the magical fruit
For once in my life, I am not talking about the most fantastic yellow pineapple. Today, I must impress upon you the magical powers of bananas.
Bananas are awesome. They’re delicious, healthy and can be used for almost everything.
Did you know that bananas are super high in potassium? For you non-biology HLers, potassium is really important for neurotransmission and water regulation. As a result, it reduces strokes and even blood pressure! They up your brain power, so they’re the ideal food for exams – not to mention they’re conveniently packaged into a squishable container.
You may also have noticed that bananas resemble a…umm, certain organ below the torso (hint: only half of us have one). Yup. Bananas are an aphrodisiac too.
Even though they don’t look anything we’ve got, bananas are awesome for us, girls – particularly during that time of month. The water regulating benefits prevent bloating and the plentiful iron wards off anaemia. Besides all of that, the fact that they’re packed full of vitamin B6 means that it regulates our glucose and keeps our spirits up (with some help from tryptophan, but more on that next time). This means that when you eat a banana, your mood suddenly perks up and your cramps hurt less! Hurrah!
Besides being calorie-free, the only thing that could make bananas better for us girls is if you could somehow, just possibly, combine bananas with chocolate.
Oh, wait. You totally can. All you need is some chocolate banana cake.
Chocolate, bananas and cake? That’s practically a 3-in-1. There isn’t no deal better than that.
First, you have to mix some cocoa powder with hot water and leave it aside, while you deal with the bananas. It’s alright, we’ll come back for His Royal Deliciousness (and now, we are not talking about Prince Will. The baldness is just so off-putting).
And look! Yoghurt! Lovely, plain yoghurt which is full of calcium. That’s also good for you, right? Just chuck your bananas and yoghurt into your blender and mix, mix, mix.
By the way, did you know that the stringy stuff between the peel and edible banana is the phloem?! Completely mad, I know. Put your hand up if you understood what I just said. Put on your nerd glasses if you’re amazed.
Thanks for making me feel better about my geekiness (:
Now you can throw in your cocoa mixture. Personally, this reminds me of Art Attack, no?
Now add in your softened butter. Erm. Yeah. For all of you who had a heart attack just looking at this picture, don’t worry! We only need to use, uh, two thirds of that. Hey. It’s a BIG cake, alright?
Don’t forget about the yummy banana-chocolate mixture we just made! You need to add that too. It’s the most important part!
Now it’s time to beat this pile of ingredients into a delicious cake batter! As a leader for all the lazy people out there, I used an electric mixer.
I took a quick taste test to check for deliciousness factor. Definitely there.
Once your batter is smoothity smooth, pour it into your pan and bake for waaay too long, while the mouthwatering smell of banana and chocolate wafts through your entire house.
When cooked, let it cool completely and decorate it however you like. I opted for a dark chocolate ganache (of course) to emphasise the chocolate flavour. There is no such thing as too much chocolate, people!
So, ladies and gentlemen, I really recommend, no – demand that you make this cake.
Make it for the suffering girls. Make it for your friends, your family and even your dog.
Or maybe, you can make it for someone you really care about. For a special occasion.
Chocolate Banana Cake
Adapted from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (3 fl oz) boiling water
- 1 large banana, peeled and lightly mashed
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp full fat, plain yoghurt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (100g) cake flour
- 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 tbsp (142g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- Whisk cocoa and boiling water together in a bowl until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap (to prevent evaporation) and cool to room temp for 30 min (or put in fridge to quicken the process).
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (375°F). Grease and flour a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan.
- Using a food processor, blend the banana and yoghurt together until smooth. Add in eggs one-by-one, cocoa mixture and vanilla extract, pulsing inbetween each addition.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt with an electric beater for 30 seconds on low (or mix by hand).
- Cut butter into small cubes, and add to the flour mixture. Pour in half of the banana-cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until all dry ingredients are moistened, then raise speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- On medium-low speed, gradually add the rest of the banana-cocoa mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition. The batter will be light and creamy.
- Scrape batter into pan and flatten top with a spatula or knife. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the middle. While cake is baking, make your ganache.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto the wire rack and cool completely. If your cake is domed, re-invert your cake again to prevent splitting.
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
- 227g dark chocolate (60%-62% cocoa)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp Kahlua or Baileys (or choose your own liqueur)
- Cut chocolate into tiny pieces or pulverize in food processor.
- Scald cream in a small saucepan – do not boil!
- If cutting chocolate: put chocolate in a large bowl, pour the scalded cream, vanilla and liqueur in and leave for 1 minute, then whisk (by hand) until smooth, avoiding incorporating too much air.
- If using food processor: pour scalded cream into the running food processor in a steady stream and process until smooth. Pulse in vanilla and liqueur.
- Cover with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature, until it is of frosting consistency.
- Decorate your cake!