Actually, the name of the TWD this week is Black & White Banana Loaf...but that surely doesn't do it justice like Chocolate n' Banana Cakes does to me.
Ashlee from A Year in the Kitchen's chose the loaf this week, and it's a good pick. Why? Because it has CHOCOLATE in it and not one hint of fruit. YAY. Oh, plus it has liquor which is always fun.
People in the P&Q were saying the loaf was very dense and that it came out too moist. I love the P&Q because it basically keeps me from making the same mistakes that sometimes have other TWD-ites re-making the recipe (since I always do it Monday night I never would have the time to do it over again!).
Reading the recipe, you make the batter much like a cake. Cream the butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla. Then add the flour and milk...the recipe just called for pouring milk in all at once, but I did it in 2 batches with flour in between like a cake and whipped it at the end.
I melted a mixture of bittersweet & milk chocolate in the microwave with Kahlua, heavy cream & coffee extract. Mixed it together til smooth. This was my 'chocolate' base for the batter that I mixed in later.
Dropped the batters in spoonfuls to try to get the marbling effect and used the knife the way the book explained. I figured it was more fun to have chunky marbles than really swirly ones. I figured out to use separate spoons to keep the lines cleaner, and baked.
I used a 3" cylinder tall cake pan, a small heart shaped ceramic baker, and 6 little paper tart shaped containers that I have been dying to try out. You don't need a muffin pan for them, so it was fun to try them out.
Taste on the marbled cakes...AMAZING! They were soft yet slightly dense, nothing like a banana bread but more like a thick cake. The extras in the chocolate mixture adds an extra depth of flavor to the chocolate portion. The fact that I used a little less banana means that the banana taste is not that strong, but I like it. It's subtle and makes you think.
I also baked two tiny cupcakes, one of just banana and one of just chocolate banana batter to gauge the taste separately...I love kitchen experiments. Especially when they come out right. This banana batter on it's own could easly make a fabulously spongy banana cake. The chocolate banana batter, ORGASMIC. It was so amazingly rich and chocolatey...and was, as a good friend likes to say, 'sticks to your teeth' moist. I wished I had a handful more of these.
Interestingly enough, the cakes didn't reek of banana at all...and in fact the banana was almost an after taste. It was hard to pinpoint any one taste which is what we loved about this recipe.
I have all sorts of ideas now on what to do with this recipe moving fwd. I love it. Check out the rest of the TWD community's loaves and variations as well.
Quick recap of my modifications for anyone wanting to try them:
Mixed bittersweet & milk chocolate, coffee extract, 1 tblspn heavy cream and Kahlua for the chocolate mixture. I did not measure chocolate but I used more than the recipe called for. Added cinnamon with the nutmeg while sifting flour, salt, baking powder together. Recipe called for whisking dry together, but I sifted for a finer crumb. I used 3/4 of one banana for 2/3 of the recipe and a little more flour.
Feel like a topping? Mix a little melted chocolate and some heavy cream and pour over, then garnish with coconut. Enjoy!