Inspiration strikes at unexpected times.
We were sitting through a long official meeting in one of the hotels in Gurgaon last week. The meeting stretched on and on. I was secretly praying for a break- a hot cup of tea and a little something to eat was much needed.
When a break was finally announced, we headed towards the tea stall. The variety of tea was limited but they made up for the limited option with lovely munchies. There were a variety of cookies, sandwiches and neat squares of frosted cake. The cake caught my eye. They were evenly shaped squares of banana bread with chocolate frosting and a almond atop each square for decoration. They looked lovely. The image registered in my head and I was keen to create my own version of it.
And that’s what I did last night. I used my old banana bread recipe and tweaked it to create this!
The original recipe is reproduced here for easy reference. Since this was an experiment for me, I halved the recipe.
- 3 ripe bananas (roughly mashed)
- 2 eggs
- 2C Maida
- 1 ½ C powdered sugar
- ½ C butter (softened but not totally melted)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ t salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder or cardamom powder
- ¼ C of dry fruits/nuts of your choice
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- a few tablespoons of milk(optional)
- Sift the maida, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon/elaichi powder thrice and keep aside.
- Beat the eggs till light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat for 3-4 minutes more. Then add the butter and beat the mixture some more.
- Add the mashed bananas and vanilla essence and beat for a minute or two to ensure even mixing.
- Cut and fold the maida mixture(prepared in point 1) along with the dry fruits/nuts.
- Bake at 180-190 Deg. C for 35-40 minutes( or till a toothpick comes out clean.)
On halving the recipe I got a rectangle tin of 6” x 4”. On cooling I cut it into 8 (almost) equal squares. I also removed the top crust and the sides to allow for easy frosting.
For the chocolate frosting I worked mostly by approximation.- mainly because I don’t have a kitchen scale. The last time I had made frosting of any types was many, many years ago so it was as good as starting afresh. I worked based on a memory of a chocolate frosting recipe I had once read- miraculously it worked well for me!
Ingredients for chocolate frosting
- 40 gms of chocolate (I used selburn which is easily available in Delhi)
- 2 tbsp of fresh cream
- 2-3 tsp of milk
- 8 halves of walnut
- Cut the slab of chocolate into small pieces.
- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate till its soft and liquid-y
- To improve consistency so that you can pour it over the banana cake squares, add the cream and milk. Stir well.
- I faced some trouble with my consistency, so its a good idea to try and frost one of the waste crust pieces to see how the frosting flows. You can add more chocolate or cream as you see fit. Im my case I added too much milk and then had to add more chocolate. The basic idea is to get a smooth, pouring consistency.
- Once the chocolate is ready, place the cooled banana cake squares on a plate. Using a spoon, pour the chocolate over the squares- allow some to drip down the sides. Place a walnut half on top of the squares.
- Place in a fridge for a short while to allow chocolate to set.
I took these squares to office and though they were over in a jiffy, I realised the warm Delhi weather is not too kind to the frosting. By mid morning, the frosting was soft to touch but it didn’t become runny and flow down. Depending on the weather, you can consider placing it in the fridge for a few minutes before serving. I also felt that I should have reduced the sugar content since there was a sweet frosting. For half the recipe, instead of 3/4 C I could have worked with 1/2 C. Others didnt mind, but I felt it was on the sweeter side.