Chocolate & Banana Lovin’


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Hello! Well, it’s been a WHILE but believe me, I’ve been so swamped!
Hence, a semi legit reason for my lack of baking as of late, but I have started again! I had a choco-craving and so I made my own healthier version of a chocolate cupcake adapted from my new cookbook (love it! SO cute) Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery.

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Chocolate (Butterless) Cupcakes:
Makes 16 regular cupcakes

Ingredients:
– 4 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used 60% cocoa)
– 3 tablespoons (45 grams) mashed bananas (or you can also use applesauce!)
– 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I used light muscovado sugar)
– 2 large eggs, separated
– 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
– Pinch of salt
– 1 cup low-fat milk, at room temperature
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (i.e. 190 degrees C) and line 16 cups into muffin liners.
2. Break chocolate into pieces (or use chocolate chips) and melt. You can either microwave for 30 seconds, take out & stir, followed by another 30 seconds. OR if you don’t have a microwave (like me), put the pieces in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir occasionally until chocolate is completely melted with no clumps.
3. In a large bowl, cream the pureed fruit and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. In a separate bowl, use your mixer (make sure it’s completely clean!) and beat the egg yolks for several minutes. Then slowly add the egg yolks to the pureed fruit mixture and beat well.
4. Next, add the melted chocolate to the mixture and beat well again. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
5. In another separate small bowl, mix the milk and vanilla together.
6. Add 1/3 of the flour to the chocolate mixture and beat well. Alternate with 1/3 of the milk and beat well until all is incorporated.
7. In (I know! but yet another clean bowl with clean mixers), whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then carefully fold in the egg whites into the batter using a metal spoon. Do not beat or you will take all the air out of the batter.
8. Carefully spoon the mixture into the cup, filling them about 2/3 full (since it will rise!). Bake in the over for around 15- 20 minutes (note: when you substitute fruit puree for butter or oil in a recipe, you nee only half the amount and baking time reduced to half as well)
9. Cool on rack and feel free to frost! I got lazy and simply used store bought icing sugar!

The next day back in Hong Kong was my guy’s actual bday but I didn’t want to spoil him too much since he already had 2 early celebrations (note: previous project birthday cake!) so I opted for this simple but yummy cupcake recipe (again, he does NOT like baked goods that taste like healthy….) One candle. DONE. This cupcake recipe was trial 1. Seems the substitute of pureed fruit for butter kept the cake moist and the chocolate taste intensified the next day!

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It was a lovely treat but then now I’m left with extra bananas and chocolate -.-”
Just so happens, I bought the cutest mini roasters during my time in Vancouver (I thought it was the most practical thing ever at the time. Cuteness blinds me…). I haven’t really been able to use it so far so I decided to make this chocolate banana bread I found 🙂

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I found this amazing recipe for a healthy banana chocolate bread =)

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Banana Chocolate Bread
Recipe makes 1 loaf (FYI: I halved the recipe and it made 5 loaves from my mini roasters)

Ingredients:
– 250 grams all-purpose flour (can be substituted with whole-wheat as well)
– 2.5 teaspoons baking powder (omit if you are using self-raising flour)
– Big pinch of salt
– 125 grams dark or milk chocolate, finely chopped (I used 60% chocolate chips!)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup caster sugar (I opted with light muscovado sugar, aka brown cane sugar, as I like the deeper flavor and chewier texture)
– 2 large eggs
– 4 large ripe bananas, mashed

Directions:
1. Preheat over to 200 degrees C. Grease and line a loaf tin and set aside.
2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Then stir in the chocolate.
3. In a larger bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and bananas. Gently combine the dry ingredients into the wet and be careful not to overmix.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for 30 minutes or under golden brown and it passes the toothpick test (note: original recipe calls for 45 minutes of bake time but mine’s were browned already by 30 minutes! Done through the middle as well but possibly the color could be due to my sugar substitute and always, my conventional oven). Cool on rack. Advice? Eat it gooey and warm and it’s AMAZING with vanilla haagen-dazs 🙂
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Note: A lot of recipes incorporate different ingredients depending on your taste buds, so free to to spice this cake up with some cinnamon or freshly ground ginger! Mint chocolate chips would be a nice twist as well!

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