Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Two for One: Chocolate Banana Cake and another Powdered-Sugar-Free Frosting!

My intention was to have two separate blog posts, one with the chocolate cake, one with the frosting, but the days just keep going by in a blur of diapers, feedings and naps and I haven't had a chance to sit down and write one post, let alone two. So here we are, with a two-fer!

First of all, the cake.

It's more than chocolate cake, it's chocolate banana cake. My sister thinks that's disgusting, but both my DH and I thought it was delicious. The use of the banana makes it so moist and adds another layer of sweet flavor. We normally never finish a cake before it goes bad, but we've already almost polished off this one!

Another plus is that it is egg-free, which is great if you avoid them or have allergies. Or if you don't have eggs on hand, which happens!

Chocolate Banana Cake
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup raw sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed banana

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the melted butter, hot water and vanilla; stir well. Add mashed bananas and mix thoroughly until well blended. Pour batter into two greased and floured round cake pans. Bake in a 350F oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then invert pans and release cake. Cool completely before frosting.

Aside from the extra step of mashing the bananas and melting the butter (neither of which takes longer than a minute), it's just as QUICK as a box mix.

It's also just as EASY as a box mix. Mix the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, stir, bake. What could be easier?

It's CHEAPer than many cakes because it doesn't require eggs. Doesn't save you much, but hey, every little bit helps, right?

It's pretty HEALTHY as cakes go, with the use of partially whole wheat flour, as well as the addition of bananas. It uses the minimum amount of sugar for a recipe like this.

Now for the frosting....

Knowing of my quest for powdered-sugar-free frostings (apparently, a quest shared by many of you as it is one of my most popular features ever), a friend alerted me to Flour Frosting. I had never heard of such a thing, but a quick google search led me to some great blogs and recipe sites that convinced me i definitely needed to try it.

I'll admit it's still a work in progress.  Don't get me wrong; it tasted amazing, and the texture was so light and fluffy. It was like whipped cream frosting but... better! However, it looked a little grainy and slightly separated, and as I read more about it, I realized I should have beat it longer (which is contrary to what I would think, but that seems to be what everybody said would do the trick. So next time, I'll beat it longer! Also, I saw a couple different variations, and I think I will try them all and see which one I like best.

It's perfectly delicious as is, though, so I'm going to share it with you now. Now go eat some cake... without any powdered sugar!

Flour Frosting
5 TBSP flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup raw sugar

Whisk flour into milk in a medium saucepan until dissolved. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cool to room temperature and stir in vanilla. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add milk mixture and continue beating until it resembles whipped cream. Frost.

This is not as QUICK as other frosting recipes, but the extra bit of time is definitely worth it.

Other frostings may be EASY-er and less finicky, but they probably don't taste as good.

This recipe uses basic pantry ingredients so it's fairly CHEAP. It does take a whole cup of butter, which can be pricey unless you get it on sale (I was stuck without enough butter, so I had to pay full price. I hate that!).

Frosting recipes aren't really HEALTHY, but this one's not bad. It's definitely a lot better than the frostings that come in the little cans, and because it doesn't have tons of powdered sugar, it's healthier in that respect as well.

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