|Olive Oil Banana Cake|
Olive oil has been used in Mediterranean countries for thousands of years and quickly became popular in other parts of the world. Anyone coming from these regions would tell you about the health benefits, as well as the wonderful flavour, of a good dose of olive oil on salads, pasta, fish and almost anything else. It is rich in monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that researchers are discovering has excellent health benefits. Extra virgin oils that are higher in antioxidants and more flavourful are best for dips and dressings while less expensive virgin or refined oils are recommended by some for baking and frying, but I use extra virgin for everything!!!!!Pure, extra virgin olive oil is not only a light and delicate addition to many wonderful dishes including olive oil cake, it is one of the most health-promoting types of oils available.
There are differences in flavour from country, to region, to table so choose your oil wisely, especially if you are using it for cake. Olive oil as you know is actually a pure fruit juice and unlike most seed or vegetable oils, it does not require any heat or chemicals to extract the oil and needs no refinement. The oil can be consumed as is immediately after pressing. Homer called it "liquid gold", and he was absolutely right!
"Sun, stone, drought, silence and solitude: these are the five ingredients that, according to Italian folk traditions, create the ideal habitat for the olive tree."
If they can grow truffles here in the Okanagan I am going to start my own olive grove!!!!
**Banana Olive Oil Cake with Chocolate**
3-4 over ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Icing sugar for finishing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add buttermilk or yogurt to bananas. Add sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet ones. Switch to a spatula and fold in oil a little at a time. Fold in chocolate chips, alternating with olive oil. Scrape batter into pan and smooth top.
Bake cake for about 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.
I adore my olive oil cake sprinkled liberally with icing sugar!!!
(Makes 1 loaf)
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