Spiced Banana Coffee Cake

Hello World!

It’s me again (quelle surprise!!!!) broadcasting from Lausanne where things are gettin’ chilly. I’m talking leggings-under-your-tights-under-your-jeans type stuff, at least for me. (When it comes to the cold, I wimp out faster than a Chihuahua who accidentally found himself on an elite dog mushers team delivering milk in rural Alaska.) However, the one good thing about cold weather is the opportunity to craft yummy and delicious things in the kitchen, which also provides an excuse to stay indoors. Take this banana streusel coffee cake for example: good enough for breakfast…..dessert….. all the time. 24/7. Infinite coffee cake.

Some pals and I have a little dinner rotation going during the week and, as yesterday was my night to cook, I made this cake for the grand finale. We had some perfectly speckled bananas lying around and I figured, why put them to waste?! (I get pretty picky when it comes to the texture of bananas I’m willing to eat and I always feel awful throwing them away and rejecting them. Problem solved!)

To spice things up a bit, you could replace the 3 mashed bananas in this recipe with anything else of a similar density or texture for an entirely new cake. Pumpkin purée, sour cream, chocolate pudding- the choice is yours!!!

Spiced Banana Coffee Cake 

For the cinnamon streusel:

  • 2/3 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown or cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons brown or cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup smashed bananas (about 3)

Directions:

1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (around 180°C) and grease a medium sized loaf pan or 9 inch cake pan.

2. For the streusel, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Set aside.

3. For the cake, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and add the bananas. Mix until just combined and slowly add in the flour mixture.

4. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Top with the rest of the batter and remaining streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Allow cake to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack and serve!

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A Proper Cup of Coffee

Here is a haiku I wrote about coffee.

Hello cup of joe

You are looking nice today

Can we be friends? 

I thought I might take a little break from analyzing Matin Brun (an allegorical work regarding fascism by Frank Pavloff to present in class. SO AWESOME!!!) to share some of the best cups of coffee I’ve had – as well as their respective locations– over the weeks I’ve been in Lausanne. What’s more, between my little espresso maker and Emma’s french press, we’ve made some pretty great coffee ourselves, chez moi!

BUT, before everything, here are some Swiss coffee factoids for all you caffeine junkies out there.

  • Switzerland has one of the three highest per capita coffee consumption rates in Europe
  • 75% of global coffee trade happens in Switzerland and apparently, there are more Starbucks locations than banks
  • Say hello to Nespresso (the coffee child of Nestlé). It’s eeeeverywhere.
  • The most popular drink? Something called a long espresso (aka kaffeecreme). Haven’t had one yet but it’s on the list.
  • My favorite drink? (I’m sure all of your a trembling with anticipation) It’s called a renversé. AKA this warm espresso beverage from Geneva with a structure quite similar to that of a latte or cafe au lait. Oh and it’s SO DELICIOUS.

Okay enough of that. Coffee lovers, prepare to drool.

 

I’m serious. Get those hankies ready!

 

9/16, renversé. MGM Cafe, Ouchy

9/20, café. Chez moi 🙂

9/23, café au lait. Evian, France! 

9/28, renversé. Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory, Gruyères

9/29, espresso. This one café in Bern

9/30, (what used to be a) renversé. This other café in Valais

10/2, machine coffee that’s oh so tasty! (it does exist…and, yes i be you guessed it, it’s a renversé!). Université de Lausanne

10/6, another renversé of course! Centre-ville

And, last but not least, breakfast this morning

Well, that’s enough coffee for one day. Talk to y’all soon!!!!