Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

19 April 2010

Upside Down Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

I realize that I've been posting more desserts than dinners in recent days. If you're tiring of sweets already I promise for an actual dinner recipe next. But first, just one more sweet treat. Since baking is my business (or at least one of my businesses) I just can't help but share all of my yummy experiments with you.

This cake is not an original recipe of mine, it's straight from David Lebovitz, and it's positively delicious. I'm a huge fan of his. This cake is simple and homey and pretty much perfect. The only change I made, other than my usual spelt flour substitution, was to add Muscovado sugar in place of some of the white sugar in the recipe. I think the caramel flavors enhance the cake and go well with the bananas. You can substitute the same quantity of dark brown sugar if you don't happen to have any Muscovado on hand.

I'm serving this with unsweetened whipped cream. I'm working to make this recipe gluten free so I'll report back about that. All the bananas and sour cream keep the cake moist enough where I think is a good candidate for an excellent gluten free dessert.


Banana Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake:
Yields 1, 8x8" square cake

For the topping:
1/3 cup plus 2 TB packed dark brown sugar
2 TB water
3-4 ripe medium bananas
1 tsp lemon juice

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup Muscovado sugar (or dark brown)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 TB melted butter, cooled to room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 cup banana puree (from about 2 bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream (low-fat ok)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1) To make the topping, place the brown sugar and water in a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat for 45 seconds until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbling. Pour into the bottom of your baking dish.

2) Peel and slice the bananas in 1/4" slices. Arrange them in overlapping rows over the melted sugar in the bottom of the pan. Drizzle with the lemon juice.

3) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4) Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl, removing any lumps. Whisk in the Muscovado and white sugars to combine.

5) In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg white, banana puree, vanilla, sour cream, and butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and finish mixing. Do not overmix.

6) Scrape the batter into the pan over the bananas, then use a spatula to carefully spread the batter over the sliced fruit.

7) Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake feels set in the center and the sides are light golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes in the pan then invert onto a platter. Don't worry if any pieces of banana stick to the pan, just gently press them back into the top of the cake.

* Serve with unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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