Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake  |  Amandeleine

One of the tough things about transitions is that sometimes they can be slow and drawn out. In terms of my home transition, this means for the past month or so (and continuing for the next couple months) I’ve been living in a “staging” house, free of clutter.

A lot of our house “clutter” was an over abundance of kitchen tools, courtesy of me and my interests. So when it came time to put our house up for sale, lots of them went into storage.

Maybe a little more got put into storage than I wanted.

Bananas

My masher got caught in the fray, so when 3 bananas were on the brink of transitioning from “perfectly ripe for baking” to “eww, what’s that smell?”, I was in a bit of a pickle of how to get them baked good ready.

Mashed bananas

I had to take it old school, mashing it up with the back of a wooden spoon. It was lengthy process but it did in fact work.

I’ve had to figure out old fashioned plans a few times over the past month.

Walnut

When making strawberry cake a week ago, my lack of a food processor had me chopping strawberries until they were a chunky mush that vaguely resembled a “puree”.

FYI, this technique also totally works and takes forever. It also makes a huge sticky mess as you try to wrangle all the strawberry juice that tries to escape in every direction.

banana-filling

But if you get stuck in my situation, you just sort of make it work after awhile, despite the time and stickiness.

You can’t just let a banana rot afterall, when it could so happily be funneled into a banana chocolate walnut cake instead.

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake  |  Amandeleine

I actually wouldn’t really call this item a “cake” per se. It’s more of a banana bread that’s layered with goodies often found strewn throughout banana bread.

Walnuts, chocolate, cinnamon, butter..

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake  |  Amandeleine

When you pile all that stuff together into a solid layer instead of spreading it out, it does take on a slightly more decadent form. All the chocolate has a tendency to coat your tongue in its delicious darkness when it’s all together.

But the layering spin will never stop me from eating this for breakfast.

/sigh… My poor sparse kitchen. How does anyone survive with only one whisk?

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake

Recipe from Gourmet via Epicurious.com

Banana Batter

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 2/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping/filling

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 ounces 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts (3 ounces), toasted , cooled, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch square cake pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat together softened butter (1 stick) and 3/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in eggs 1 at a time until blended. Beat in bananas, yogurt, and vanilla (mixture will look curdled).
  4. With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  5. Toss together chocolate, nuts, cinnamon, melted butter, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Spread half of banana batter in cake pan and sprinkle with half of chocolate mixture. Spread remaining batter evenly over filling and sprinkle remaining chocolate mixture on top.
  6. Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely, right side up.
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