Mexican Chocolate and Vanilla Bundt Cake

Now, this has quickly become my “go to” dessert.  And I’ve made it in a few forms, bundt, loaf pan, and mini bundt.  The mini bundt had disastrous results, by the way.  Oh, it tasted fine.  Quite good, actually.  Just like it should.  But not so pretty things happen when mini bundt pans are overfilled.  And I have a tendency to overfill things: cupcake pans, cake pans, baking pans in general, frying pans, wine glasses (though I don’t truly believe that last one counts because I simply don’t believe it’s possible.  Unless it is literally overflowing, and even then, if you can get to it quick enough, I think not).  So it really should not have surprised me when I peered into the oven and saw my mini bundts about to plop onto the electric coil at the bottom of the oven, especially since as I was filling them I thought to myself, “this is definitely too much.”  But there I was, wondering how I was going to get them out of the oven without making a complete mess and then later, how I was going to extract them from the mini bundt pan.  Which I was never able to do.  The whole family is now walking by and scooping out a bite on their way by.  You know what, though?  The loaf pan worked perfect!

Ingredients:

1 (15.25 oz) white cake mix
1 (5.1 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 tablet Mexican chocolate, ground (I used Ibarra Authentic Mexican Chocolate)
1 ½ cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grease 10″ bundt pan or several loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat cake and pudding mixes, water, oil and eggs.  Pour half the mixture into the bundt pan.

The Mexican chocolate disk is very hard, I double wrapped it in zip lock bags and beat it with a meat mallet.  Add Mexican chocolate to remaining batter.  Stir to combine and pour over white batter.

Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool for 20 minutes and then invert over a cooling rack to cool completely.  This final step is very important to wait as close to the 20 minutes as possible.  In my excitement, I attempted to invert it too early and a big portion of the inside cracked.

Total time: 60 minutes

Mexican Chocolate and Vanilla Loaf

Mexican Chocolate and Vanilla Loaf

*Derived from Spoonful

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Chai Spiced Banana Bread

Chai Spiced Banana Bread - Loaf

Sometimes you just know a recipe is going to be perfect. From that first moment you lay eyes on it. Maybe it’s the ingredients that are your favorites or bring special memories. Maybe it is the Chef. Someone that has a history of delighting your palate. In this case, it was both. When my eyes first danced upon Chai Spiced Banana Bread from Jennifer Segal of Once Upon a Chef, I had to stop as a quick breath escaped my lips. Chai? And banana bread? How can that be? How can that be!? I could hardly wait for everyone to fall asleep that night (there is some baking / cooking you want to do on your own. I can’t explain it.). As I was cleaning the dishes I assembled the ingredients. I would go in at bedtime as everyone was quietly snoring. As I sifted the spices: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, I knew this was going to be perfect. As I mashed the bananas and readied my inverted pumpkin loaf pan, I knew this was going perfect. My only hesitation, my only fear, came as the bread was baking and the most amazing aroma enveloped my home. Surely it was going to wake at least the family, and quite possible the whole sleepy neighborhood! No one awoke and I was able to get a few hours sleep before my youngest foodie made her appearance. “What is that amazing smell Mommy?” “Oh that? Just some bread I made last night. Would you like to try it?” And as I showed D the bread she started jumping up and down, licking her lips. I gave her a big, fat slice (it was breakfast time, after all). “Oh mommy, this is SO good. You are the best cooker ever! I love everything you cook. Can you cook this again?” And I knew it was perfect.

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large bowl or electric m ixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.  Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt.  Add to the butter mixture and beat gently until just combined.  Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla and mix on low speed until just combined.  Gently stir in nuts if using.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake until deep golden brown and cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 – 70 minutes.  Let rest for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.  Serve warm or even toasted.

Servings: One Loaf
Prep time: 10 minutes; Baking: 70 minutes

Chai Spiced Banana Bread - Slices

Courtesy:  Once Upon A Chef

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