Thursday, January 15, 2009

Forbidden Baked Goods

Almond Banana Bread, for when you miss your mom (or past apartments)

My mom doesn't actually make banana bread but this makes me think of my first baking experiments in sunny Atlanta, which was home to me once. Back in college, I used Bisquick to make banana bread and it was tasty enough, but my latest experiments exhibit a more mature, yet still easy to make, comfort food. Taking a cue from Katy at Pomelo Pleasures, I used azucar negro for this recipe but she suggests replacing the sugars with 1 cup of brown sugar if you've got it.
  • 1 1/2 c. flour (I would like to try this with wheat flour)
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 50 g. butter (that's not quite half a stick in the US)
  • 1/2 c. azucar negro
  • 1/2 c. sugar (I'm only using organic now)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. milk
  • vanilla to taste (I used about 1/8 t.)
  • 1/2 c. almonds, chopped
  • slivered almonds to top
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. Mash your bananas, leaving little lumps, set aside. Cream together butter and sugar, mix in egg, milk, vanilla and bananas. Combine with the dry ingredients and chopped almonds. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan and sprinkle slivered almonds on top (I would have added way more if I didn't have to sliver them myself). Bake at 180C (350F) for one hour, or until a knife comes out clean. Since I don't have any cream cheese to spread on slices, I'm using Finlandia.

Brownie con cafe
inspired by Everyday Italian

There's no way that tiny little Giada De Laurentiis is eating these, but I bet she makes a lot of other people happy, and round. This is a great recipe for a last minute dessert, since it uses a box. Now, don't be ashamed of store-bought baking--this isn't Sandra Lee and we're not going to make season-themed window treatments and pull a cocktail out of our cleavage.
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil (these are very moist, replace some with water if you want them less oily)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T. instant espresso (I used coffee)
  • 1 box brownie mix (original recipe calls for 20 oz box)
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips (I chopped up a bar of Aguila semi-sweet chocolate)
The only brownie mix I could find was only 15 oz so I reduced all of the ingredients by 25% (just eyeballed it). I used only one egg and a combination of 1/2 T. water mixed with 1/2 t. baking powder to make half of an egg. Whisk water, oil, eggs and coffee together. Add brownie mix and chips. Bake at 180C (350F) for 35 minutes, a toothpick should come out clean with a few crumbs.


Katie said...

hahaha I love your comments about Giada and Sandra Lee.

Both the banana bread and brownies look yummy. I made banana bread for my boyfriend a while back with a recipe I have that calls for sour cream. Given the regrettable absence of sour cream in Argentina, I subbed applesauce. I was very pleased with the results! I'd love to try your recipe as well.

Julia said...

what is azucar negro? i'm curious. i wish i had the ability to pull a cocktail out of my cleavage!

meag said...

Katie, Banana bread with sour cream sounds dangerous and I would love to try it!

Julia, you and me both! Azucar negro is like dry brown sugar. It reminds me of sugar in the raw but with more molasses.

Katie said...

Hey Meag,

Here's that banana bread recipe I mentioned earlier: Janet's Rich Banana Bread.

If I'm not mistaken, I subbed an equal part of applesauce for the sour cream. I mash the bananas too even though it says to slice them.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh those look amazing. YUM! you are making me so hungry, I love coffee and chocolate, I am thinking I will make coffee creme brulees for valentines day, but those brownies are making me think twice.

meag said...

Jigga wha?!? Katy, you've gotta make those coffee creme brulees (and post them!)