Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whole Wheat Banana Cake

I hardly eat bananas, but love them when added to fruit salad or granola, or incorporated or made into desserts, such as banana cake / banana bread.

Or this. Here is a baby banana from Thailand. One that went skinny dipping in honey and then off to leisurely hours of sun-bathing. From many internet sources, this type of banana is called 'finger' or 'lady finger'. In Thai it's called Leb Meau Nang which translates as 'lady fingernail'. A fingernail this size is long by any standard, and I think that given such a fingernail, to be called a 'lady' is debatable.

Like many other dried fruits (dried apricots, dates, prunes, plums), they are sweet and have a nice chewy texture. The honey has caramelized and has a hint of molasses. I brought 2 boxes of these back from Thailand thinking that they would make a healthy snack or dessert. But who was I kidding!? Each time after all is said and done (dinner and dessert that is), I'd shake my head and gleefully tell myself that that was fruit. Not dessert! And who in the right mind would cheat herself out of a dessert!?

In Thailand we have many ways of dealing with the excess supply of bananas. Here is dried banana sheets. The bananas are soaked in salted water, cut in half, flattened, and oven dried.

From time to time I also have to deal with excess supply of bananas myself, which in yesterday's case meant a banana cake. But not just any banana cake because I had the bright idea of making it super healthy.

I had never used whole wheat flour and had wanted to try. So last week off I went to get some at Fairway. The smallest bag was 2.5 kg and it would cost $5.98, and then I saw the 10 kg. bag was on sale for $7.98. Given that I had never used WW flour, I didn't know if I was going to waste $2.00 or 10 kgs of flour, but I was too cold for too much thinking.

After lugging the 10 kg., plus other Christmas groceries, in the windy snow storm like a mad woman, it is now sitting in the basement. So I might as well get cracking on it. I substituted the AP flour with it using my regular banana bread recipe, as well as omitted the oil and added half a cup of crushed pineapples. Fifty minutes later in the oven (the cake baked faster than the regular version at 80-90 minutes), the house was filled with that promising smell. The cake looked beautiful with a perfect brown and moist top. I was impatient to taste it, but it was after midnight already and being a reasonable girl I was, I figured I'd just flip it out of the pan to cool.

As it slipped out of the pan, the texture of bottom had a familiar look of, surprise surprise... whole wheat cake! And I was suddenly reminded of the dry and crumbly whole wheat muffins at the university which I ate exactly once and never again. At that point, I was almost sure that I was to eat this entire cake by myself... So much for trying to be healthy!

I had two small pieces today. It's definitely not a fluffy and crumbly cake, but decidedly moist, dense and flavorful. I liked it a lot and will be making it again.

Whole Wheat Banana Cake Recipe

Ingredients :
3 mashed bananas
1 cups sugar
½ cup oil (omitted here)
1 egg
¼ cup skim milk
1½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup crushed pineapple
optional ½ cup walnuts, or more (omitted here)
optional ½ cup chocolate chips, or more (omitted here)

Directions :
Mix together in order given. Pour into lightly greased and floured 9*5*3 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour 20 minutes.

Bon appetit!

P.S. Yannick hasn't tried it yet and I probably won't bother to ask. These low fat whole grain things are too weird for his French tongue.


Le mangeur vasqué said...

First, banana and all the fruits are desert for any french guy like me.
Second, my tongue tasted very strange thing before and i am sure that you're banana healthy cake will be good in my mouth.
Third, I think that you want to keep it for yourself only ...

Damrongsak1 said...

First, Nanou, banana and all the fruits are simply "fruits", and certainly NOT desert, for all the Thais, including any Thai old man like me.
Second, frankly my dear JYN, I still prefer the 'real' banana cake as is shown in the last pix ... :=D

Rung Potisart said...

But that was the WW banana cake in the last picture ! I think you'd like it ka.

Unknown said...

I first thought it was tamarind (or Scooby aeh-aeh ^_^)