Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake for #Choctoberfest

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special!

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest

I think we need a little dessert around here, don’t you? Most of what I been up to in the kitchen [and sharing on the blog, when I have had the chance] this summer has been savory… dinner, mostly, just to keep us fed amidst the newborn days. But lately I’ve had the urge to bake! I think pregnancy made me into more of a chocoholic than I have ever been before, but I still love me some fruity desserts too. 🙂 The best desserts are those that combine fruit and chocolate into one lovely package… like this banana cake that’s studded with chocolate chips and laced with a little bit of espresso flava! It is absolute PERFECT for Chocotoberfest!

Psssst…. don’t forget to enter the giveaway here. 🙂

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest

I think that we can all agree that sometimes we buy extra bananas just to have them on hand for baking. Or is that just me? Haha. Anyways, this banana cake is a fabulous way to use up extra bananas languishing on your counter or popped in the freezer. It is a banana cake for people who like bananas–the flavor is definitely present, but if you aren’t the biggest banana fan on earth, don’t worry, as it is also tempered by the rich chocolate and coffee flavors too. There’s something in this cake for everyone! I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize how perfect the sugary/spicy/salty crumb topping on this cake is also. Don’t omit the salt! It definitely adds a hint of something special to this cake… enjoy!

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest
two years ago: Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice
three years ago: Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese
four years ago: No Bake Tropical Energy Bites
five years ago: Garlicky Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
six years ago: Pillow Cookies

Banana Espresso Crumb Cake

  • Servings: 12
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from The Sweets Life

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 mashed ripe bananas, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup [1 stick] unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [can use 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour & 3/4 cup all-purpose flour if you wish]
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee [or 1 1/2 packets of Starbucks Via or other packaged instant coffee]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

for crumb topping

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt [I used Kosher salt–use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon depending on how salty you like things]
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 or 9×9 square pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together bananas, sugar, butter, half and half, and egg. In a larger bowl, whisk together flour, instant coffee, and baking soda. Fold wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until just moistened. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

In another bowl, make the crumb topping by mixing together flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over dry ingredients, then toss with a fork gently until crumbs form. For larger crumbs, toss less. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Do not overbake–sometimes it can be hard to tell with banana baked goods whether they are done or not, so if you are in doubt, take it out and let it cool a little bit and check it a few more times.

For clean slices, cool before cutting. Slices of this cake reheat well in the microwave!

Check out other chocolate recipes of the day for Choctoberfest at the link below!

Breakfast, Muffins, Recipes

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC

When you have leftover coffee, why not turn it into some chocolately streusel muffins?!? These muffins are dangerous to have around your kitchen. 🙂

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC - these chocolate & coffee filled muffins are SUCH a treat!

OH MY MUFFIN GOODNESS! These are fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And I owe them all to a book. Not any old book though, one of my new favorite books–A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This month for a #BookClubCookBookCC, our hostess was Emily at Life On Food. She asked us to make a recipe inspired by this wonderful classic, and suggested chocolate russe, a cake that the book’s main character, Francie, idealized as a dessert of the rich, only visible to her in the fancy bakery windows, never in her [poor] home where all the dessert she got was stale pie and sugar buns. Well, chocolate russe sounds delicious and all, but I’ve reached a point of lazy cooking and baking these days so muffins it is!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC - these chocolate & coffee filled muffins are SUCH a treat!

