Sunday, 15 November 2015

Banana, Chocolate and Brazil Nut Loaf

I started off this month's We Should Cocoa challenge, set by Choclette, at Tin and Thyme, feeling dubious that bananas and chocolate would work well together, and I'm afraid I still thought that after making this cake. I also thought, and this is something that rarely happens, that there was too much chocolate(!!) in this cake. It  could have been this factor that affected the banana/chocolate flavour combination adversely, as I've seen many recipes which are happy to put the two together. Strangely enough, when it came to melting the 170g of chocolate needed for the recipe (found here) I dithered for ages about whether to cut it back to 120g, but decided in the end to stick with the original.

I also decided to kill two birds with one stone (also known as putting one cake into two cooking challenges) by making this my entry into Formula 1 Foods, hosted by Caroline Makes, which has been celebrating the Formula 1 Grand Prix season by inviting participants to make something inspired by the host country of each round of the event. It could be traditional dishes or culture which gives inspiration, but I couldn't resist using Brazil nuts and chocolate, two ingredients which are grown in Brazil, where this weekend's penultimate race of the season is taking place.

I followed the recipe quite closely; I needed 4 bananas to get 1 1/2 cups, and used three medium eggs instead of two extra-large. I think my loaf tin might have been a different shape to the one used for the recipe, as my loaf took 90 minutes to cook (covered for the last 30 minutes) and I still wasn't sure it was ready when I took it out of the oven, as my colour-changing probe didn't turn to bright red, as it does when a cake is done, although it was dry and clean. The cake didn't rise a lot during baking and sank back as it cooled, which was a little alarming - I was worried about it being very heavy.

As I said earlier, I think this cake would have tasted better with either less chocolate, or perhaps using one with a lower cocoa content. It wasn't unpleasant to eat, but 170g of chocolate with 70% cocoa solids gave a slightly bitter edge to the flavour of the chocolate areas, and was very intense, The banana flavour of the cake was still quite distinct and the Brazil nuts gave a nice crunch (but not a strong flavour). The texture was quite dense, as I had feared, but not so much as to spoil the cake; I wonder if a little more baking powder was needed to counteract the alkalinity of the ripe bananas?

Most people would probably love this cake, but I'm afraid it hasn't converted me to thinking that bananas and chocolate is a good combination.


Unknown said...

I what a shame you weren't crazy for this. I love bananas and chocolate. Plus a marble cake is fab no? Looks lovely anyway X

Baking Addict said...

I love banana and chocolate and this looks delicious to me. The addition of brazil nuts sound great and I love the marbling effect.

Caroline Cowe said...

You can never have too much chocolate in my opinion! I like the marble effect of this cake - thanks for entering in Formula 1 Foods. Only one country to go now!

Choclette said...

So sorry this didn't work for you Suelle and hasn't convinced you of the banana chocolate combination. It looks so beautiful, I'm sure I'd find it a delight to eat, but then I'm quite particle to a dense cake. Thanks for giving it a try and joining in with We Should Cocoa.