Sunday 1 February 2009

Chocolate, Orange and Banana Loaf

Welcome to this month's Sweet and Simple Bake recipe. This event is run by Rosie of Rosie bakes a 'peace' of cake, and Maria of The Goddess's Kitchen. Each month members bake the given recipe and report back on how it went. There is a round-up of the recipes on the Sweet and Simple Bakes blog, and the recipes for all the challenges can be found on Sweet and Simple recipe blog.

January is traditionally the month of making resolutions to lose weight, live more healthily and generally be a better person (or is that just me?). As such, a few of my colleagues are on diets at the moment (I'm not - I subscribe to the view that January is cold and cold weather requires lots of warm food and is not a good time for dieting!) and so although I want to keep baking, and try new and extravagant recipes I'm attempting to limit the number of calories and fat in some of what I make. This recipe fitted in perfectly. The bananas help to keep the cake moist and allow a lower proportion of butter to be used than is usual in a cake. I halved the recipe given because I didn't want a large cake. It worked really well and I have given the half measurements below. The full recipe can be found here.

Banana, Orange and Chocolate Bread

Makes 10 slices


125g (4 1/2oz) self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
75g (2 1/2oz) caster sugar
50g (2 oz) butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
200g (7oz) whole bananas (about 2 small ones, or 1 large), peeled
40g (1 1/2oz) dark chocolate chips

1 lb loaf tin (mine is 9x18cm measured at the top)

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3. Lightly butter and line the loaf tin with parchment paper. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar and butter and, using your fingertips, rub it in until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest in another bowl. Add the bananas and mash very well with a potato masher or a fork. Add the chocolate chips. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Gently but thoroughly bring all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon, then pour into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the top and bake in the oven for 45mins-1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing the cake from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

I have calculated the Weightwatchers (UK) points for this recipe, but am making no claims whatsoever that they are 100% accurate (although I used the points from J's weightwatchers book) and I am not affiliated to WW or anything like that. With these provisos:

WW points = 3/slice (if cut into 10)

WW points = 3.5/slice (if cut into 8)

NB: If you don’t have a 1lb loaf tin, the recipe can be doubled and baked for 1-1 ¼ hours in a 2lb loaf tin (measurements 13x23cm (5x9”) loaf tin).

This was quick and easy to make, and turned out really well. I was worried that the banana and egg mixture wouldn't be sufficient liquid for the dry ingredients, but my fears were unfounded.

It was a really successful cake. The banana helped to keep it moist, but wasn't at all heavy or dense, as banana cakes can sometimes be. The orange zest can clearly be seen in the top photograph, and the loaf was really fragrant. I would say that if you're looking for a subtle orange flavour that you'd need to reduce the amount of zest, but in combination with the chocolate it made the cake taste like eating Terry's Chocolate Orange or Green and Black's Maya Gold chocolate. Never a bad thing in my book.

It was very well received at work, with everyone enjoying it (even those on diets) and requests for the recipe.


Maria♥ said...

Your banana and chocolate loaf turned out perfect and very delish! Thanks for also working out the WW points value, I am also watching my fat intake and this is very useful indeed ;o)

Thanks for taking part and hope you will join us again.


natalia said...

Ciao ! your cake loks very beautiful !! We loved it very much !

Rosie said...

What a beautiful banana and chocolate bread!! Great info with the WW points value :)

Thanks for taking part and hope you will join us again.

Rosie x

anooshka said...

Well done! Looks delicious!


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