Sunday, September 12, 2010

Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Streusel

Happy New Year! Jewish New Year, that is! We got back from a long three day stay in Shaalvim where we spent Rosh HaShana and Shabbat. It was intense and difficult what with wakeup and all, but the davening was beautiful and meaningful, even at 630 in the morning! This Shabbat was also E, my roommate and friend's twenty third birthday. (I'm sure not the best way for her to spend it...) I told her awhile back that she could choose anything she wanted for her birthday and she said banana bread with chocolate chips. To me, that's not a birthday cake... but for her birthday, her wish was my command, so I started collecting bananas and when they had gone bad, I froze them. I knew that there was no way things would be fresh until her birthday so I told her that the cake would have to be earlier. I dont think she was too bummed. So what did I make? Certainly not banana bread! I didn't have chocolate chips on hand and instead improvised something alot better which I think will become a signature. I decided to go with a banana cake baked in a 9x13 pan and topped with chocolate streusel. I have made streusel topped banana cake before, but I think the chocolate streusel was a stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. I recalled that the Tuesdays with Dorie group had just made a banana cake that was extremely flexible so I started there. I also remembered that Carole Walters had a recipe in her most recent book for chocolate streusel. And so, I put them together and this happy marriage became E's birthday cake, which she loved. It took a while for this to get finished because we kept it secret and it was also dairy, so people who had eaten meat couldnt partake of it. But it was finished the next day and everyone who had thoroughly enjoyed it, leaving but a few crumbs left in the pan. 

Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Streusel
adapted from Baking and Great Coffee Cakes

1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup milk
2 2/3 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

6-7 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp Dutched cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch pan and set aside. Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
Place the margarine and sugars in a bowl.

Cream until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating to blend. Add the vanilla.

The eggs have been incorporated.

Add the bananas,
and blend. The mixture will look curdled. This is normal.
Add the dry ingredients in three parts alternately with the milk.
My completed batter.
Pour into your prepared pan. Smooth and set aside while you make the streusel.
Melt your margarine or butter and allow it to cool. Place all of the dry ingredients in a bowl,
and stir to combine.
Pour in the melted margarine,
and use a fork to stir the mixture taking care to form crumbs as you combine.
Top the batter evenly with the crumbs.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and serve. 

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