Don’t you think Easter is a very special holiday?! It may not be the most glamorous, splendorous or longest of celebrations, yet it could revive and refresh what has been happening inside of us. It is a time for positive reflection, so kind of new year’s but without all the stresses and no sleep nights of the holidays, intentional or not ; ).
Most of the time we spend our Easter week at the beach at a family vacation home, keeping it down during the Good Friday. A beautiful beach, lots of sun, lazy nights and not brushing your hair are good balms for the soul. Every time we return home we have new plans, wider perspectives and inner energy to start the new season. This year however, we went on our retreat a week earlier. It was Mariana’s birthday after all and she loves the beach, so there we went. But I’m planning on having the same pace of living for this weekend as if I were spending it waking up with a sea view. This banana chocolate cake is the perfect recipe to keep my lazy state of mind goals. So if you are in the same page as me, or are planning an Easter brunch and want an easy chocolate dessert, start making plans for it in your schedule.
This recipe uses everyday pantry ingredients, so you can whip it any time you want. I add some milk for moisture, but it is not entirely neccesary. If you don’t have enough on hand or if you prefer a firmer loaf cake let it out. For icing I used chocolate hazelnut spread with some cream. It can’t get lazier than that. Besides a step were I recommend using an immersion blender, you don’t even need an electric mixer of any kind, so less dishes to clean and a bit of arm workout for you! I said it is easy, but never uncelebratory. I used some peeps chicks for decorations as they are some of the favorite candies around here (and I'm not taking about me!), besides nothing says Easter and spring like a steady bright yellow chicken, but use any candies or decoration you want. Should we call this lazy banana chocolate cake?! We’ll see. You let me know!
Note if using peeps chicks for decoration - When you pull apart the chicks they will have a white spot on the sides. What I did was to separate them very gently with a small sharp pairing knife. I happened to have matte colored powdered sugar, the one that is used to paint fondant, and you could find it in any bakery specialty store. You could also use colored crystal sugars or some very small chopped nuts and is a nice way to give a crunch bite to the cake.
Note if using frozen riped bananas – If using frozen riped bananas, be aware that when you add them to the mix and whip with the immersion blender, the mix will get hard because the coconut oil will somewhat solidify. Just keep working and when you add the eggs and milk, which both should be at room temperature, the mix will get smooth and soft again.
Banana Chocolate Loaf Cake
8’-10’ loaf cake
Equipment – 8’-10’ loaf or bundt cake pan, two medium or large mixing bowls, at least one of glass, measuring cups and spoons, immersion blender (highly recommended for mixing the bananas)
Total time – 1 hour Active time – 15 to 20 minutes
Low fat or skim organic milk – ½ cup (optional)
Vinegar – ½ TBSP (optional)
Unsalted butter, cubbed – 8 TBSP (1 stick)
Semi-sweet chocolate chips – ½ cup
Raw sugar – 1 ¼ cup
Coconut oil – ½ cup
Unbleached all purpose flour – 2 cups
Baking soda – 2 Tsp
Fine sea salt – ½ Tsp
Unsweetened cocoa powder – 2 TBSP
Vanilla extract – 1 TBSP
Organic no-fat greek plain yogurt – ¼ cup
Medium riped bananas, a little mashed – 2 medium
Organic medium eggs – 3 at room temperature
Butter, unsalted or regular, baking spray or both to coat the pan
For 1 ½ cup of icing
Total and active time – 5 minutes (while the cake bakes)
Chocolate hazelnut spread – 1 cup
Heavy cream or full fat coconut milk – ¾ cup
Confectioners sugar – ½ - ¾ TBSP
In a measuring cup or small bowl mix the milk with the vinegar to make the buttermilk. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat oven in 350°.
In the meantime melt the butter in a large glass bowl in the microwave. Be sure it is completely melted. Add the chocolate chips and using a whisker mix everything until the chocolate is melted. Add the sugar and beat for a minute so you could see it begins to dissolve into the chocolate – butter mixture. Add the coconut oil and mix a bit more until everything is well integrated. Let it rest for a coulple of minutes, about 5, so the sugar dissolves well.
In another medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt using a fork.
Prepare the baking pan by coating very well the bottom, sides and center with butter. You could also use baking spray, or both.
Back to the wet ingredients, add the cocoa powder and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the greek yogurt and beat to incorporate it in the mix. Add the bananas and whisk a little bit, then using an immersion blender whip everything for a minute, until you don’t see big chunks of bananas and the mix is velvety and smooth. (See note if using frozen bananas)
Finally mix the eggs, then the milk (if using) and mix everything one last time.
Using a wooden spoon integrate the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients in three addings, combining everything well without overmixing. Pour the mix in the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a long toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
Make the icing. Just mix the chocolate hazelnut spread, cream or milk and sugar well, until everything is well integrated and it has a thick but runny consistency. If you prefer it more thin, just add more of the liquid you are using.
When the cake is out of the oven, let it cool down for at least 20 minutes, if you have the time put it in the fridge and then let it come to room temperature. Pour the icing over the top and enjoy!