While traveling in Ecuador I was surprised to see with what nonchalance all the banana and cocoa trees are grown. Accustomed to our agriculture system where produce has a designated place, fenced off and arranged in neat rows. I would all but stumbled over a coffee bush in Ecuador before realizing what I’d just tromped on.
Granted, there are plantations dedicated to mass chocolate and banana production, but for families in the Amazon, these plants also provided food and income and are planted as if on a whim, scattered here and there around their expansive property. You would look up to get a glance of a gigantic blue butterfly and see cocoa pods and bunches of bananas all intertwined as if they sprouted from the same tree.
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs or unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 3 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup soy milk
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing pan
- 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
- Heavily grease pan and dust with breadcrumbs, shake pan to cover all sides then gently knock out excess. Heat oven to 350°F.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- Whisk together bananas, eggs, brown sugar, soy milk, vegetable oil, cider vinegar, and vanilla extract in a separate large bowl until eggs are broken up and incorporated. Add flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Stir in chocolate.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a knife in between the cake and the pan then invert pan to remove cake.