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Banana Walnut Bread with Nutmeg Glaze

I had a bit of bad luck with the gorgeous banana walnut bread.  It wouldn’t pop out of the bundt pan.  Even though I greased it, I cooled it, I ran a small knife around all the edges, I whacked it with a wooden spoon, but it wouldn’t budge.  I tired a few more *drastic* measures and it finally came out… in pieces.  My pan is past its prime.  But I was able to salvage exactly 2 slices in order to show you what a lovely banana bread this  is.  And to help convince you that you should make it.  IF you have a reliable bundt pan.  Which I will have because I’m heading over to the mall today.

This cake has all the hallmarks of fall…I love the deep brown color, and the nutmeg glaze adds a really distinctive spice note.  The mahogany color of the batter is achieved with a touch of molasses, cocoa powder, and espresso powder.  A little unorthodox, but it lends a richness that banana bread doesn’t usually have.  The predominant flavors are banana and walnut, the rest make up the background.  The glaze is optional, but I love it.  I’ve been planning to make a nutmeg glaze forever, and this seemed the perfect recipe for it.  I think simple spice glazes are amazing.  If you don’t like nutmeg, try cinnamon.

For me this is ideal to have around on a weekend morning…or on any holiday morning.  In my fantasy B&B, this is on the weekly rotation. (What?  And fantasy basketball isn’t weird?)

I will make it again just to update with better photos  once I get my new pan.

Banana Walnut Bread with Nutmeg Glaze

What You Will Need

  • 1 cup well mashed banana (about 3 small to medium bananas)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder (instant espresso)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • glaze

  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Beat together the eggs, oil, sugar and mashed banana until smooth. Make sure to get out any lumps of sugar or banana.
  3. Beat in the molasses, espresso, cocoa powder, and the spices. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  4. Whisk the flours, salt and baking soda together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the walnuts.
  5. Turn into a well buttered or sprayed non-stick bundt pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it.
  6. Cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before turned out of the pan.
  7. Make the glaze by mixing the sugar with enough cream to thin to a spreadable consistency. Add fresh grated nutmeg to taste.
  8. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

2.2

http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/2013/11/banana-walnut-bread-with-nutmeg-glaze.html

*Recipe from [The View from Great Island|http://theviewfromgreatisland.com] All images and content are copyright protected. If you want to use this recipe, please link back to this page.

By the way, I posted my stuck-in-the-pan dilemma on facebook and got some pretty terrific answers from readers…here are a few highlights in case this should ever happen to you—

  • Turn it into a banana bread trifle.
  • Hot towel wrapped around the pan for a few minutes & then try again.
  • We’ve heard that freezing cakes can help.
  • Bread pudding
  • My Mother always turned cakes right over as soon as she took them out of the oven, said they slide out better when they are hot.
  • My mom used to tell me to flip the pan over and put a wet/ warm towel on the bottom until it popped out. Worth a try perhaps. Good luck!
  • This is why I’ve switched to a tube cake pan with a removable bottom. My bundt pan ALWAYS sticks!
  • Pour a cup of coffee, grab a fork, and dig in.

I think I’m going with the bread pudding solution for rest of the cake.  And by the way, we have a lot of fun on facebook, if you haven’t like TVFGI yet — click HERE to join in on the conversation, I highlight my favorites from other sites, as well as great recipes from my archives.

Chocolate Fried Pies (Pie Day Friday!)

An old fashioned, made from scratch, fried pie has no equal. In the fried pie world, I have two favorites: Peach and Chocolate. For an amazing peach pie like my great grandmother made, you have to start with dried peaches. Fresh or canned just can’t pack the wallup of flavor that dried ones do. Click here for my recipe and if you want to watch me make them with Al Roker – just for kicks.

And for fried chocolate pies like I grew up with, you have to make your own chocolate paste out of sugar, butter, and cocoa powder, like my Aunt Sue does and you have to use the recipe that I put in my first cookbook, like I’m sharing with you here.

Note:  You can make these with canned biscuit dough but they won’t be the same. They will still be good in a pinch though. You can also make these simply by sticking a mini chocolate bar inside each one – but it won’t be the same, either. They will still be good in a pinch, though! Just do what you have time to do and put your heart into it. The most important step in cooking isn’t the ingredients you use or  how intricate the preparation, it’s the process of making something yummy for someone because you love them. That makes everything taste better.

Now let’s make some fried pies…

For the crust you’ll need: Shortening (like Crisco, I’m using generic), milk, salt, and all purpose flour.

For the chocolate paste filling you’ll need: Sugar, butter, and cocoa powder.

Most of my family’s old recipes don’t use baking chocolate and such, but cocoa powder instead because it was so much more affordable.

Place flour, salt, and shortening in a bowl. Stir together really well and then cut the shortening into the flour with a long tined fork.

Or a pastry cutter if you’re feeling fancy.

Like this. See? I’m using my own cookbook for this recipe. That is one of the benefits of being a highly unorganized person who happens to have a food blog and a few published books – If it weren’t for these things I’d never be able to find any of my recipes.

Oh yeah, this is my photo of my shortening after it was cut into my flour.  

