Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Willie Nelson's “Famous” Banana Choc Bread


Can someone please explain to me the difference between a banana bread and a banana cake? Do we use the word bread to fool ourselves because we feel less guilty when we have “bread” rather than “cake”? Perhaps banana bread is supposed to contain less sugar and butter? Or maybe banana breads have to be baked in a loaf pan? So what should I call this delicious treat which has absolutely no butter or oil, but was baked in a round cake pan? (This reminds me of the muffin vs cupcake debate....)

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what you call this yummy treat. This recipe is a keeper – so quick and easy to make and freezes exceptionally well. It has a moist crumb which is studded with choc chips (ok, so it’s not fat-free), and I love the crunchy topping.

Oh, and I have no idea why this recipe is associated with Willie Nelson. Kickpleat got it from a friend in San Fransisco and she's not sure either if Willie ever made this bread or if it really was some kind of famous secret recipe....and the plot thickens....


Willie Nelson's “Famous” Banana Choc Bread (Cake?)

My version (original here)

3 really ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cup flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar (mix of white & brown sugars to make about 1 cup)
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips (white &semi-sweet)
topping: extra brown sugar

1. In a large bowl, mix bananas with eggs and stir till well combined. Place your sifter containing the flour, sugar, baking soda & powder, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon above the bowl, sift, and mix well. Briefly stir through 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips into the batter. Do not over-mix.

2. Pour batter into a non-stick cake/loaf pan. I used a round 8” springform pan. Sprinkle with the extra brown sugar and the remaining chocolate chips.

3. Bake at 180 degrees C for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes to cool before removing the cake from the pan and serving.


This will be my contribution to this week's Weekend Herb Blogging event. WHB is a food blogging event sponsored by Kalyn's Kitchen where each week food bloggers around the world photograph and write about herbs, plants, veggies, or flowers, and on the weekend, a Recap with links to all the posts is published by the host for that week. This week’s host is Pam from Sidewalk Shoes.

Banana
In my opinion, the banana is the perfect snack because it is highly recognized for its undisputed health benefits. When comparing fruit to fruit, none can compare to the nutrition found in the banana.

Storage & Freezing
Keep bananas on a fruit bowl at room temperature. If you want the bananas to ripen faster place the bowl near sunlight. Similar to other tropical fruits and tomatoes, never store bananas in the refrigerator. Bananas will not ripen but the skin will darken in the refrigerator. Ripe bananas (with skin on) can be frozen. However, the skin will turn very dark and it gets slimy on the inside. I frequently freeze bananas for baking (or smoothies) at a later time. When using whole frozen bananas, let the banana defrost for 15 minutes before pealing the skin. If you freeze them as a puree, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each cup of mashed fruit before freezing. Don't forget to label indicating the number of mashed bananas in each container/freezer bag.

31 comments:

Wendy said...

Wow, that's a moist looking cake. Lovely.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm not sure anything with chocolate chips should be called a "bread", but yes, I think "cake" makes us feel more indulgent and bread more... what... virtuous? Either way, Willie's banana bread looks delicious!

Kalyn said...

I think Lydia is right about chocolate chips bumping this into the cake category, but it certainly does look delicious!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

That is a sinfully delicious looking banana bread/cake...

Patricia Scarpin said...

You can call it whatever you want, Nora, and it would still look mouthwatering!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I've made both and they're almost identical. To me if it's in a loaf pan it's a bread, in a round pan a cake. Not terribly scientific, is it? Either way it's delicious.

Eva said...

I also often wondered about this bread/cake thing..;-) In any case, that's the healthiest recipe I've seen so far - need to buy bananas now...

Kevin said...

That banana bread/cake looks good! I never even thought of adding cocoa to the bread.

Bellini Valli said...

Yay Willy:D

KJ said...

There's one more question. How did this bead become 'famous'? Does it have it's own TV show or something? LOL. Regardless, it looks great.

Hannah said...

Mmm, who cares what you call it when it looks so good!

Rosa said...

Oh, it looks very dark and rich... I wish I had some bananas in my house. Maybe in a loaf pan this could be called a bread, but who are we kidding, really?

Gloria said...

WellI see Nora you begin again with so beauty recipes and pictures,look so nice and wonderful,Like it!!! xxxGloria

Dhanggit said...

i just fell in love with this, so moisty and delicious looking good! what else would i ask for all the things i love: bananas and chocolate..need to book mark this recipe :-)

Lore said...

There can never be too many banana bread recipes and with chocolate chips even better! Yummy :)

Big Boys Oven said...

OMG! this sure a winner, so trendy delicious, some thing I would like having and having aroung on my dinner table! so rich amd lovely!

blackberry said...

Well miss, you've certainly kicked up a rhubarb- `bread vs cake`, indeed! :)

Kelly-Jane said...

Oooh it looks so moist and delicious!

Emiline said...

Yum yum yum! That bread/cake looks amazing! Who knew Willie Nelson had such a great recipe? It probably was created when he got the munchies.

Stella (Sweet Temptations) said...

Either cake or bread, the one you made sounds so good to the palate!

winedeb said...

Would be interesting to know if good ol' Willie whipped up this cake himself! Looks great Nora! Bananas are on the top of my list for favorite fruits. I like them for an energy boost in the afternoon. Cake looks nice and moist and how can it not be good...it has chocolate!

Aimée said...

I'm going to say cake too, Nora, but that is all the more reason for me to try it out! Good thing I stocked up on banana today! And chocolate chip? My son will be thrilled!

Margaret said...

That is a wonderful cake and so full of flavour.
The banana tips are very useful and I wasn't aware of some of them.
I have a tip of my own to pass on - if you let the bananas get very ripe before using them for baking the cake is much lighter in texture.

Belinda said...

Hi Nora! I haven't checked in in ages, and I know I need to start blogging again myself...I sort of got sidetracked and then tons of time lapsed. This cake looks heavenly...so rich and chocolatey! :-) I am going to have to read through previous posts from the past few months to see what treats I've missed while I've been absent. Hope you have been happy and well. :-)

Cynthia said...

At last! I think I've found the recipe for a good banana cake/bread. Look at how moist your creation is. Honey I am definitely going to be making that sometime soon.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Now that's what I call a banana bread! Hope you're well Nora.

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Nora, this banana bread looks delicious!!! I just sent Michael to get some bananas for pancakes I will be making for kids this evening...
How is life? I'm missing your message.
Margot

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Ooh, a new way to use up my browning bananas! I am definitely trying this. Thanks for the recipe.

Y said...

I've always wondered if the two were interchangeable. But I'm with Susan - if it's in a loaf pan, I generally call it bread :)

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

Oh my, this is a gorgeous looking cake....chocolate and banana is a winning combo!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

the chocolate bread looks super moist and delicious! I am not a great banana bread fan, but this looks tempting to say the least.