Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Cake

This is an oldie, but it was in need of a picture update. I love banana cake. It is one of the easiest cakes to make. And so far this is my favorite version. You can make it in the traditional loaf pan, but this time I used a 22cm square baking dish and I only made half of the recipe. I wanted to decorate it with banana pieces cut into stars. I recommend that if you want to use the star bananas, to only do it if you are making half of the recipe or use a larger baking sheet to spread the batter more. As the stars are so small, they will probably end up sinking to the bottom if the cake is too high.

We are having some friends over for dinner tonight, so this will be our dessert. I’m also excited that at least one of our house projects is done. The background in this picture is the dinning table that Pieter and I made. We couldn’t find a table that we both loved, so we decided to make it ourselves. And I am so happy that we did because I love it and it is unique. We still need to make the bench with the same wood and then do some chair shopping for the remaining space.

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas, mashed (it is important that they are ripe)

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

125gr butter, melted

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

5 teaspoons of milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

½ cup of peanut butter

1/3 cup of cocoa powder

Extras:

Bananas for decoration (optional), I used a small star cookie cutter

 

Preheat the oven to 180/350F. Line an oven dish or loaf pan with parchment paper.

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, except for the peanut butter and cocoa powder.

Place the peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. This will make it easier to mix.

Divide the mixture into 2 bowls. Mix the peanut butter with half of the batter, and the cacao powder with the other half. Spoon the batters into the prepared mold, alternating flavors. Once you’ve spooned all of the batter. Use a knife to swirl the batter around and create a marble effect.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. If you make half the recipe like I did, It will take about 25 minutes to cook depending on the shape of your baking mold. When it’s done it will be golden and just use the toothpick method to double check if it is cooked through.

Allow the cake to cool down before slicing it.

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Double Banana Rolls with Dulce de Leche

We were so busy with the building of the extension of our apartment (which will still take some time till it is finished) that I didn’t have much time to write, but finally here is the first recipe of the year. If you follow my Instagram stories, you probably saw that I was working on a dough recipe.

My first try was a complete mess and the second one was too dry. This version is the one I finally liked. It has crushed banana chips in the filling so it also gives it a bit of a crunch, and mashed banana in the dough. They are a bit sticky because of the dulce de leche, but messy is not always bad. Happy weekend!

This recipe makes about 8-10 rolls.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 ripe banana, mashed (It is important that the banana is ripe, the riper the better)

3 ½ cups of self-rising flour

7grs of dried yeast

½ cup of lukewarm milk

½ teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

¼ cup of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 egg

For the filling:

About 250grs of dulce de leche, at room temperature or lukewarm so it is easier to spread

2 cups of banana chips, turned into crumbs using a food processor

Extra:

Egg wash

 

Place the lukewarm milk and yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer and let it sit for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes have passed, add the remaining ingredients for the dough. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment. You can also knead it by hand, it will just take you about 10 minutes.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with a bit of vegetable oil.  Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 10 minutes before the hour for the rise is up, preheat your oven to 180C-350F. You can bake the rolls in an oven dish, but this time I wanted to make them individual so I used a muffin tin. I used parchment paper as muffin liners (I just cut it into squares).

Once the dough is done rising for 1 hour, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle. Slice off the uneven edges. Then carefully spread the dulce de leche all over the dough. Make sure that the dulce de leche is spreadable (you can always warm it up slightly in the microwave). Sprinkle the banana chip crumbs evenly over the dulce de leche. Roll it tight lengthwise. Cut the uneven edges and discard of them. Now that you have an even rolled dough, slice it into about 8-10 even pieces. Make sure that they are not too big if you are using a muffin tin, as they still need space to rise while baking.

Place the rolls in the muffin tin lined with parchment paper or muffin liners. Brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake them for about 20 minutes until golden.

They are best when eaten right out of the oven. Enjoy!

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Acai, Hibiscus & Banana Popscicles

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It’s been so nice and warm the last couple of days that I couldn’t help myself and made some popsicles. I actually had one for breakfast this morning. They are super easy to make and quite healthy too. I made a reduction with acai pulp, hibiscus tea and banana. Then I swirled it around with Greek yogurt. A guilt free breakfast that tastes like dessert!

This recipe makes about 7 small popsicles

Ingredients:

½ cup of dried hibiscus flowers

1 cup of boiling water

100gr of frozen acai pulp

8 tablespoons of honey

1 banana, chopped

2 cups of Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

For the chocolate shell:

300grs of dark chocolate, chopped

3 teaspoons of coconut oil

Dried coconut (optional)

 

Place the hibiscus flowers in a small bowl, add the boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes.

Once the 5 minutes are up, pass the tea through a sieve and discard of the flowers.

Place the hibiscus tea, 6 tablespoons of honey, acai and banana in the blender. Blend until smooth.

Then place the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let it reduce to a thick syrup while stirring so it doesn’t burn. This will take about 5 minutes. Then transfer it to a bowl to cool down.

Once the acai mixture has cooled down, start making the yogurt part. Whisk the Greek yogurt with the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey and vanilla.

Place a bit of the acai mixture in the popsicle molds, then add some of the Greek yogurt and then some more of the acai mixture. Use a toothpick or tip of a knife, to make the swirls. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

If you want to coat them in chocolate, microwave the dark chocolate with the coconut oil in intervals of 30 seconds. Stirring in between until it is completely melted. Dip the popsicles in the chocolate shell and immediately sprinkle some of the dried coconut. You can eat them right away. If you want to keep them in the freezer, wrap them individually in plastic film or a Ziploc bag.

