Banana Espresso Coffeecake with Chocolate Chips

espresso cake

I commented on Dana's blog yesterday that, when Yancey's away and I'm not cooking dinner, I bake a lot more.  Day two, second baking endeavor.  If I was concerned about having any kind of rhythm here (salad, main dish, sweets, etc.) I'd be in trouble.

After Loretta went to bed last night, Wyatt and I made this together.  He has gotten so studious in the kitchen, carefully measuring the flour, deftly consuming lots of chocolate chips on the sly.  We had a sweet time in the kitchen.  I've heard other moms comment on this same phenomenon--Wyatt's not into us having an intentional chat ("Fine." "Good.") but he talks my ear off when we do something together.  The other day, in the car without his sister (rare) he asked me all sorts of questions about war and death and what happens to people who fight in wars.  Life is serious business--Wyatt knows it even at six. Baking sweet things is one of the antidotes.

wyatt

This is another recipe from Baked.  Sort of.  Theirs is a muffin, mine is a cake.  Theirs doesn't have glaze, mine does.  I am definitely not opposed to a good muffin, but I really like the idea of slicing something--the motion of it, how the rest of the loaf or cake sits on the counter with the insides staying moist, how heavy it is, how not limited to breakfast.  I am exercising an extreme amount of discipline at the moment, as said cake is sitting near my left elbow and threatening to dispense the third piece of the day. Not gonna do it.  At least not until my tea is ready.

slice

Banana Espresso Coffeecake with Chocolate Chips
Adapted from Baked.  I happen to have an espresso maker, so used actual espresso for the glaze.  You can use strong coffee. There's really not a good substitute for the espresso powder, though, which you should be able to find in the coffee aisle of most grocery stores.  The brand sitting on my shelf is Medaglia D'oro.  If you're not a coffee lover, you could leave the coffee out altogether and do a glaze of milk and powdered sugar.  If you want muffins, you can halve this recipe, halve the cooking time, and just put the batter into muffin cups, filling them almost to the top.  If you do a cake, watch it so it doesn't get cooked on the outside before it's done on the inside.  I have a convection oven so manage to avoid that problem :)

6 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c. whole milk
2 eggs
3 c. flour
3 ts. instant espresso powder
3 ts. baking soda
2 ts. salt
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

For glaze
2 c. sifted powdered sugar
3-4 Tb. strong coffee or espresso

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour a bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together mashed bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake in the center of the oven for about 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Turn out onto a cooling rack with parchment paper below and let sit for about 30 more minutes.

When cake is barely warm to the touch, make the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and coffee together with a whisk.  You want it to be pourable, but still quite thick.  Pour it over the cake, letting it run down the sides, into the middle, and onto the parchment paper below. Let harden--about 15 minutes.