My mother called to tell me she made an amazing banana cake–the best ever!–she wanted to thank me for helping her convert the recipe from a margarine/butter-based recipe to an oil-based recipe. Instead of replacing the butter with oil in a one to one ratio, I told her to add slightly less oil than butter and make up the difference in volume with a little water.
Why? Because most butter is only about 81 percent butterfat (somewhere between 80 and 86 percent). The rest is water and milkfat solids. So 3/4 cup margarine is approximately equal to 10 Tbl. oil and 2 Tbl. water.
She also made a few of her own tweaks to the recipe–a little less sugar, a pinch more flour–and the result was a moist, but not greasy or heavy cake. My mom was thrilled: “Usually my banana cakes fall in the center or are heavy, but this cake was perfect!”
I was inspired to make the cake, too. My blender was on the counter, so I used that to mix up the batter. I decided to gild the lily by making a chocolate glaze with melted chocolate chips and coconut oil. The glaze tastes a bit like Magic Shell or the coating on ice cream bars. The flavor combination of cake and glaze is reminiscent of chocolate covered frozen bananas.
Adapted from Sharing Our Best with the margarine replaced with oil/water and slight tweaks to the amount of sugar and flour.
2/3 cup oil (5 ounces)
2 Tbl. water (1 ounce)
scant 1 ½ cups sugar (10.5 ounces/300 g.)
½ cup orange juice (4 ounces)
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (8 ounces/230 g.)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour plus 2 Tbl. (10 ounces/285 g.)
1 tsp. vanilla or more
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped bar of chocolate (3.5 ounces)
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease a 9″x13″ pan (or loaf pan).
Mix oil, water, sugar in a mixing bowl. Add eggs and beat until the batter is fluffy. Add the mashed bananas. Stir in baking powder and baking soda. Add vanilla. Alternately add flour and orange juice (flour in four additions and orange juice in three additions). Stir in chips. Pour the batter in the pan. Bake 1 hour.
Blender method: Put sugar, water and oil in blender and blend for 1 minute. Add the eggs and blender for another 2 minutes. Add the mashed banana and blend for another minute (the bananas don’t have to be that well mashed because the blender will pulverize them). Add the baking powder and baking soda and blend for another 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and blend another 30 seconds. Take the blender container off the base and use a long handled spoon or spatula to stir in the flour and orange juice. Add the flour and orange juice alternately (adding flour in four additions and orange juice in three additions). Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the greased 9″x13″ baking pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
I usually like to use a chocolate glaze made from chocolate and coconut milk, but this is a nice variation. You could make a glaze just from the chocolate chips and coconut oil, but adding the powdered sugar and cocoa stretches the glaze out a bit and adds a little cocoa intensity that I like.
half a bag chocolate chips, melted (5 ounces)
5 Tbl. coconut oil (2.5 ounces)
3 Tbl. cocoa powder (.5 ounce)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (2 ounces)
Combine the ingredients to make a chocolate glaze for the cake.
After glazing cake, put the cake in the fridge so that the glaze sets up and gets hard. The flavor is very much like Magic Shell ice cream topping.