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Healthy Banana Split

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You can have this for breakfast or dessert. It is much healthier than an actual banana split. I made the “soft serve ice cream” with frozen bananas, blueberries and blackberries. And then topped it with pistachios, puffed quinoa, more fruit and melted chocolate.

This recipe makes one large serving.

Ingredients: 

2 frozen bananas

¾ cup of frozen blueberries

¾ cup frozen blackberries

Milk, just enough to blend the frozen fruit

Toppings:

1 banana, sliced in two lengthwise

3 or 4 fresh cherries, pitted and sliced in half

A few fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons of chopped pistachios

2 tablespoons of puffed quinoa

2 tablespoons of toasted dried coconut

30grs of dark chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Fresh mint leaves

 

Melt the chopped chocolate with the coconut oil in the microwave for 30 second intervals until it has completely melted, stirring in between.

Place the frozen banana, frozen blackberries and frozen blueberries in the blender. Blend until smooth, adding a bit of milk to get everything mixed.

Serve it on a big bowl. Add the sliced banana in the middle. Add the blueberries and cherries. Sprinkle the pistachios, quinoa and dried coconut. Drizzle some of the dark chocolate and finish it with a few mint leaves.  Eat right away.

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Buckwheat-Banana Waffles (Gluten-free)

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It has finally started to feel like summer again, after all the rain and crappy cold weather. And it looks like it’s going to stay like this way for a little while (knock on wood). Hopefully, it will last the whole month.  We had a really nice weekend. On Friday we went out for cocktails and watched the sunset from the Skylounge of the DoubleTree hotel. And on Sunday we spent the afternoon cruising around Amsterdam on a friend’s boat.

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I love this gluten free waffle recipe. I have been making it very often lately. It is better to do it with very ripe bananas as they add most of the sweetness to the batter. I try to always have bananas in the house and let them get ripe for a while. So there is always an excuse for banana-oatmeal pancakes or waffles or cake.

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Ingredients:

1 1/3 of a cup of buckwheat flour

½ cup of rice flour

2 ripe bananas, mashed (the riper, the better)

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

1 egg

3 tablespoons of agave syrup or honey

3 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of salt

 

Melt the coconut oil in the microwave and then let it cool down a bit.

Mash the bananas and place them in the blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Brush your waffle iron with some vegetable oil or use cooking spray. Pour in the waffle batter. The cooking time will depend on your waffle iron. Mine takes 4 minutes per waffle.

Serve with the topping of your choice. I like to add dulce de leche and fruit, or ice cream.

Healthy Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

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This is a lighter pancake recipe. I often make this on the weekend for either breakfast or lunch. My husband loves them. It is super easy to make. Just put everything in a blender and the batter is done. They are quite a treat without the guilt. If you are gluten free, you can replace the all-purpose flour for rice flour. I’ve tried them both and they work pretty well. They are also very nice with blueberries.

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This recipe makes 1 portion (about 5 medium pancakes).

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas, broken into chunks

3 tablespoons of oatmeal

½ teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 egg

Vegetable or coconut oil for greasing the pan

Berries for serving

 

Place the bananas, oatmeal, baking powder, vanilla extract, flour and egg in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Heat up a lightly greased non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Once it is hot, lower the heat to medium and pour some of the batter into the pan. It is better to make smaller pancakes because the batter has a softer consistency than normal pancakes. This will make easier for you when you have to flip them (if you make them too big, they might break while flipping and turn intro scrambled pancakes). Allow to brown and set a bit before carefully flipping them. Then brown on the other side.

Serve them hot and garnish with some berries or any other fruit of your choice.

Banana & Candied Ginger Bread

Banana ginger cake

I love banana bread, the smell of the house when it’s baking and its texture. It’s one of those recipes where I have no self-control over eating it. I have eaten it plain for most of my life. My mom would make it very often when I was a kid and it never lasted very long in the house.  I like it because it’s not overly sweet.  I’ve made a few variations over time, like adding chocolate chips and hazelnuts.  I made this variation with candied ginger yesterday and it turned out pretty good. It had a Christmas feel to it. I made half of the recipe and by the end of the night it was all gone.  You can also make it into cupcakes.

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

125gr butter, melted

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

5 teaspoons of milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

For the candied ginger:

200gr fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced

200gr sugar plus more for coating

For the glaze:

2 ½ cups of icing sugar

¼ cup of ginger syrup

Drops of lime juice

Water

 

To make the candied ginger:

Boil the sliced ginger for 30 minutes.  Then drain it and return it to the saucepan. Add the sugar plus 1 cup of water. Cook on medium heat until most of the water has evaporated and it has become a thick syrup.  Reduce the heat and start stirring constantly until it is almost dry.  Remove from the heat. Spread the pieces of ginger on a parchment paper and allow to cool down.

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Once the ginger is cold, separate 2/3 of it to go inside the bread and chop it. Coat in sugar the remaining 1/3 of the ginger.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease a loaf pan.

To make the bread, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and add the ginger that wasn’t coated with sugar.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (About 50 minutes for a medium pan).  Set aside and allow cooling down.

Chop the sugar coated ginger.

Once the bread has cooled down, start making the glaze. Whisk the icing sugar with the ginger syrup and a few drops of lime juice. Add a few drops of water until it has become a pourable glaze. Glaze the bread and sprinkle on top the chopped candied ginger.