Pour milk into flour mixture.

Stir it up really well.

You may need to add more milk, and that is perfectly okay. Add a tablespoon or so at a time until it forms a ball of dough.

Divide that up into ten ball shaped portions.

Look at the photo and see that Christy has only nine portions. Life is just like that sometimes.

In a medium mixing bowl, place melted butter, sugar, and cocoa powder.

Let your chocolate loving daughter come in for a good sniff…

Then let her stir it up really well.

It will form a paste. Note: This is a gritty chocolate paste and it is utterly delicious.

It’s like folks did in the old days and keep in mind folks were, by and large, an awful lot happier in the old days in most cases. Perhaps chocolate paste fried up inside homemade pies had something to do with this. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

Alright now we need to take each of those dough balls and make them into a 6 inch (or so) circle.

I usually roll mine out but I noticed here that my circles are a lot more like circles when I just pat the out.

 See? This circle was rolled out but that previous perfect looking one was patted out.

Now place about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each.

THEN, dip your fingertips in water and run them around the edges to help them stick together.

Fold over and crimp edges lightly with a fork.

Preheat about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet on medium high for about five minutes, then turn it down to medium and carefully add your pies a few at a time, careful not to overcrowd.

Let them cook until browned on one side, then flip and cook until browned on the other as well. This will just take a few minutes.

Remove to paper towel lined platter.

Let cool slightly before eating.

Share with your friends!

Chocolate Fried Pies (Pie Day Friday!)

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk, more if needed
  • vegetable oil (for frying)
  • filling

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with a long tined fork. Add the milk and stir until the dough sticks together.
  2. Divide the dough into ten ball shaped portions.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together melted butter, cocoa powder, and sugar until it forms a paste.
  4. Pour oil to a depth of 1/4 inch in a large skillet and place over medium high heat to preheat while you assemble pies.
  5. On a floured surface, roll or pat each dough ball into a 6 inch circle. Place 2 tablespoons of chocolate paste in center of each. Dip fingertips in water and run around outside edges of crust. Fold over and crimp with fork to seal.
  6. After oil has heated for at least five minutes, reduce heat to medium. Carefully add a few pies at a time to hot oil and cook until browned on one side, flip and brown on the other.
  7. Remove to paper towel lined plates and repeat until all pies are cooked.
  8. Cool slightly before serving.

    Store leftover pies at room temp for up to three days.

2.2

http://www.southernplate.com/2013/06/chocolate-fried-pies-pie-day-friday.html

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Double-Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread

I’ve recently discovered the merits of quality cocoa powder (and by recently I mean a year and a half ago). I’ve actually become quite a cocoa powder snob haha. I used to buy Hershey’s simply because it was conveniently at my disposable at almost any grocery store in America. I never even thought to special order it, let alone that there would be a difference between Hershey’s cocoa and any other cocoa. Kind of like granulated sugar- I just assumed it was all the same. Oh so naive… It wasn’t until I purchased my first Baked cookbook that I realized there were superior products out there. The authors insist on buying quality dark cocoa powder and chocolate. They mention over and over again that Valrhona is their favorite brand. Well, guess what? Now it’s mine too : ) haha And I’ve shopped around too- trying Ghiradhelli, Scharffen Berger, etc. I just really like the Valrhona!

This Chocolate Loaf is the perfect example of why having a quality cocoa powder is important- it calls for 1 whole cup! That is quite a bit. The flavor of the cocoa powder you use is going to drastically effect the flavor of your loaf. Hershey’s will of course work, I would use it in a pinch myself, and the results will still be good. If you use a quality dark cocoa powder though, it will be twice as chocolately in flavor though. Just sayin’.

That being said about cocoa powder and all, I want to switch gears and talk about the huge dent running down the center of my loaf. Yes, my loaf collapsed. No, this won’t happen to you. I opened the door before it was even halfway through baking and cursed myself. I know it’s a golden rule of baking never to do that- why would I do that!? BAH. I was really worried it was going to burn on the top and wanted to cover it with foil… I should have just waited. I have this little tiny European oven though and it tends to brown things a lot quicker so I was getting ancy I guess. You can bet I won’t do that again.

I will be making this loaf again though, if for no other reason than to just make the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread. Wow, was that good! Oh boy. What a great idea to top a chocolate loaf! I’m a fan.

Double-Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread
Serves: makes on 9-inch loaf
  • ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark unsweetened coco powder (like Valrhona), sifted
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
  • For the Cream Cheese Spread:
  • 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tb creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and position the rack in the center. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, dust it with flour, and knock out excess flour.
  2. Place the brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Press out any lumps with the back of a large spoon. Add the cocoa, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until blended, then add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; whisk until combined.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and slowly stream the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks by hand.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. For the Cream Cheese Spread: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until incorporated. (If you are not using the spread immediately, place it in a ramekin, tightly cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.)
  8. Serve the loaf plain or toasted, topped with peanut butter spread.
  9. The loaf will keep, in an airtight container or wrapped tightly, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

adapted from “Baked Explorations“ by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito

Tagged as:
chocolate,
chocolate chips,
cream cheese,
dessert,
peanut butter,
quick bread