Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Munchies with a yummy cake

   Anyone who knows me well, knows I LOVE to bake.  When the kids were really little (before they spent their days at school), I’d bake with them at least once a week, and even now I often bake muffins for their breakfast during the week or cookies for them to have as snacks.  So…I thought I’d start a regular feature here called Monday Munchies.  On Mondays I’ll post about something I’ve made (with or without the kids) and give you the recipe or a link to where you can find it. 
  A week or so ago my sister had some bananas that needed to quickly become banana bread and she gave them to me because I have a killer banana bread recipe, but at the time I was craving chocolate.  So, instead the bananas became Farmgirl's Mexican Monkey Cake.  This recipe is so easy and so good!  To be honest, I didn’t even mash up the bananas ahead of time, but just peeled them and threw them in the mixer and let the beaters work some magic.  Susan over at Farmgirlfare has great recipes in all categories and I have a BUNCH saved that I've tried or want to try.  She also give funny stories and/or helpful tips with most recipes which makes it more interesting than just a plain recipe list.
Not sure why the photo looks fuzzy, it didn't when editing...

  So, while I usually use my “overripe” (read really brown and not good for anything but baking or compost) bananas for a delicious banana bread that I will share in the future, when you need that chocolate fix…this’ll definitely fix you up!
  I substituted pecans for walnuts and half of the flour with whole wheat flour.  I do that a lot, because it doesn’t change the texture too much and I feel like at least it’s better than nothing as far as providing my family or goodie recipients with healthy foods....don't feel bad about all those chocolate chips, there's whole wheat flour in here!  ;)
  So, here’s the recipe.  Like I said…it’s easy, good and looks more difficult than it is, which is always nice for the cook!

Farmgirl's Mexican Monkey Cake (from Farmgirlfare.com)
Makes One 8-Inch Square Cake

1-1/2 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) butter, softened (or 1/2 cup trans-fat free margarine, such as Earth Balance)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1-1/4 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (they cannot be too ripe)
2 Tablespoons yogurt or sour cream
1 Tablespoon milk
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using a glass pan such as Pyrex). Grease an 8"x8"x2" baking pan. In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts (if desired), and cinnamon; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and egg with an electric mixer until fluffy (I use a hand held mixer). Add bananas, yogurt, and milk, and mix well. On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt just until blended.

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.
Image from www.farmgirlfare.com  Now doesn't that look delicious??

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