I promise you this–even though these muffins aren’t the recipe for the month, or even something mentioned in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, they are definitely inspired by the book. If you haven’t read this classic, you should. It’s one of those that I never read as a kid or in school, but read as an adult a few summers ago [I actually listened to the audiobook]. The book takes you through Francie’s life, from early chidhood to college. It is truly a coming of age story that captures a poor family in Brooklyn in the pre-war era. It is lovely and full of wonderful character descriptions. Since her family is so poor, food is a large part of their daily existence and coffee is their daily luxury–even the kids! The vivid descriptions of how the kids would be served as much “hot strong coffee” as they liked, with a pre-determined amount of sweetened condensed milk [to stir in or spread on toast] was crazy to me. As a kid, I didn’t like coffee at all! My dad prefers instant [gross] and my sister and I were talking recently about how he used to pay us a quarter to try his coffee. Haha! Unsurprisingly, Francie and her brother Neeley didn’t like the coffee either but still take a cup as their luxury and to be a little more grown-up. So, muffins. Coffee as a nod to Francie and Neeley [my favorite character!] and chocolate chips for the chocolate russe. And because chocolate is yummy. 🙂 If you can’t tell, I ADORE this book and am so glad I got to make a recipe inspired by it!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC - these chocolate & coffee filled muffins are SUCH a treat!

If you love coffee and chocolate, these muffins are for you! The coffee flavor is mellow but unmistakable. They’re perfect with a glass of cold milk or a cup of coffee… but it’s the streusel that wins the award! Since I made the streusel with melted butter, almonds, and oats, you really have press it onto the batter… but it bakes up nice and crispy creating a fantastic crunchy texture. Yum! I can’t get enough of these muffins. Hope you love ’em too! Thanks for hosting this month, Emily!

P.S. Scroll down for the giveaway, running through the end of the month!

one year ago: Mujaddara: Mediterranean Lentils and Rice with Carrot Slaw
two years ago: Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk
three years ago: Double Blueberry Walnut Muffins
four years ago: Quinoa Pancakes
five years ago: Lemon Blueberry Bread

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

  • Servings: 12-14
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slightly adapted [mainly the streusel] from Bakerita

Ingredients:

for muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour [or all purpose]
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, chilled or at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

for streusel

  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour [or all purpose]
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced and toasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee, chilled or at room temperature

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease cups with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Fold wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.

Divide batter between muffin cups, filling about 3/4 of the way full. I use silicone baking cups and got 14.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, and almonds with a fork. Pour in butter and mix to form crumbs. Streusel will be thick. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon on top of each muffin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops turn golden brown and streusel starts to caramelize. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Serve warm! Muffins also freeze well.

Giveaway
This month Emily at Life on Food, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!
One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from March 1st till March 31st at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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*Disclosure: Emily received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

 

Beverages, Recipes

SRC: Iced Coconut Mocha

Creamy coconut meets an iced mocha for a delightful summer treat… plus this drink is made with a SECRET INGREDIENT. Ooooh! What more can you ask for?!
Iced Coconut Mocha from thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

Iced coffee is my drink of choice in the summer. I LOVE making a batch of cold brew coffee to have a special treat in the afternoons [my simple method: make a pot of french press coffee as usual, same ratio of coffee to water, but use cold water. Place in the fridge or on countertop overnight to brew for at least 12 hours, up to 24. Press as usual, then store in the fridge.]. Lately I’ve been enjoying my coffee with half and half and some mint simple syrup. But I love ANYTHING coconut so when I saw this iced coconut mocha on Happy Go Lucky, my blog assignment for this month’s edition of Secret Recipe Club, I was awestruck. Mmm! Kara has a great blog full of awesome DIY projects and yummy recipes–like this BLT chicken salad, s’mores brownies, or Hawaiian grilled cheese. Kara lives with her family in Virginia Beach, a city that holds special memories since Ben and I got engaged there when I spent the summer on the beach with Cru for a summer project in 2008. I loved checking out Kara’s blog–so much goodness there!

Iced Coconut Mocha from thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclubSince you’re dying to know, the secret ingredient in this iced coconut mocha is a coconut POPSICLE! How genius is that?!? I meant to buy some at the grocery store to make this coffee drink, but I forgot… so I made my own. 🙂 Ha! And guess what? They worked perfectly! You can make this drink in several ways–hot coffee with cold popsicle, cold brew coffee with leftover coconut popsicle “batter,” or blending it all together, frappe style. No matter how you mix it, this drink is a fabulous pick-me-up… It’s sweet and creamy, with lots of chocolate and coconut flavor. No need to go to the coffee shop when you have this in your repertoire.

