I know. You were expecting bread. Oatmeal Toasting Bread, to be exact. And the Hearty Lentil & Smoked Sausage Soup I promised to go with it. I'm getting there, really. (Update: The recipes are up! Click here for the bread and here for the soup.)
In the meantime, there was this yummy looking cake sitting on the counter begging to be photographed. And since I have yet to see anyone not, well, go bananas over it, I figured some of you might be interested in the recipe. Just a little something to hold you over until I serve up what you're really waiting for of course.
This is one of those handy cakes that you can pretty much rationalize eating any time of day. My hunky farmguy Joe polished off a piece this morning with breakfast. And while it can by no means be considered health food, nutritionally speaking it does have more going for it than, say, a couple of Chocolate Babycakes. There are the bananas of course, plus walnuts and cinnamon, which has a long history as both a spice and a medicine. And everyone knows that chocolate is good for you.
You could probably even sneak a little whole wheat flour into the recipe if you felt like it. What you do not want to sneak in, though, is that one extra overripe banana desperately staring up at you. Trust me on this.
Tempting as it may be, it will do very strange things to the bottom half of the cake. Measure out your 1¼ cups of mashed bananas and stop right there. Toss the last one into a smoothie or, if you must, the compost pile. I fed mine to the chickens.
This recipe is adapted from one that appeared in Bon Appetit magazine a few years ago. The snappy name is mine. The 'Mexican' part comes from the combination of chocolate and cinnamon that is popular in Mexico, not because this is a Mexican cake.
As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference.
Farmgirl Susan's Mexican Monkey Cake
Makes one 8-Inch square cake—Adapted from Bon Appétit
**Click here to print this recipe**
1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 ounces) organic butter, softened (or 1/2 cup trans-fat free vegetable oil sticks, such as Earth Balance)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1¼ cups mashed, very ripe bananas (the riper the better)
2 Tablespoons organic yogurt or sour cream
1 Tablespoon organic milk
1½ cups organic all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts (if desired), and cinnamon; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and egg with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes (I use a hand held mixer). Add the bananas, yogurt, and milk, and mix well. On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt just until well combined.
Spread slightly more than half of the batter in the pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon streusel. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the streusel and then top with the rest of the streusel.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This cake tastes even better the next day, and it freezes beautifully. You can freeze the cake whole or cut it into pieces, wrap them tightly in plastic, and place them in a zipper freezer bag. Defrost at room temperature—or in the microwave if you are being attacked by The Chocolate Force.
Other sweet recipes on FarmgirlFare.com:
--Blueberry Breakfast Bars
--Just Peachy Blueberry Breakfast Bars
--Blueberry Bran Muffins (plus two other flavors of bran muffins)
--Cranberry Christmas Scones (tasty any time of year)
--Spicy Pumpkin Pecan Raisin Muffins
--Really Raspberry Tartlets
--Emergency Chocolate Cake
--Molasses Ginger Spice Snaps
--Chocolate Biscotti For Beginners
--Toasted Almond Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.