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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

June 20, 2012

Monkey Freckles Cake

Each quarter at work we have a big meeting that we refer to as the "Town Hall". The meetings are informative, entertaining and full of creative videos that keep everyone rapt with attention (and laughing!). Unfortunately the meeting has a reputation for being lengthy, sometimes exceeding ninety minutes in duration. To help ease the pain of sitting that long, I was asked to provide something yummy for the troupes and I gladly accepted. All together, I made six different cakes! I tried to find recipes that would appeal to everyone in attendance and I knew this one was sure to get gobbled up. Overall it was a great success and I especially enjoyed watching everyone come into the big conference room and see the freshly baked goodies waiting for them. Cake makes people smile!

The first recipe I'd like to share is one that I enjoyed making, munching on, and renaming. It's really just banana chocolate chip cake but it's just too yummy for a such a pedestrian name. If you like Starbuck's Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, then you will absolutely love this recipe. True, my recipe isn't exactly reduced-fat like Starbuck's but considering their cake has 400 calories per serving, I'm not exactly sure it matters. Not to mention, my cake has ingredients you can pronounce and probably have in your kitchen. Startbuck's cake is full of preservatives and odd things like DATEM and oleoresin paprika...*shudder*.

So instead of pitching those brown bananas no one wants to eat into the trash can, whip up a treat everyone will love! Guaranteed smile-maker! :)

Monkey Freckles Cake (aka Banana Chocolate Chip Cake)
adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman
Yield: 10-16 slices, depending on how you slice it

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 cups VERY ripe bananas (skins are almost black), mashed up. It's about 3 little or 2 big bananas.
2/3 cup full fat sour cream at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, softened but not melted
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips, mini or full sized
1 cup of toasted, chopped walnuts (size of pieces is up to you) (optional)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 12-cup Bundt cake pan or tube pan and dust with flour or spray with Pam for Baking. Don't forget the center fluted section!

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Set aside.

Mix the eggs, bananas, sour cream, and vanilla together just until combined. Set aside.

Don't rush this step! In a bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together at medium-high speed until it gets fluffy and almost white in color. Do this for 3 minutes with a stand mixer and 5 minutes with a handheld. Stop a time or two to scrape down the bowl and attachment(s).

Pour all of the sour cream mixture from step 1 into the bowl and mix with a spoon a little to combine the ingredients. Then turn on your mixer on low speed, slowly working up to medium to mix the ingredients together until well mixed. Scrape down the bowl and mixer attachment(s) once. Mix until everything looks consistent and no chunks of sour cream or butter remain. About 2-3 minutes.

Slowly add the flour to the mixture, a little at a time, on low speed. Tip: I like to mix a little in manually before turning on the mixer to avoid the flour popping out of the bowl. Scrape down the bowl and attachment(s) and give it one last good mix at medium high for 10-15 seconds.

Bundt Pan: Mix the chocolate chips with a teaspoon or two of flour. Coat evenly. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts (if you plan to use them) to the batter. Give one final mix on medium-high speed to incorporate them into the batter. Tube Pan: Reserve 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. Mix remaining chips with a teaspoon or two of flour. Coat evenly. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts (if you plan to use them) to the batter. Give one final mix on medium-high speed to incorporate them into the batter.

Bundt Pan: Pour batter into the prepared pan. Tube Pan: Pour batter into the prepared pan and scatter the reserved chocolate chips on the top, pushing down on them with the back of a spoon to set

Put the cake into the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. About 40-45 minutes. Set your time for 35 minutes just to see where the cake is. You may not need the full 40-45 minutes.

Let the cake cool down in the pan for at least 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over the top if you wish and enjoy.

Note: For a denser texture, wait at several hours for it to cool off, even over night.

Would I Make This Again? Heck yeah! My sixteen year old son said, "Mom, that's DELICIOUS!" when he had a slice and he hardly ever gives me any real feedback.


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