Iced Coconut Mocha from thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

I will be making this mocha ALL summer long. Thanks, Kara!

one year ago: Mango Coconut Muffins
two years ago: Double Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes
three years ago: Banana Crumb Muffins
four years ago: Creamy Taco Mac

Iced Coconut Mocha

  • Servings: 1
  • Print

from Happy Go Lucky

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee – hot or cold
  • 1 coconut popsicle – storebought or homemade
  • chocolate syrup
  • sugar, to taste
  • whipped cream
  • toasted coconut
  • ice cubes- made with coffee, if you can!

Directions:

There are three ways to make this delicious drink!

Method 1, from Kara: brew coffee. Place about 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup in the bottom of a glass, then top with 8 ounces hot coffee. Sweeten to taste, then add 1 popsicle. It will melt and cool down the drink. Stir then add ice. Top with whipped cream, more chocolate syrup, and toasted coconut.

Method 2, I made homemade coconut popsicles from the link above [1 can coconut milk + 1/3 cup coconut flakes + 1/2 tablespoon agave, pulsed in a blender, then frozen in popsicle molds.] I had about 1/2 cup coconut milk mixture left so I added 1/2 cup coconut milk mixture to a jar with 1 cup cold brew coffee and 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, then shook it all up and poured into a glass. Add ice, then top with whipped cream, more chocolate syrup, and toasted coconut.

Method 3, that I haven’t tried but seems like it would work. Place 1 cup coffee [cooled a bit if not using cold brew] in a blender with ice, the coconut popsicle, and 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup. Pulse until combined, then top with whipped cream, more chocolate syrup, and toasted coconut.

Enjoy!

Check out more recipes from other members of the Secret Recipe Club below!

Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake

This chocolate bundt cake is fabulous. It’s light and fresh, flavorful and addictive.

Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake | thepajamachef.com

So I’m sitting here on my couch, kitty by my side, five days after I made this cake, wishing desperately that I had another slice. It’s another unexpected Nashville snow day and I’m re-watching the last episode of Parenthood again [it was DVR’d even though I watched it live, and I couldn’t bear to just delete it.]. A slice of this uber chocolately cake would just complete the moment.

Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake | thepajamachef.com

I don’t make bundt cakes very often but when I do, I find that I’m often disappointed because they can be so buttery and heavy, and take forEVA to cook. This one–despite being wayyyy chocolately–is just the opposite. It’s light and moist [sorry!]. Coffee lovers love this cake because the coffee in the batter brings out the flavor of the chocolate but non-coffee lovers won’t even know there’s coffee in the cake! Funny how that works out, right? Everyone who tried this cake loved it and it was so simple to make I know it’s going to be part of my cake repertoire forever and ever. [Hope that works for you, friends!]

Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake | thepajamachef.com

This time, I topped the cake with a simple dusting of powdered sugar because I was in a rush, and truly that was all it needed. Just for show, ya know? But to make this more decadent and indulgent, a silky chocolate ganache, a peanut butter glaze, or even a fruit compote topping would totally fit in. Eating this cake with ice cream is also highly recommended. But beyond ice cream or toppings or powdered sugar, making this cake is necessary for your weekend. It’ll make it 100 times better, I promise. 🙂 Enjoy!

one year ago: Strawberry Yogurt
two years ago: Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad
three years ago: Extraordinary Grilled Cheese
four years ago:  The Best Egg Salad I’ve Ever Had

Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake

  • Servings: 24
  • Print

from The Tart Tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 whole large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups + 1 tablespoon buttermilk [or 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar + 1 1/4 cups milk]
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

In a small saucepan, whisk together coffee and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil and let boil for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and then set aside to cool completely. When cooled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, salt, baking soda, and eggs. Beat on low to combine. Add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, then mix again until blended. Slowly add flour and mix on low for 2 minutes. Add in coffee/cocoa mixture and beat until combined. Batter will be very thin.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-65 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before gently removing by interverting on a platter. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

 

Bars, Desserts, Recipes

SRC: Coffee Blondies

If you like coffee, then you will love these rich and sophisticated glazed coffee blondies. They’re delicious!

