Kitchen Experiment – Two Minute Banana Walnut Cakes

So this week’s kitchen experiment was prompted by watching The Chew daytime show on my DVR after work each day.  Michael Symon explained how he’s not a baker and did a two minute carrot cake in the microwave…. I know!!  I thought, surely this can’t be as easy it looked on tv.  The next night I tested the recipe myself following it nearly 100% to the letter.  And… they tasted great. However when I did the calorie calculation… I realized this was on the high-end and was disappointed.  I had been hoping for a quick dessert to make but didn’t kill a third or a fourth of a day’s allotment.

So the next night I modified the recipe and found even thought I swapped some ingredients, I made the calorie count even higher AFTER having made the recipe.  Whoops.  So last night I remade the recipe paying closer attention to ingredients and found it to be far better on calorie count.  And today, was the last version for now…

So here’s the ingredients, wet first:

2 oz Yogurt, 1 Egg (separated), 1 Well ripened Banana (smashed), 2 tablespoons Orange Juice, 1 tablespoon Agave Nectar Syrup, Zest of orange and lime – to taste

 

So here’s the dry ingredients (and banana):

6 tablespoons AP Flour, 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda, 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, 2 tablespoons Walnuts (crushed)

 

The main changes with this kitchen experiment was the following:

  • Swapped ripe Banana for Carrot
  • Replaced Brown Sugar with Agave Nectar Syrup
  • Switched Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice in placed of Olive Oil
  • Traded Crushed Walnuts for Toasted Pecans
  • And I used All-Purpose Flour instead of Pastry Flour (no nutmeg due to not having any on hand)

The egg white whisking by hand went much faster then I expected the first time I made this recipe so now I have it down to  just a couple of minutes.  I incorporated all the wet ingredients together first, followed by adding in the dry ingredients.

 

The final step was to fold in the egg white froth, being careful to not lose the volume the egg white is adding.  The baking soda and liquids produce their typical bubbling action within the batter, so don’t be surprised by the increase in size.  Keep in mind that when microwaved, the batter will again get bigger in size; which for me this time nearly over-flowed the cups I used.

I realized that due to the lack of ‘fat’ in this recipe version, I used spray olive oil to coat the cups which makes it easier to remove the cakes after they have cooled slightly.  The final texture is light and airy and yes they are actually lacking an icing of any sort.  I actually am fine with that because I’m getting to enjoy a dessert with enough flavor and sweetness for my taste.  If I really felt I needed a frosting/glaze of some sort, a quick one can be whipped up with cream cheese, a little milk, vanilla extract and powdered sugar for instance.

In the end, this version of the original recipe comes out at roughly 275 calories per serving; not stellar but doesn’t kill it for those of us trying to watch our intake.  Now Michael’s original recipe he made comes out at roughly 425 per serving; which is around 150 calories more with higher sugar and fat content.  The first kitchen experiment version I made used shredded sweetened coconut and dried cranberries and it came out to approximately 525 calories a piece.  This where I realized I need to pay closer attention than just swapping out things.

So in the end, I like how they turned out although I admit they need further tweaking.  I think the more make this recipe, the more I can determine just the right ingredients to present these to anyone that stops by and I need a quick dessert.

All that said, don’t be afraid to get in the kitchen and learn how to make food you love because we should all eat what we love, not what someone else thinks we should love.  🙂

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