Chocolate Creme Fraiche Banana Bread with Prunes

Peeps! I added prunes to my chocolate creme fraiche banana bread from Snackable Bakes!! recipe is below, you lucky devils – prunes are super good for you and super tasty and are wonderful playmates with ingredients such as chocolate and bananas.

Look, banana bread is good, but chocolate banana bread is even better. Here, the bread gets a little tang from the crème fraiche, which plays so nicely with the rich chocolate flavor. As do the bananas, since chocolate and bananas is a match made in fruit and chocolate heaven – particularly when both cocoa powder AND pockets of melted chips AND (healthy and delicious) prunes are in the mix. Oh, and did I mention this most scrumptious of loaves is moist? Well, she is and she only gets better with age (as we all do, I like to think . . .). Oil-based cakes are like that, and that’s why I love them so.

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Chocolate Creme Fraiche Banana Bread with Prunes

Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan
Course Bread, Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 162 g
  • 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder 40 g
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 127 g
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200 g
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 118 ml
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1/4 cup crème fraiche, or sour cream 57 g
  • 1/3 cup prunes, chopped 85 g
  • 1 cup mashed bananas, about 2 very ripe ones 230 g

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 ½ by 4 ½-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or softened butter. Line the bottom with a large sheet of parchment paper that extends up and over the two long sides of the pan (like a cradle for your cake).
  • Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the chocolate chips. Whisk the sugar, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl for 30 seconds. Whisk in the egg and then the crème fraiche, and finally the prunes and bananas. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet with a flexible spatula until the last streak of flour disappears. Don’t over-mix.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway point. The bread is done when a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with a moist crumb or two. Let cool for about 20 minutes until you can safely lift the loaf out of the pan by the parchment overhang without burning yourself. Run a butter knife around the edges if it resists. Let cool to room temperature before serving.  Keep the bread tightly wrapped on the counter for up to 3 days.

Peppermint Texas Sheet Cake

Quick and easy one-bowl cakes that do not require a stand-mixer – or really any equipment, other than a whisk and the aforementioned bowl – are an absolute dream when entertaining over the holidays – or, really, when entertaining, period. And if said cake is festive and large enough to do double duty as a holiday show-stopper, well then it truly is time to celebrate. This chocolate peppermint flavored Texas sheet cake is exactly what all your party guests didn’t even know they’d ordered – and we’d be surprised if it didn’t secure a permanent spot in your holiday dessert rotation.

Texas Sheet Cakes are oversized chocolate cakes, baked in “half sheet pans” (aka cookie sheets with a lip). They are iced as soon as they leave the oven, with a warm, thick and fudgy frosting, often made with evaporated milk (which due to its low water content contributes exponentially to both the frosting’s creaminess and fudginess) and are traditionally sprinkled with pecans. Although there is a bit of a recipe-formula that folks follow when Texas sheet cake-making, here, we’ve twisted and tweaked things a bit. A little espresso powder boosts the cake’s chocolate flavor and a little brown sugar and an egg yolk, its fudginess. We like Dutch process cocoa powder here for its color and flavor and the peppermint extract in both the cake and frosting just sings “holiday” to us, in the best way. The frosting calls for a bit more salt than usual, to cut the sweetness of both the cake and frosting and to help the chocolate and peppermint flavors really pop. The warm frosting spread atop just-baked cake makes for a texturally perfect slice of chocolate cake – soft, fudgy, moist and super flavorful – and the part where the underside of the frosting meets the cake is almost pudding-like in all the best ways.

Finally, and for some, perhaps its most redeeming quality, this easy peppermint-chocolate number is assembled, baked, frosted and cooled in less than an hour. Sounds too good to be true, we know, but it is. Holiday baking never looked so good, and yet required so little. 

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5 from 1 vote

Peppermint Texas Sheet Cake

Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings 16 slices

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Sheet Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour  250 g
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200 g
  • 1 cup light brown sugar 200 g
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 114 g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large yolk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed 226 g
  • 1 cup water 240 g
  • 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder 40 g
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder

For the Peppermint Frosting

  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk or regular whole milk  80 g
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed 169 g
  • 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder 27 g
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar 360 g

Other

  • Crushed candy canes or peppermint starbrite mints for decorating

Instructions

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x18x1 inch half sheet pan with cooking spray or softened butter and line with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugars in a large bowl. Whisk together he buttermilk, eggs, yolk, vanilla, and peppermint extracts in a 2-cup measuring cup, if you have one, or a small bowl. Cook the butter, water, cocoa, and espresso powders, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until boiling; and let boil for about 45 seconds. Pour the hot mixture over the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Gently whisk in the buttermilk mixture.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, nudging it into the corners, if necessary, and place in the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway point. Mise en place the frosting ingredients while the cake is baking, so that you are ready to make it as soon as the cake is out of the oven.
  • Place the milk, butter, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium saucepan and set the two extracts close by. Have ready the sugar in a large bowl. Once you remove the cake from the oven, set it on a cooling rack and place the saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture just boils. Pour is over the sugar and whisk to combine. Whisk in the extracts.
  • Pour the warm frosting over the hot cake and spread it with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the chopped candy over the frosting and allow to come to room temperature before slicing and serving.

Notes

Storage: The cake will keep on the counter tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

Crumb-Topped Blueberry Pie with Easiest Ever Crust

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Crumb-Topped Blueberry Pie with Easiest Ever Crust

This pie is filled to the brim with delicious berries encased in an easy melted butter pie dough.
Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan
Course Desserts
Cuisine Pie

Ingredients

For the topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 125 grams
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100 grams
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 113 grams

For the crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 250 grams
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt 2.25 grams
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar 12 grams
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 2.5 grams
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 113 grams
  • 1/4 cup whole milk 60 grams

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 150 grams
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch 32 grams
  • 1 tsp ground ginger 2 grams
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt 2.25 grams
  • 5 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen 717 grams
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 15 grams

Egg wash

  • 1 large egg 56 grams
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt .37 grams

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 400°F and place a baking sheet on the middle shelf. Have ready a 9-inch pie plate.
  • To make the topping, stir all of the ingredients in a small bowl with a fork, until the mixture holds together when squeezed, and place in the refrigerator.
  • To make the egg wash, whisk the egg and salt together in a small bowl.
  • To make the crust, whisk the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the butter and the milk with a fork until the mixture holds together when squeezed and there are no loose bits of flour left in the bowl. Evenly press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate using your fingers. Flute the edges, brush them with the egg wash, and place in the freezer.
  • To prepare the berries, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, ginger and salt in the same bowl in which you prepared the crust. No need to clean it. Stir in the berries and lemon juice with a flexible spatula. Transfer the berries to the crust, pressing them down gently and top with the crumble, using your fingers to pinch it into small, round(ish) crumbs, and pressing that down gently, as well.
  • Place the pie on the preheated baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for 45 to 55 minutes more, rotating the pie and tenting it with foil at the halfway mark, until the berries are vigorously bubbling between the crumbs in the center of the pie.
  • Bring the pie to room temperature before serving in order to ensure the filing is set, about 4 hours. Keep the pie wrapped on the counter for up to 3 days.