The world has changed so much since I began cooking. When I started, I subscribed to five magazines and bought a cookbook or two (or eight) a month. OK, I was addicted and had hundreds of books and thousands of magazines. Now, I only buy really esoteric books and subscribe to one magazine and get everything else online and mainly through fellow bloggers! It is like the biggest, best recipe swap in the world, a virtual church social with so many generous lovely people who are becoming virtual friends all over the world. It is too much fun.
Honestly, there are some books that should be bought, books that no self-respecting cook should ever be without (like Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything) and even though I do kiss the steps of the New York Times each time I pass in gratitude for the amazing things it has shown me and taught me…the blogosphere is pulling from the NYT and the London Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, Il Corriere de la Sera, and a thousand other magazines and papers as well as from brilliant, creative seekers and teachers generating wonderful writing and photography.
I found one of my new favorite recipes via bloggery, through the great photo sites Tastespotting and Foodgawker, which introduce me to new bloggers every day. There I saw a cake from a Russian girl living in Barcelona on her blog "Tales of a Spoon." She had found the recipe on the "Madhuram's Eggless" blog penned by a transplanted Indian lady in Philadelphia! The only reason I am writing this for Blogcritics is that the wonderful blogger, Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks, recommended it to me!
That is why the culture is so vibrant. Instead of a cozy group with the same background and the same resources, the virtual circle is endlessly rich and constantly adding to itself. Bloggers are forever introducing new members to their circles through the comments feature. Sometimes these commenters even become friends because of shared interests. New recipes, new products, new foods are all at our fingertips thanks to the internet and its worldwide store.
The oil I use for this cake comes from Hawaii and was recommended by one of my favorite bloggers, Deborah at "A Doctors Kitchen," who raved about the healthy properties of macadamia oil. She should know—her field of expertise is making food taste great and be great for you.
Even the pan I used to make the cake was a blog prize from Diane at "2 Stews." It came from a savvy business that sends lovely things to bloggers to show to their fans and earn new customers. It works, especially if you have great products like the Nordic Ware rose pan (courtesy of CSN)!
As for the cake, I am head over heels for this recipe. Little fat, huge flavor—and texture? Oh what a crazy good texture!
Chocolate Banana Cake
2 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cups white and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1 + 1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup macadamia nut oil
1 + 1/2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup bananas, mashed or pureed
Heat the oven to 355º. Meanwhile, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt) in one bowl. Set aside. Mix the wet ingredients in another, and then combine wet and dry. Whisk to combine well. Grease your bundt pan liberally and bake for 45-60 min. Let it cool before attempting to remove.
Brown Butter Drizzle
2 tablespoons butter, browned
1 cup Powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk
Combine the ingredients and stir till smooth. Drizzle over the cake after it has cooled sufficiently.