From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I came across Nancy Silverton's recipe for Cocoa and Banana Small Cakes while researching the background and and culinary accomplishments that placed her on the Gourmet Live list of 50 Women Game Changers in Food. While I didn't choose it as my feature recipe, I did place it on my "must-try" list, with the intent of making the cakes when time permitted. I pulled the recipe while Bob was in the hospital and decided to make the small cakes for the nursing staff. The cakes, which are moist and rich, are a cross between a muffin and cupcake and they have an unusual texture that makes them a stand-out treat. The recipe is straightforward and the small cakes it produces are delicious. They can be made by anyone who has a mixing spoon and large bowl, but I do have a caution or two to share with you. My muffins did not cook in the recommended time. Ordinarily, I'd say my oven was off but it had just been re-calibrated, so I don't think that was the problem. At any rate, mine took 22 minutes to bake, so if you decide to make these, you'll need to keep an eye on them. I'd also recommend you use high-end cocoa when you make these. I've used a domestic and an imported product in separate trials and this is a case where you get what you pay for. If you like the combination of chocolate and banana, I hope you'll give this recipe a try. You will not be disappointed. Here's the recipe.
Cocoa and Banana Small Cakes...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Nancy Silverton
nonstick cooking spray
2-1/2 cups pureed banana (5 to 6 bananas)
5 large eggs
1-1/4 cups canola oil
3-1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3-3/4 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 30 1/2-cup muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
2) In a large mixing bowl, combine banana puree, eggs and oil.
3) Sift together sugar, baking powder, baking soda, flour and cocoa. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture, stirring until just moistened.
4) Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
5) Bake until a skewer inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 30 muffins.
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