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Good food: Bananas and chocolate

May 4, 2013

No, not bananas and chocolate together — but that would be pretty tasty as well. Thought I’d share two new recipes I made this week: banana bread and homemade brownies.

image via simplyrecipes.com

We eat a lot of bananas in our house and sometimes overbuy, so I’m always looking for ways to use overripe bananas. This recipe makes a dense, moist loaf of banana bread with a nice hearty crust on it.

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Here’s the link to the original recipe from Simply Recipes.

image via bonappetit.com

And the brownies. Who doesn’t love a good brownie? I admit, I often make them from the box, but I decided last minute to make these, so didn’t have a box on hand. I scrounged up the ingredients from our cupboards and found the recipe on bonappetit.com. They turned out well — quite rich — and weren’t that much harder than the box kind. Maybe I’m a homemade brownie convert. Here’s a link to the original recipe — also below.

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Scharffen Berger natural unsweetened cocoa powder (I just used whatever brand of cocoa powder we had at home.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line an 8x8x2 inches glass baking dish with foil, pressing firmly into pan and leaving a 2 inches overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray; set baking dish aside.
  • Melt butter in a small sauce-pan over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Whisk sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Pour butter in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. Add flour and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.
  • Bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes.
  • Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownie out of pan; transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

As a little twist on this, I decided to use a mini muffin pan instead of the traditional squares. I sprayed the muffin pan with cooking spray before putting the batter in and they came out quite cleanly. I only baked them for 15 minutes instead of the 25 – 30 minutes in the original recipe.

I didn’t take a picture of my finished product, but they looked kind of like this. Cute, right?

image via lynnlly.com

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