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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Passion Fruit and Cream Cheese Swirl Skillet Brownie

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The other day I made brunch for a good friend of mine, who I met while I lived in Dallas. It has been 6 years since we lived in the States. Time does fly! And the funny thing is, we now both live in Amsterdam. For old time’s sake, I wanted to make an American style brunch! This skillet brownie is what I made for dessert.

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I love the combination of passion fruit and dark chocolate. I like adding passion fruit to desserts because it adds a nice tanginess which cuts out the sweetness a bit. For Valentine’s Day I also made this combination to surprise my hubby. I made a chocolate soufflé with a passion fruit – white chocolate ganache center. You can find this recipe by clicking here.

Once the brownie is baked, you could wait for it to cool down and slice it into pieces. But the fun part of making it in a skillet is just grabbing some spoons and digging in while it is still hot! Just make sure to be careful so you don’t burn your tongue. The day I wanted to make it, I couldn’t find fresh passion fruit. So I went to a Brazilian store called Finalmente Brazil, and bought frozen passion fruit pulp there. I love that store because they sell frozen exotic fruit pulp which can be hard to find here.

This recipe is enough for a 23cm skillet, but you can also make it on 22cm square baking pan.

Ingredients:

For the brownie:

57gr butter

115gr of dark chocolate, chopped

½ cup of sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

For the passion fruit swirl:

200gr of cream cheese

3 tablespoons of the passion fruit pulp reduction (if you buy the frozen pulp it is 200gr, if you use fresh passion fruit, use 10 units)

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar

 

First reduce the passion fruit pulp in a pan over medium heat until it becomes very thick. If you don’t want to or can’t get the frozen passion fruit pulp, you can get about 10 fresh passion fruit. Blend the pulp with the seeds, then pass them through a sieve and then reduce the liquid in a pan until you get about 3 tablespoons of a concentrated thick pulp. It should have a syrup-like consistency.

Transfer 3 tablespoons of the reduced pulp into a medium bowl. Add the cream cheese and mix until combined, then slowly add the powdered sugar. You can use an electric mixer to do this or just whisk it by hand. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. If you are using a skillet, grease it with some vegetable oil or butter and then dust the skillet with some cacao powder or flour. If you are using a baking pan, just line it with parchment paper (this makes cleaning up later a bit faster).

To make the brownie, put the chocolate and butter in a small bowl and melt it in the microwave. I do it with 30 seconds intervals, stirring in between, until it has all melted. Allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and vanilla. Then add the chocolate and mix. Finally add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until it is all combined. Pour the batter into the prepared skillet or tray. Using a spoon, add the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter. Then grab a knife and swirl it around the batter to make swirls.

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Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. It is the nicest while it is still warm and the cream cheese part is still a bit gooey. So just dig in as soon as it comes out of the oven!