolate Chip Banana Cake
This cake is really a breeze to make, and you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry or on your counter. It's a versatile cake to serve for breakfast, snack time, or dessert.
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons; 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, melted and cooled
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1-1/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
2/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in middle position. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together softened butter (1 stick) and 3/4 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended. Beat in bananas, yogurt, vanilla, and rum (mixture will look curdled).
With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
In a small bowl, stir together chocolate chips, cinnamon, melted butter, and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Spread half of banana batter in cake pan and sprinkle with half of the chocolate chip mixture (using your fingers is easiest). Spread remaining batter evenly over filling and sprinkle remaining chocolate chip mixture on top.
Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely, right side up.
Adapted from this recipe in Gourmet, February 2008.