A Banana Cocoa Yoghurt Loaf Cake
We stared remorsefully at the expired contents of the refrigerator and tried not to think of starving children in Africa (incidentally, Nigerian housemates claim their mothers told them to think of starving children in Mongolia).
Then, it was hard not to laugh out loud to find this article in the issue two (“The Sweet Spot”) of Lucky Peach magazine that landed in the mailbox yesterday.
113g butter, at room temperature (didn’t check expiry)
250g dark muscovado sugar (expiring)
2 medium free-range eggs, at room temperature (not expired!)
187g self-raising flour (expired 2 months)
1 teaspoon baking soda (expired 2 years. what? don’t look at me!)
1 teaspoon salt (no expiry date)
2 medium bananas, mashed (well, it’s meant to be ultra-ripe and black, right?)
3/4 cup La Fermière vanilla yoghurt (expired 2 days)
100g chopped walnuts, toasted in oven at 150°C for about 10 minutes
a few tosses of Valrhona cocoa powder (expired 5 months)
Directions (mostly from Nadia, who probably wouldn’t want to be associated with this lawsuit-bait!):
- preheat oven to 175°C. butter a loaf pan and set aside. using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
- in another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. add bananas and yogurt and mix to combine. stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.
- bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
The aroma of the cake was so enticing, there were people loitering around the kitchen even before it came out of the oven. (Is there real banana in there? asked one. Yes, was the reply, the two that you left to rot on the table.) And it was not a bad save at all – tender with good crumb and moist but not wet like some other yoghurt cakes i’ve made, full of flavour and the crunch of the walnut prevented textural monotony. (Could do with some good dark chocolate in chip form or as a thick drizzle over the top.) Also, it was easy to make – my work shirt and trousers remained spotless at the end of this affair.
If one was so inclined, one might use this metaphorically to illustrate some vague notion that good things can come out of bad. But perhaps that would be as nonsensical as comforters who repeat the “Don’t worry! Everything will be alright!” mantra – surely they mean well but such words are empty unless they have special foresight or some divine revelation of the future or sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the worries are not legitimate. Similarly, why utter platitudes that difficulties and setbacks will make us stronger? In many instances, as a quick flip of any newspaper in the world will show, hard times may lead to clinical depression, psychiatric illnesses, violence, theft, suicide, murder…
Only the one in control of all things can make any sort of promise of this sort. And this is the promise:
we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)