Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cakes with Bananas Teetotaler Topping

4 Dec


The shared cakes experience is becoming commonplace with our weekends as of late. And really, I couldn’t be happier. As noted before, I think cakes are meant for gathering, so it only enhances the experience to share them as often as possible. Stopping over to the house this week were good friends Emily, Scott, and their daughter, Claudia. The conversation was brisk (if a bit, er, off color, as is our wont), the help with devouring the cakes was appreciated, and Claudia’s willingness to run our boy ragged–begetting a long afternoon nap–was the keystone around which we structured one hell of a Saturday. Well done, folks, and stop by again. I was unable to secure a good shot of the cakes/topping this week, but I’ve included a pic at right of my two most important critics discussing their overall impressions after breakfast.

As for the food, I punted a bit on the cakes this week, recycling my old buttermilk oatmeal recipe with the small and easy twist of adding chocolate. My energy instead went into the topping.

And the happiest person about that topping may have been my wife. I am not all too fond of bananas in general, and her pleas for any kind of banana cake have been dismissed outright up until this weekend. When she told me about Emily’s love for the banana/chocolate combo, I figured the time was right to stretch my limits a little and embrace new cakes horizons. I struck out for a Foster recipe, but quickly realized that would have to be seriously altered. I would have been a terrible pirate with my absolute disdain for rum, in any amount, mitigating effects of myriad other ingredients be damned. I just couldn’t do it. (Although the whole igniting the contents of my skillet was incredibly tempting.) So I went with more of a virgin Bananas Foster–a teetotaling concept with which my typical philosophy about life is diametrically opposed–and did the best I could.

I think the full Foster would have been even better, at least for those who can enjoy that topping in its full, so I welcome feedback from anyone who takes my bastardized version and gives it a whirl.

Pants: On x 2 = classy kitchen presentation!

Planning: The only thing I needed to do was devise a banana topping I could palate, which mostly had to do with, like mentioned, going the Foster route minus the rum.

Gathering: Just the bananas, though that did pose a bit of a challenge. I had to dig through the options to find four that were perfect for sauteing–no easy task. Most of the choices were way too green. Might be something to just keep in mind, depending upon your access to good produce and the time of year in which you’re looking to try this recipe on for size.

Execution: Pretty easy, though I did make all the cakes first and keep them warm before starting on the topping. With the constant stirring, the topping requires a level of vigilance that precluded multitasking. I was sure to have everything I needed for the topping measured out in small ramekins, too, so I could just dump while minding the stirring. Then it was just a matter of not going too long with the bananas in the pan, unless you’re after more of a banana puree mixed into the syrup (which might not be bad at all).

Results: Reports were good, and I managed to find a banana topping I kind of liked. Not “liked” as in I expect to do these again for, oh, say a year or more, but liked quite a lot all the same.

Crossover Potential: I really don’t know on this one. I can say that the leftover cakes have been amazing all weekend out of the fridge, so there is some serious merit in making far too many. (Hint: make far too many)

The cakes recipe:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk (2%, organic)
  • 1 cup wheat flour (organic)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (organic)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar (organic, pure cane)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs (cage-free)
  • 1.5 cups buttermilk (Kalona Supernatural Buttermilk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (organic)
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Chocolate chips to taste (Ghiradelli, semi-sweet)
  1. Combine milk and oats in a small bowl and set aside
  2. Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt
  3. In separate bowl, whisk eggs; then add buttermilk and whisk together; finally, add vanilla extract and oil and whisk all together
  4. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and whisk briskly (whiskly?), fearing not the lumps
  5. Fold in oats/milk mixture
  6. Refrigerate overnight
  7. Arise, remove batter from fridge, and consume coffee!
  8. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees
  9. Preheat oven to 175 degrees
  10. Add as many chocolate chips as you see fit (read: many), and fold into the batter
  11. Oil griddle
  12. Ladle batter onto griddle using 1/3 measuring cup
  13. Watch for bubbles and flip until both sides are golden brown–roughly 1-2 minutes per side (These guys cook QUICKLY!)
  14. Keep completed cakes warm in your preheated oven while you turn the rest of that batter into cakes; re-oil griddle before each new batch
And the topping recipe:
  • 1/2 cup butter (organic, unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (organic)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (organic, with sugar)
  • 4 firm, ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Pecans, cashews, or other nuts for topping
  1. Start butter in 10″ skillet over medium/high heat until about half of it melts
  2. Add rest of ingredients except banana slices and stir continuously until sugar melts completely and mixture thickens
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add banana slices, folding them into syrup and rotating continuously until softened but not mushy

2 Responses to “Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cakes with Bananas Teetotaler Topping”

  1. Emily December 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    The cakes were delish–probably some of the best I have ever had. Thanks for having us and for bravely incorporating bananas for me!

  2. Amber Cummer December 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    You can never go wrong with a banana/chocolate combo. Lip smacking good! I had the cakes this morning for another round with just some plain syrup – indeed just as good on day 2. These get a B+, only because I have liked some of the others you’ve done better. Come on, I can’t give them all A’s, can I?

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