Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Cakes

Featured Ingredient: Almond Butter












If my bank account looked more like what Bill Gates' does, I would buy so much freakin' almond butter. I love the stuff. But on a writers income, it’s an occasional indulgence.

Nutritionally, almond butter bests its peanut brethren in many ways. Firstly, it’s higher in monounsaturated fat which chips away at high cholesterol numbers making almond butter a champion for hearth health. It also comes in higher in the trio of bone-building minerals calcium, magnesium and phosphorus as well as the fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin E. Darn it, if only the creamy goodness was cheaper!

I have to say that these individual cakes are crazy good. The kind of good that makes you not want to share any of them. But then again, when chocolate and almond butter hook-up they are bound to produce a winner. When you get a bite that combines the almond butter and slightly melted chocolate chunks, it’s gustatory heaven.

At the last minute, I decided to toss in some espresso powder, but the coffee flavor did not really come through. Maybe the chocolate and chili drowned it out. If someone has a suggestion for giving these a more pronounced java taste, I’m all ears. Next time, I might try using a little more almond butter and swirling it into the batter instead of adding a dollop to each muffin cup.

Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Cakes












1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3 large overripe bananas
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/4 cup almond butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, salt, espresso, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne. In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Stir in egg, sugar, oil and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir gently until just combined. Fold in chocolate chunks. Fill 12 muffin cups about half full with the batter. Spoon 1 teaspoon almond butter into the middle of each cup. Evenly divide the remaining batter on top. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean (some almond butter may stick to the tester). Let cool before umolding.

11 comments:

  1. That looks delicious!
    Almond butter is something i need to try now! Sounds amazing :)

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  2. These sound delicious! I like making my own almond butter to save money:-)

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  3. Yum! These sound awesome.

    Almonds are even tricky to find (and pricey) down here in Mexico - especially in the summer - so I have a stash in the fridge. I'm seriously considering moving to a part of the world where they grow!

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  4. Good idea. I am going to start blending up my own in the Vita-mix. Not sure why I have not yet done so.

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  5. These are some pretty dangerous sounding muffins, I can see I am going to be needing some stretchy pants when I sit down to eat one or two or three of these!

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  6. I made these today! Not bad. All I had was instant coffee for the espresso and it wasn't detectable. Cayenne was used and added a subtle kick-probably won't use again. My choice of oil was coconut and it did complement the banana/chocolate combination. Banana was the primary flavor overall so maybe less next time?? Texture was superb, almond butter (trader joe brand)worked well and I substituted Xylitol for the sugar. Chocolate nibs from trader joes were gently crushed and left kind of large in comparison to precut chunks - definitely liked the small but noticeable chocolate pools inside the muffin...fun!

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  7. Thanks for trying them out Brandy. It's weird that I didn't really notice much banana flavor at all. I guess every batch is different. Some say that even though you may not taste the coffee that when used in baking it amplifies the chocolate flavor, but I can't say for certain this is the case. How do you find the Xylitol works as a sugar substitute?

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  8. Costco has large jars of Maranatha almond butter, regular price around 6.60, on sale now for about 4.50 - best before date is October. (I'm in Peterborough, likely in other Ontario stores as well.)

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  9. Does it matter if I use dutch process cocoa? I know that in some recipes Dutch process and natural are not interchangeable.

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  10. I think for this recipe Dutch processed cocoa should work out fine.

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