Bananas for Chocolate!

Chocolate and candles; what a great way to celebrate a birthday!
Chocolate and candles; what a great way to celebrate a birthday!

I must apologize that I’ve been so inconsistent in posting new recipes lately, it’s been a very stressful few months!  First there was the pneumonia, and although that was super fun, I spend the next month studying because today I just took my comprehensive exams in order to graduate from my Masters program (no, not a MA in baking), phew! Anyways, I did have a great excuse to celebrate over the weekend and bake; my Uncles’ (I was told it is impolite to share ages) Birthday!

Delicious Chocolate Frosting that is beyond compare!
Delicious Chocolate Frosting that is beyond compare!

This is not an exaggeration; for YEARS the only thing that my Uncle Brian has asked for was a dessert with Bananas.  Consequently, the only thing my mother WILL NOT eat, even if it is bathed in chocolate – is – you guessed it – bananas.  Well, be it a momentary lapse in judgement or divine intervention; she finally conceded to allow me to make a BANANA CAKE!  I had my eye on this Dulce de Leche and Banana Cake for months I found from Big Red Kitchen, (we have the same NAME! Yay for bakers named Robin!) and it turned out beyond beautifully.

The most fragrant delicious banana cake you have ever imagined!
The most fragrant delicious banana cake you have ever imagined!

The first step is to make dulce de leche.  There are two options here – and they both require roughly about the same effort.  One option is to buy the already made ‘dulce de leche’ from the latin or international food section of your grocery store – easypeasylemonsqueezy.  I personally find it a bit overly sweet for my taste, but more importantly take an odd sense of pride from “making” it myself.  It is SUPER easy to make.  Ready?

Dulce de leche
Step 1: Buy one can of sweetened condensed milk
Step 2: Put it in an oven-proof bowl, without the label and cover with water; still with me?
Step 3: Stick it in the oven for 4 hours.  The ONLY THING you will need to do is to make sure that it stays under water throughout the baking process. Violá

Homemade dulce de leche - easy as boiling water!
Homemade dulce de leche – easy as boiling water!

Now, while that is in the oven, it’s time to get those bananas peeled!  The one thing I would suggest is to definitely line your pans with parchment paper; the banana cake is an unbelievably delicious combination of sweet yet savory; but is incredibly moist and despite APMPLE spraying, it did stick to the pan in places. Check out beneath for the recipe.

Halfway there! Look at that beautiful color combination!
Halfway there! Look at that beautiful color combination!

I filled the cake with the dulce de leche (after it cooled!), but I first spread some of the chocolate frosting in the middle there too!  Why: Does there need to be a reason?  The chocolate frosting (my new favorite), is from the previous blog post (recipe is below too)!

Banana Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter , softened
2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar (I went a bit heavy on the sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
2 eggs
1 t. salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup mashed ripe bananas – about 3 1/2 large bananas
1/4 cup milk
1 t vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I added this)

I did a double take when I first read the recipe too, but mix everything in a bowl on medium speed.  Yea, everything. Craziness! Anyways, mix for about 2 minutes and separate into your cake pans.  I baked my for about 30 minutes for 2; 9-inch rounds.  Check out the BigRedKitchens‘ site for specific cupcake directions!

mmm!
mmm!

Heavenly Chocolate Frosting (this recipe is doubled)
2 10-oz bags DARK chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter @ room temperature

Step 1. In a small saucepan, mix together creamsugar, and corn syrup. Heat over medium flame until sugar has dissolved and mixture is HOT (not boiling!).  Step 2: Pour over chocolate morsels and let sit for 2 minutes then stir until chocolate has melted and combined.  Add butter and stir until combined.  Let frosting sit at least 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally until desired firmness.

Absolutely in LOVE with my new cake plate!
Absolutely in LOVE with my new cake plate!
Okay, so I went a bit photo crazy!
Okay, so I went a bit photo crazy!

Also, PLEASE don’t forget; VOTING for the Nestlé Toll House Dark Chocolate Competition is still going on! Click here to vote for my Recipe by PIN-ing/REPIN-ing it to all your boards! Oh, and liking too! (Check out the post for pics and recipe descriptions!) 

Rich dark chocolate chip java-infused cupcakes!
Rich dark chocolate chip java-infused cupcakes!
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5 thoughts on “Bananas for Chocolate!

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