I swear I'm not obsessed with bananas... I do love the taste of them and always have them in my kitchen but it's not an obsession! They are just a great substitute for butter when baking and I don't know about y'all but the healthy side of me much prefers bananas over butter. The fat kid inside of me wants butter... She wins most days but not today! Today we have bananas and all their benefits. twenty four to be exact according to this amazing article by Helen from well-being secrets! this article is so thorough, from the history of bananas, to cooking with bananas, to all the wonderful nutritional facts about bananas! definitely an interesting and informative read! I think she is banana obsessed too! :)
ok so now Let's talk about these banana bread cake bars...
So these were supposed to be banana blondies but then I had too much fun playing around with the ingredients and ended up making the most fluffy yet dense and moist banana bread cake there ever was. I think it was the extra bananas and oats but only the baking gods will know for certain.
Now I'm pretty partial to blondies because of their name (hello, I am a natural blonde) and because I've never been the biggest brownie fan. In my (rare) option, brownies have too much chocolate... All one flavor, kind of boring if you ask me. Though, I did see a recipe for Beer Brownies yesterday... Ok, now I cant get behind that. Ha!
Fun fact: Do you know what makes blondies different from a brownies? Blondies are based on brown sugar where brownies are based on cocoa powder. Thanks crazy impressive interweb. I pick brown sugar over cocoa powder all day every day.
But wait! These aren't blondies! Sorry for the tangent... Blondies are chewy and these bars are not chewy. They are like CAKE. I love cake. Especially when there's dark chocolate peanut butter almond ganache poured all over it. Drool.
Banana Bread Cake Bars with Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Almond Ganache
Yield: 12 bars and 1 1/4 cup ganache (you will have extra ganache - just eat it with a spoon, I promise you won't regret it)
Calories: 184 calories for one bar with one tbsp ganache (one bar = 144 cal | one tbsp ganache = 40 cal)
Total time: less than 2 hours (35 minutes prep + cook time | 1 hour waiting for ganache to cool)
Ingredients for the Banana Bread Cake Bars:
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp water)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 super ripe bananas (about 400 grams), peeled and mashed
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- cooking spray
Directions for the Banana Bread Cake Bars:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Line a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray, layer it with one sheet of parchment paper then spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
3. Prepare flax eggs: In a small bowl, mix together flaxseed meal and water. Let this mixture sit for about five minutes in order to thicken.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attached, combine brown sugar, flax eggs and vanilla then cream together. Add in mashed bananas and continue whisking until smooth.
5. Once banana mixture is smooth, add flour, oats, baking soda and salt to the bowl and mix until just combined (don't over mix).
6. Pour mixture into parchment paper lined baking dish (step 2) and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until knife test comes out clean (mine took the full 25 minutes... the top should be puffed up and golden).
(Make ganache while cake bars are baking! See below for recipe!)
7. Let banana bread cake cool completely. Slice into 12 bars, spread 1 tbsp of ganache to the top of each bar and enjoy!
Note: I stored my bars in the fridge so the ganache would keep its form. They should keep about one week.
Ingredients for the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Almond Ganache:
- 4 oz dark chocolate chips
- 6 tbsp PB2 + 3 tbsp water (or 6 tbsp of normal creamy peanut butter)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
Directions for the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Almond Ganache:
1. Prepare peanut butter by mixing PB2 with water in a small bowl until creamy (skip this step if using normal peanut butter).
2. Combine dark chocolate chips and peanut butter in a medium size bowl.
3. In a small sauce pan, heat almond milk over low heat until hot (just before boiling - you may see some tiny bubbles on near the edge of the pan).
4. Pour hot almond milk over chocolate chips and peanut butter and let sit for about 2 minutes.
5. After 2 minutes, whisk the mixture together until the chocolate and peanut butter are totally melted and almond milk is completely incorporated into mixture. Should be creamy! No lumps! This should take about 3-4 minutes of whisking. Arm workout.. You can do it!
6. Let ganache cool in fridge for about one hour before spreading over bars. Ganache will be very liquidy at first and impossible to spread without dripping ev-er-y-where. I actually left mine in the fridge for about 5 hours and the consistency was GREAT, however, 1-2 hours should be plenty.
Note: Store extra ganache in fridge after eating a few spoonfuls. Should keep about one week.
[Recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats]
The bars are talking to me from my fridge. I've already had two of these today (as in yesterday) but I'm sure I'll have two more today. Actually, I'm probably eating one right meow. So delicious. Happy Wednesday!
P.S. Stay tuned later this week for Chicken Fajita Burritos!!