I know I’ve gone a little crazy for Jane Green’s Good Taste Cookbook lately…but ever since I received my book in the mail a few weeks ago I have been a bit obsessed.
Jane Green always seemed like the sort of author you could be friends with. Someone who you could chat to after you dropped the kids off at school or someone who would spend a few hours at a flea market with you wandering the fields talking about how that perfect antique basket needed to go home with you RIGHT A.W.A.Y. The funny thing with celebrities, if you consider authors in that category, is that the average person can feel like they know them when really all you know is the perception of who you think they are. Probably a bit creepy for them..and enough to make me grateful that is not the path my life took. I am not often enthused with the idea of celebrity, although I have a few favorites. But…because she reads her own audio books listeners hear an authentic voice making her much more real. For me that is one of the things that has made me love her books over the years- the reality of them. They are not too far fetched to believe they couldn’t happen to you. Hearing the actual author read their book is like seeing a choreographer dance their own choreography. Something about it makes it far more authentic for me. But surely this doesn’t count as celebrity enthusiasm, does it? She’d be much more of a friend than a celebrity, right? Right.
In her book Promises to Keep (The Love Verb if you are in the UK…which leads me to ask why do the same books have different titles in different countries?!) each chapter concludes with a recipe. This recipe for Warm Chocolate and Banana cake can be found in both Promises to Keep and The Good Taste Cookbook. I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge chocolate lover. I prefer vanilla. But warm chocolate and banana? That one stood out. The most interesting bit of the recipe to me is something I didn’t even notice right off. As I was creaming the butter and sugar (for the suggested ten minutes) I thought to myself I needed to Google why one must cream the two ingredients for so long. As I went back to the recipe I noticed the question was answered right there for me! Another reason this is a great book. Little baking/cooking tidbits are thrown in here and there. If you love learning little facts this is a great book. The longer the two are creamed together the lighter and fluffier the cake will be. It is worth the wait. Warm. Light. Fluffy. Chocolate. Banana? Oh my goodness. And since we are on an honesty kick here…I made this right after the kids left for school and managed to eat one (they were mini size after all) on my own before eleven a.m. #confessiontuesday .
Start by creaming 2 sticks of unsalted butter and one cup of sugar for ten minutes. Yes, ten minutes.
While that is creaming place one cup of good baking chocolate in a bain-marie and melt it. Remove from heat and cool. I used dark chocolate.
Mash 3 ripe bananas.
Measure out one cup plus two tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of baking cocoa and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
Add three lightly beaten eggs to your sugar/butter mixture
Gently fold in the dry ingredients to the wet
Add the mashed bananas and melted chocolate
Place this in a cake pan and bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes. I used little tiny cake pans and baked them for about thirty minutes. You can embellish the finished product with powdered sugar, whipped cream, frosting, caramel, anything really.
The cake is so yummy. Warm with a subtle banana flavor it is very chocolatey. I made a very unsweetened whipped cream to cut through some of the chocolate. This recipe will go into our “make regularly” stack of recipes.
The Good Taste Cookbook is available TODAY! You can go get a copy. It is such a gorgeous book that it would also make a great gift. Congratulations, Jane Green! Your book is truly lovely.