"Stack banana till thee morning come
Daylight come and he wanna go home
Its six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
Daylight come and he wanna go home......"
Harry Belafonte, one of Dad's favorite singers. We learnt to hum the songs even before we knew what the lyrics meant. Some of my favorites include Jamican farewell, Come back Liza, Woman is smarter, Angelico...Mamma gonna take you back. Actually almost all of them. These are songs with a soul and tug at your hear strings. Interestingly son seems to love them too. In fact it was he who suggested that since the inspiration for this dish is the "ripe" banana I should title this post after the Harry Belafonte famous number by the same name.
I find myself baking almost every other day. Makes for convenient lunch box and snack options. Store in an airtight container inside the refrigerator and warm for about 30 seconds before serving. So the cake technically can stay for days. That it gets polished off in less than 24 hours is another story.
A friend once told me that ripe bananas lying on the kitchen shelf means it is time to bake a banana cake. In fact most recipes for banana cakes go "medium sized over ripe bananas". And then last week my friend K told me about her to die for " choco banana cake". Sounded interesting, a combination I had not tried before. Managed to get K to part with her recipe. Tasted quite nice. Though I had initially planned on serving it with vanilla ice cream(a dollop of fresh cream would also taste good) the boys seemed to think it tasted quite good on its own. In fact this is one cake they were quite happy to eat straight out of the refrigerator.
Chocolate Banana Cake
Don't let the looong list of ingredients bother you. The cake gets done in two quick steps. Mix all the dry ingredients, keep aside. Separately mix all the wet ingredients and slowly fold in the dry ingredients into it. That simple. But psst! play along when the accolades begin.
Banana: 1 cup mashed banana pulp, so two to three medium sized over ripe bananas.
Oil: 1/2 cup
Warm water:1 cup(K used buttermilk instead of water, this makes the cake softer)
Maida/Refined wheat flour: 1 3/4th cup
Cocoa powder:3/4 th cup
Sugar: 2 cups( If the banana is sweet you could adjust the quantity of sugar but do remember that this is a really large cake almost twice the size of other cakes)
Salt:1/2 tsp( to balance out the taste)
Baking soda: 1 1/2 tsp
Baking powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence: 1 1/2 tsp
- Sieve together all the dry ingredients which includes the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Keep aside.
- Next whip the eggs with the bananas, add water, milk and oil. Mix well.
- Fold in the flour mix little by little, stirring continuously ensuring that there are no lumps. The batter is really thin and the cake takes a little longer to cook. But definitely worth the wait.
- Bake at 200 degree centigrades for about an hour. For the first 40 minutes keep only the lower coil turned on and for the last 20 minutes bake with both the upper and lower coils turned on. This gives the cake a nice thin crust on the top and along the sides.
- Check if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick. The toothpick should come out clean.
- Serve hot
- If serving as dessert serve it along with some fresh cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Given the rich, dark color of this cake you could also frost the cake with some powdered sugar- creates an interesting contrast.