Sunday, December 18, 2011


     It is Final Time. Perhaps you have guessed from the fact that I haven't been around. Or maybe you live in a college town or are in college and can feel the stress waves emanating through the air around you. Finals Finals Finals they say....Shut up Shut up Go Away, you reply. Or at least, that's how I would reply. If I could talk.

     One of those charming quirks of my personality is that I always get sick for exams. I'm sure my mom, for one, would throw me a party if I got through a single finals/midterm season without running a fever and hacking up my lungs the entire time. No party this time. And somehow, with my own special skills, I managed to contract an illness that has forced me to eat solely....Ensure. Which is not a food. It is a nutrition drink. And that along with mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes and mashed not a fulfilling finals diet. Can you blame me for being missing? You didn't want to hear about various ways to make mashed bananas interesting, did you?


      But, today I feel a little better. Or at least, I am better enough to want something that is Not Mush...that is in fact...baked....perhaps...banana bread? Of course, the issue with things like baking during finals time is that I am very strapped for ingredients. Who needs grocery shopping when there are things like organic chemistry exams to study for! So, no milk, no eggs, three vaguely ripe bananas....It's a good thing banana bread is pretty impossible to mess up, or this poor thing would never have made it into the oven.

     Because you see, the lack of milk or any other liquid meant that originally my batter was....lumps. Not a batter at all, simply sad lumps of flour trying to mix in with oil and sugar and all that jazz. But would you give up when trying to make your first solid food in a week? Of course not! And neither did I. I didn't have milk. I couldn't use water. Orange juice? No... And then it came to me.....tis the season for: HOT CHOCOLATE! Ya, Capitals. I was that excited. So, I made a cup of hot chocolate and into the batter it went. The result? Must you ask? Not too sweet, super moist, chocolatey, banana-y, with a touch of cinnamon I-have-already-eaten-too-much are on your way to make this now right?

Hot Chocolate Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg 
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil 
1 cup Light Brown Sugar (or regular sugar, it will just be a tad sweeter)
2 tsp Vanilla 
3 Medium Sized Ripe Bananas, Mashed 
1 cup Hot Chocolate (i.e. 2 tbsp Hot Chocolate Mix stirred into 8 oz hot water)

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees and butter a loaf pan.

In one medium large bowl, whisk together your flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In another larger bowl, stir together your vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla. Mix your dry ingredients into your wet, and stir in the mashed bananas. Last of all, add your hot chocolate (make sure its stirred well! No lumps at the bottom) and mix it in thoroughly - so you have a nice smooth batter. Pour into your loaf pan, and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick (or plastic knife) comes out clean when you stick it in the middle. Let cool on a wire rack in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then run a toothpick (or plastic knife) around the edges, upturn onto a plate, and enjoy! Or you know, wait for it to cool completely...then enjoy.

Study space...that is why the sticky notes are around, by the way.


  1. That cake you made last night was quite good, I await its public naming on here.

    ps the songs you liked were by Twin Shadow and Massive Attack

  2. Thank you - for both songs and compliment. The cake has been named, I hope you approve.