08 December 2010

Gingerbread with a twist

Is this bread, or is this cake?  The soft and fluffy texture and bits of chocolate say cake, but the subtle sweetness and small proportion of butter would suggest it's really bread...it just happens to be an incredibly delicious--not decadent--bread.  That's what I told myself, anyway, when I had a big chunk of this buttermilk-based chocolate-chip banana gingerbread for breakfast this morning!

I don't know about you, but for me, the season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the time to roll out all those warming spices, finding recipes that feature cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg.  So when I saw this interesting twist on gingerbread from How Sweet It Is, I was more than game to give it a try.  Bananas in gingerbread?  New idea!  Chocolate chips?  Yum!

And I'm so glad I did try this out.  Warm from the oven, the chocolate chips are all melty, and the cake is ever-so-slightly gooey (maybe from all those bananas?).  Perfect for morning coffee with friends, or as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream added on top!

Chocolate-Chip Banana Gingerbread
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup molasses
2 medium very-ripe bananas
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
 3 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar

Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and 1/3 cup sugar.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Add the molasses and bananas and beat on high until bananas are thoroughly mashed and incorporated into the creamed mixture.  (Tip:  Lightly oil your measuring cup before measuring out the molasses--the oil will keep the molasses from getting stuck in the cup!)

Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing just to barely moisten, then mix in the buttermilk.  Add the remaining dry ingredients, along with the chocolate chips, and gently mix to thoroughly combine without over-beating the batter.

Pour the cake into a lightly-oiled 9 x 13-inch baking pan, and sprinkle with the raw turbinado sugar.  Bake in a preheated oven at 375 F for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  (If you hit a melted chocolate chip with your toothpick, try again in another spot.)  Let cool for a few minutes before serving warm; or, let cool completely in pan and serve at room temperature.  (The warmer it is, the more crumbly it will be when you cut into it.)


the Junkie book said...

i agree this cake-bread (!!) is best with coffee for breakfast.
we'll love it here. i'm flagging this.

you never picked up the first award i passed to you :( but am i persistent??!!

there's another one waiting for you. pick it up from my blog when you get time.

The Church Cook said...

Lovely, Erica! Softer texture of a cake with warm spices sounds wonderful!

Young Adventures... said...

I love gingerbread! The addition of chocolate chips and bananas sound wonderful! I am going to have to put this on my to bake list! Thanks for sharing Erica.

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