Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Going bananas

My family consumes an amount of bananas that would make a small chimp feel threatened with serious competition. A couple years ago, bananas saved my son Yakov from complete boredom and starvation on a plane trip from Sidney Australia to LA where some clerical mix up left him upward of twenty hours without his Kosher meals. His neighbor in the next seat asked him how he could bear it, each time the flight attendant would produce yet another banana, and he assured him he was quite satisfied, happy, even.

I use bananas in smoothies, in pies, in cakes, in drinks, you name it. Listen to what Seth, one of my new guests at a demo last week, wrote me:

"By the way,
All the dishes were excellent but I forgot to tell you how much I liked the cake. You see, I have always hated bananas. Anything with the slightest banana taste made me sick. The cake you made last week was the first time I ever liked something with bananas.
I'm a changed man!"

OK, Seth, I cured you of one phobia so far. No charge for the consultation. And, just so you know what made him a convert, here is the recipe; Enjoy it, and never throw away ripe bananas again!

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE.

1 CUP OLD-FASHIONED ROLLED OATS (NOT QUICK OR INSTANT)
1 CUP STRONG EARL GREY TEA
1 1/2 CUPS BROWN SUGAR, PACKED
3 EGGS
1 CUP OIL
2 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR, WHOLE WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR, OR SPELT FLOUR
2 TEASPOONS BAKING SODA
1/2 TEASPOON SALT
1 TABLESPOON VANILLA
3 VERY RIPE BANANAS, DICED SMALL
1/2 CUP SEMISWEET GOOD QUALITY CHOCOLATE CHIPS

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES.
LET THE OATS SOAK IN THE TEA WHILE YOU PREPARE EVERYTHING ELSE. IN A FOOD PROCESSOR, CREAM THE SUGAR, EGGS AND OIL UNTIL FLUFFLY. ADD THE FLOUR, BAKING SODA, SALT AND FLAVORING, AND THE OAT MIXTURE IN 3 ADDITIONS, PULSING EACH TIME ONLY UNTIL COMBINED, 2-3 SECONDS, NO MORE. STIR IN BANANAS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS WITH A LARGE SPOON. POUR INTO GREASED AND FLOURED 10" TUBE AND BAKE 1 HOUR, OR UNTIL KNIFE INSERTED IN THE CENTER COMES OUT CLEAN. INVERT TO COOL ON RACK

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