Coffee Blondies via The Pajama Chef - If you like coffee, then you will love these rich and sophisticated glazed coffee blondies. They’re delicious!

I was really excited to see that I was given Kate’s blog, Kitchen Trial and Error, for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. Kate lives in New York with her family–including two adorable little boys–and she’s always cooking up something new in her kitchen. I’ve long admired Kate’s blog for her lovely photographs and creative, challenging recipes, and was thrilled to get to make something from it! She’s been blogging since 2010 so there were lots of recipes to choose from, and I was quickly overwhelmed [does that ever happen to other SRCers? There’s just so many options!]. So I turned to my Pinterest boards, and found four of her dishes that I wanted to make–Quinoa Cakes, Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwiches Cookies, Fish in Crazy Water, and what I ultimately chose… Coffee Blondies.

Coffee Blondies via The Pajama Chef - If you like coffee, then you will love these rich and sophisticated glazed coffee blondies. They’re delicious!

Kate first made them to fulfill a craving for a flavorful, non-chocolatey dessert. And seriously? These blondies are the perfect way to do so! They’re rich and chewy, and taste like something out of a fancy bakery. Since this recipe uses coffee grounds [and not just brewed coffee], the coffee flavor is very prominent but really isn’t too overwhelming–similar to coffee ice cream.

Coffee Blondies via The Pajama Chef - If you like coffee, then you will love these rich and sophisticated glazed coffee blondies. They’re delicious!

The topping of these blondies is my favorite part, I think! I hardly ever make glazes for things, and truthfully almost just sprinkled powdered sugar on top of the blondies. But then at the last second, I changed my mind. Before I put the blondies in the oven I threw a handful of sliced almonds on top, per the recipe, and then after the blondies were cool, glazed them with a simple powdered sugar glaze. After the glaze hardened, I took one bite and was just overwhelmed by how delicious these blondies are! The almonds and glaze give them a nice crunchy, sugary bite that pairs perfectly with coffee… almost like almond flavored coffee. These blondies are perfect with a refreshing glass of milk, and I bet they’d be awesome with a nice cup of coffee for a double caffeinated treat! Thanks, Kate, for a great recipe!

Coffee Blondies via The Pajama Chef - If you like coffee, then you will love these rich and sophisticated glazed coffee blondies. They’re delicious!

one year ago: Pineapple Cream Pie
two years ago: Grandma’s Blueberry Muffins 

three years ago: Linda’s Caramel Ritz Bits Crackers

Coffee Blondies via The Pajama Chef - If you like coffee, then you will love these rich and sophisticated glazed coffee blondies. They’re delicious!

Coffee Blondies

  • Servings: 16
  • Print

Coffee Blondies via The Pajama Chef - If you like coffee, then you will love these rich and sophisticated glazed coffee blondies. They’re delicious!from Kitchen Trial and Error

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan with parchment paper. Spray any exposed sides with cooking spray if you don’t overlap.

In a large bowl, whisk melted butter, brown sugar, coffee, and salt. Add egg and vanilla; whisk to combine. Slowly stir in the flour and baking powder, then spoon evenly into prepared pan. Top with almonds–as few or as many as desired, then bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan before icing.

To make icing, whisk together 1/4 cup powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon water. Add more powdered sugar to make it thicker or more water to make it thinner. I liked it with a generous 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Ice blondies, then put in the fridge for a bit to harden. Cut into bars when icing is dry.

Be sure to check out what else was whipped up for SRC this month below: