Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Coconut

Pinterest.  I find it to be one of the most addictive things, when I am on it that is.  I actually don’t spend so much time on it, but if I did….oh dear.  I would be as big as a heffalump.  There are all these cake recipes!  I am a sucker for cake.  And I love love love baking them.  But there are so many cakes, and brownie’s and goodies….I am literally pinning and pinning and who knows when I will actually get to them.  But, I managed to make one.  I came across one for this recipe, and I thought the idea was delicious.  I love banana bread, but I’ve never had a cake.  The original recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com calls for nuts instead of chocolate chips, but the pinner added chocolate chips.  And who doesn’t love the combination of bananas and chocolate?

I added the toasted coconut, and also some shaved dark chocolate on top.  To the batter I also added some vanilla extract and lemon rind.

It is divine.  Pure indulgence.  Super moist, light and fluffy.  Try it.  And give some away because it is addictive!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

2.5 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 pinch of salt

115 g butter

1 tbsp corn syrup

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp grated lemon rind

3 extra ripe bananas, mashed

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sweetened coconut, toasted

1/4 cup dark chocolate, shaved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 2 nine-inch round cake pans, set aside.  Sift flour, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Trust me on this, makes the cake super airy and light).  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and lemon rind.

Set the speed to low, and alternatively add the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fold in the mashed bananas and chocolate chips.

Bake for 30 minutes, approximately, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack before frosting.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.  Cream the butter and cream cheese until creamy.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Refrigerate until using.

Cut the cakes in half, so you have four thin layers.  Frost the layers and dust with a little coconut.  Then frost the top and outside of the cake.  Dust the middle with chocolate, and the outer ring with coconut.  If you want, also the sides.

Enjoy with a really tall cold glass of milk!  Yumm yumm.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

Coconut French Toast with Strawberry Mint Syrup

I love french toast.  Unfortunately, I don’t make enough of it here, and it is almost impossible to find in restaurants, since in Barcelona breakfast usually consists of baguette with a measly slice of ham or cheese, or a croissant.

My daughter loves pancakes, and I am an egg fiend, so weekend breakfasts usually consist of that.  But this Saturday, pre-Ikea, my friend came over for brunch and I felt like something different.  But, I also wanted one of those syrups that I used to get at IHOP, you know the ridiculously good but fake versions of fruit syrups they have?  So I decided to make my own, and add a bit of mint since my little plant is overflowing.  And then I saw I had some grated coconut in my pantry….so voila!  The idea of Coconut French Toast sprung into my mind, with a strawberry mint syrup, and of course some fresh strawberries scattered on top.  The whole shebang is really easy to make, and your tummy will be all the happier for it!

So here is what you’ll need for 2 people:

Butter, for spreading and for the pan

8 slices plain white bread, if you have a thicker brioche you will only need 4

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup grated sweetened coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the syrup:

1/2 cup sugar

16 strawberries, 8 hulled and cut in half, 8 hulled and sliced and reserved for topping

4 leaves of mint, cut in chiffonade

1.5 cups of water

Topping:

Maple syrup

Powdered sugar

Butter one side of all of your bread.  Then make a sandwich so you’ll have four thick slices.  Beat your eggs with the milk, coconut, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

In the meantime, in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, place your 8 halved strawberries, sugar, mint and water and boil.  Lower the heat and let reduce for about 15 minutes.  Mash your strawberries, and reduce another 5, you want it to be a syrup consistency, not a jam.  Keep warm.

In a large non-stick skillet, melt a tbsp of butter over medium high heat, and wipe off with a paper towel.  Dip your bread in the coconut egg mixture, and fry for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, flip and do the same on the other side.

Place on a plate, pour some of your strawberry mint syrup over the bread, place your fresh sliced strawberries on top, drizzle with maple syrup and top with some powdered sugar.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla