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[Recipe] Reduced-Sugar Banana Loaf with Tablea-Chocnut-Coffee Swirls

Banana Bread Loaf with Tablea-Chocnut-Coffee swirls

These days, I always have a bunch of bananas on the table since I use it quite regularly for my overnight rolled oats breakfast on most mornings. The variety I always have on hand do ripen very easily so I stash these overripe bananas in the freezer for the time that I am in the mood for making a batch of banana cake.

I have decided to make a marbled cake with the dark portions additionally flavored with tablea (a fat disk of molded ground fermented roasted cacao beans primarily used to make a local hot chocolate drink called tsokolate or sikwate), chocnut (a popular crumbly peanut and chocolate candy), and instant coffee (which I heard enhances the flavor of chocolate in a recipe). 

The recipe is not entirely sugar-free. I have decided to leave 1/4 cup of sugar in the recipe and only converting the rest of the 1/2 cup with pure stevia. Using pure stevia in a recipe is a little bit tricky since it is very sweet and you could easily put in too much. The pure stevia container comes with a very small measuring spoon (one scoop of this is equal to 1 doonk or 1/32 teaspoon, 1 doonk of pure stevia is roughly equivalent to 1 Tablespoon white sugar). Since regular sugar has browning and bulking properties, and has the ability to retain moisture in the finished baking product, don't expect the same consistency if you make substitutions with sugar substitutes. 

Ingredients: 
250 grams ripe bananas (left in the freezer overnight then mash well)
240 grams all-purpose flour
4 pcs unsweetened tablea (approximately 10 grams per piece)
4 pcs Chocnut (peanut-chocolate bars)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp pure stevia powder (or additional 1/2 cup white sugar if you not going for a reduced sugar recipe)
1/4 cup buttermilk (or I used a substitution of 1 tsp calamansi juice to 1/4 cup full cream milk)
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
85 grams of softened unsalted butter
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp banana flavoring (optional)
1 single-serve sachet of instant black coffee (I used a 2 grams packet of Nescafe black)
 
Not quite the swirl patterns I was aiming for but it will do.

Thankfully the 2 types of batter distributed more or less evenly in the loaf.

Banana loaf fresh from the oven.

Directions:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 DegF (177 DegC).
Sift the flour together with the baking soda.
Whisk the sugar and salt into the sifted flour and baking soda mixture. Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the well-mashed bananas, lightly beaten eggs, buttermilk, softened butter, and the vanilla and banana extracts.
Combine well these wet and dry mixtures into a thick and lumpy batter. Be careful not to over mix.
Set aside 1 cup of the resulting batter. 
Grate the tablea into the small portion of the batter and also add in crumbled Chocnut and the instant coffee. Mix well.
Alternately place scoopfuls of the different colored batter into a parchment paper-lined loaf pan. Using a spatula or a knife, carefully make swirling patterns into the batter in the pan. Do not overdo this as we still want to have distinct flavors when we slice into the cake when done.
Baking time varies greatly depending on the properties of your oven and the characteristics and dimensions of the loaf pan used. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake and it should come out clean.
Let the pan cool for a few minutes before transferring the cake into a cooling rack. Let it cool before slicing (or let it chill in the refrigerator before serving). Great with your afternoon coffee or have it for merienda.      
 
Number of serving: 16
Nutritional information per serving (approximated):
  • Calories 150
  • Carbs 20.2 g 
  • Fat 6.5 g
    • Saturated 1.8 g
    • Polyunsaturated 0.6 g
    • Monounsaturated 1.5 g
    • Trans 0 g
  • Cholesterol 23.1 mg
  • Sodium 130 mg
  • Potassium 64.8 mg
  • Sugars 7 g
  • Protein 3.5 g

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