Friday, June 24, 2011

Rose Bakery’s Chocolate and Banana Cake

Chocolate and Banana Cake
I recently came home with a haul of bananas. An estimated 15 to 20 just-ripe fruit were in the paper sack, and they were mine for 99 cents because the supermarket was letting them go for reasons I’m not quite sure. I stood there, weighing whether to take them or not, and the thought of desserts and smoothies tipped the balance.

The first thing I made was this chocolate and banana cake from the cookbook Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery. The book features recipes for soups, vegetable tarts, pizettes, little salads and sweets — a selection of dishes offered at the Paris bakery.

Briton Rose Carrarini launched the bakery with her French husband in 2002. Before coming to Paris, Rose and Jean-Charles ran Villandry in London. Villandry came about after the couple realized their passions ran toward food instead of the knitwear business they’d been engaged in for many years.

Writing in the book’s introduction, Rose said, “I never wanted to serve fussy or complex food—my intention was always to dissolve the distinction between home and restaurant cooking.”

This simple and delicious chocolate and banana cake exemplifies Rose’s philosophy that “you don’t need any fuss or flourish, as it’s the flavour of the dish that counts.”

Chocolate and Banana Cake
adapted from Breakfast, Lunch and Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery

scant 3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
scant 1 c sugar
3 eggs
3 bananas, very ripe, mashed
scant 1/2 c buttermilk
1 heaping t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 1/3 c all-purpose flour, sifted
1 T cocoa
1 c chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
7 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 10 inch loaf pan and line the base with parchment paper.

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the bananas and buttermilk. Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the nuts, then the chocolate pieces.

Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool.  Remove from pan when completely cool.

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