ORANGE CHOCOLATE BANANA LOAF CAKE
Looking at the picture, the crumb got me and after that… the flavour. What is it with chocolate and orange flavours melding together? Lindt knows it, Purdy’s knows it; in fact all serious chocolatiers know that orange and chocolate were made for each other. Indeed it is the secret combo in the somlói galuska in that incomparable trifle of trifles from Hungary. There is also banana in this loaf cake and if you leave out the orange flavourings you get a chocolate banana loaf cake. But make no mistake; this loaf cake is about the chocolate and the orange coming together in riotous union. Adapted from Chocolate and Grand Marnier Banana Cake from Baking Obsession, I left out the Grand Marnier and just as I thought the orange zest held its own. I also replaced the buttermilk with milk and vinegar. Otherwise I remained faithful to the original recipe.
1 square [1 oz] unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups sugar fine zest of one large orange [do not include the white rind]
1/2 cup unsalted soft butter
1 cup mashed ripe bananas [about 3 medium]
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange-flavoured liqueur [optional]
1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup milk and 1Tbsp vinegar
• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
• Partially melt the chocolate in a microwave and stir smooth. Set aside.
• Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
• In a small bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest. Rub with your fingers.
• In a large bowl beat the butter until creamy and fluffy.
• Gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed for 4 minutes.
• Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
• Add the melted chocolate, followed by the banana puree, vanilla, and Grand Marnier if using.
• Beat well, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
• Reduce the speed to low.
• Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk mixing just to combine. Do not overbeat.
• Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
• Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hr and 15 minutes.
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