I came up with this recipe when we had over-ripe organic bananas at home that neither of us wanted to eat but seemed wasteful to throw away. It occurred to me that I could use the bananas as the “sweetening” component for a flour-less chocolate cake, instead of using Stevia (which I don’t have anyway) or sugar. The result was fabulous — the bananas give the cake a creamy, almost mousse like quality. The cake is light and isn’t overly banana-y — just a hint of the fruit. The cake pairs nicely with a mango sorbet. I served this cake as a dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner party and everyone loved it!
FLOURLESS CHOC CINNAMON BANANA CAKE
- 10 oz. bittersweet dark chocolate (I like to use 81% dark)
- 1/2 cup organic butter, room temperature and softened
- 3 very ripe organic bananas
- 4 organic free-range eggs
- 3 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F (or about 175C). Grease a spring-form pan (or another kind of baking pan — I use a 9 in. round spring-form pan, which works well).
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate, set aside
Cream the butter. Since we don’t have a hand mixer, I had David cream the butter with a wooden spoon — it requires some muscle-ing, but it works fine.
When the butter is creamed, add bananas, one at a time. We used the back of a wooden spoon to smash the bananas into the butter; blend well.
Add eggs to the butter/banana mixture, one at a time. Mix well.
Add the cinnamon. Pour in the melted chocolate, mix until blended.
Pour the batter into the baking pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cake sets. Let the cake cool before serving. The cake keeps well refrigerated.
We had a terrific Christmas Eve feast in our Stockholm apartment with lovely Eleanor and Michael. We had a wonderful, merry time, and the dishes were a great success — I shall post the recipes shortly.
In the mean time –
Merry Christmas! Wishing you peace and happiness from Stockholm! xoxo
A couple of artsy-lookings snapshot of David at work, putting together one of the many dance numbers in our show….
Sadly, I haven’t been able to post in the last week as we entered our final week in the rehearsal studios. Tomorrow is our last day in rehearsals; we will break for Christmas and the New Year, then we begin 2012 tech-ing the show in the China Teatern. My blogging hasn’t been able to keep up these last few days…but cooking at home continues as usual, and I have even developed some interesting new recipes to share. Hopefully during the holidays, I will post a variety of new recipes!
David and I will spend Christmas in Stockholm. We will host a Christmas Eve dinner party in our apartment, so I am currently planning the menu — I am thinking of making a rack of lamb, among other items. After Christmas, we travel to Ireland to attend our friends’ wedding. We’ll stay in Ireland for New Year’s Eve and come back to Stockholm to start work again after the New Year. Since our trip to Ireland is the main event for us this holiday season, we are looking forward to spending a cozy Christmas in Stockholm.
Anyway, do stay tuned… many new recipes coming up!
Happy holidays, everyone! x
- We put up lights and a paper star, as many Swedes do this time of the year.
There are everyday staples I always try to keep in my kitchen these days — my paleo grocery list. Although I miss our kitchen at home, our little kitchen in Stockholm has served us well so far; and with these basic items in our house, I find that I can usually cook something very simply.
With basic staples, all we need to worry about is picking up proteins and replenishing the vegetables as needed. We try to buy organic whenever possible.
TOMOKO’S PALEO SHOPPING LIST (or stock-list) – Stockholm:
IN OUR PANTRY (ie. no refrigerated)
- Organic yellow onions
- Organic red onions
- Organic garlic
- Fresh garlic
- Organic coconut oil
- Organic coconut milk
- Organic olive oil — I tend to like the flavor of Spanish olive oil better than others
- SPICES: garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, paprika
- Organic black pepper, good quality sea salt (I have flaked sea salt and Himalayan salt in a grinder)
- Organic potatoes (small type)
- Organic heirloom cherry tomatoes
- Organic tomato sauce (no added sugar, in a glass container – recently I’ve ditched buying tomato sauce in cans)
- Organic green curry powder
- Tea, various
- Fairtrade or organic dark chocolate, ranging from 81% to 100% cocoa
- Organic cashews (raw)
- Organic pine nuts
IN OUR FRIDGE
- Organic free-range/pasture-raised eggs (usually have up to 2 dozen on hand)
- Organic Dijon mustard
- Organic whole grain mustard
- Organic cucumbers
- Organic cauliflower
- Organic broccoli
- Organic bacon
- Jalapeño peppers
- Habeñero peppers
- Organic capers
- Organic avocados
- Organic lemons
- Organic oranges
- Organic carrots
- Organic zucchinis
- Organic arugula
- Organic beets
- Organic cabbage
- Natural, nitrate-free sliced chorizo (makes good snacks with sliced cucumbers)
- PROTEIN: depends — we usually have at most 3 of the following, so I could have proteins ready to cook, but thye don’t sit in the fridge so long that they go bad or not fresh anymore: chicken (skinless thighs for curry, half chickens for roast); pork chops; veal chops; steaks; ground beef; ground lamb; salmon.
- Organic butter
I like having potted herbs on hand — they help give a furnished-rental a more cozy, homey vibe — I currently have organic Thai basil, chives, rosemary and thyme.
David and I bought our very own tomte to give our Stockholm home a little Christmas flair. These tomtar (pl. of tomte) are handmade, and so each tomte is unique. It took us a while for to select one, but we are quite happy with the one we chose! Isn’t he adorable?
As much as we like a good steak, sometimes we need a variation. I am not big on making sauces (feels too involved after work), but I recently caramelized red onions to go with an entrecôte steak for dinner, which turned out nicely. I added some lemon juice to the red onions, which gave them a kind of bright, chutney-like quality. If you like onions, the caramelized red onions make a good alternative to a sauce for steak.
Thinly slice 3 red onions and finely mince 3 garlic cloves. In a saute pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the onions. Salt, stir, and turn down the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves (take the leaves off the sprig). Put a lid on the pan and let the onions cook down.
When the onions have cooked down, add the juice of half lemon. Stir, and serve on top of steak — such as an entrecôte.
David was very excited with the entrecôte with red onions, with a side of roasted cauliflower.
What the Swedes lack in winter sunlight, they make up for with spectacular Christmas lights all around the city and in windows. Stockholm is lit up for the holidays!
Here’s an easy variation on the roasted cauliflower (I’d previously posted a recipe for roasted cauliflower with capers) using ground cumin and some cayenne pepper. I love the aroma of cumin, and the cayenne pepper gives the roasted cauliflower a nice kick — I think this cauliflower dish goes well with simple meat dishes, such as steak or pork chops.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Break down the cauliflower into about 1 in. florets and put them in a bowl. Add sliced garlic (about 3 cloves), add a tablespoon of ground cumin, and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or about 1/2 tsp if the cauliflower is small — you can vary depending on your spiciness tolerance); season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with some olive oil and mix well. Lay out the cauliflower in a baking dish and roast for about 25 minutes, or until tender. Move the cauliflower around occasionally so that they brown evenly.