avocado chocolate chip pound cake

I’m currently studying for my U.S. History exam, and to be honest, it’s a lot of mindless memorization.  The kind of memorization that makes my brain mushy and eyes dizzy.

The one thing that keeps the subject mildly interesting are the diary excerpts that sometimes show up in the DBQ section (document-based essay section).  I recently read an excerpt from a diary of a Lowell factory girl talking about how awful the other girls at the factory were, and how terrible the conditions were in the summer — this humanized the dates and numbers behind the Industrial Revolution; suddenly, history got a lot more interesting.  It’s literally reading someone else’s diary, but in a socially acceptable way.

In this digital age, I’m not penning my thoughts with a quill on parchment, or even scribbling in a fancy-pants moleskine notebook.  But the thought of a diary fascinates me.

In a way, my diary is the Notes section on my iPhone. It’s a lot less romantic than a diary, but just as raw.

I used to get super paranoid when my friends would look at pictures on my phone, for fear that they might stumble across my notes page.  I’m less paranoid now because A) my notes are hidden deep in the depths of my app folders where no one can find them and B) even if you read my notes you wouldn’t be able to figure them out.

To get totally crazy here are the first few notes in my phone, and what (I think) they mean.

“Plan:” (followed by no plan to do anything) ~ classic.

“Gm cherry get cash not target demographic” ~ this was probably written at a dark moment while studying for some test.  I wish I could tell you what this means, but I have no idea. Sounds interesting.

“Bunky” ~ an old man who takes drop-in advanced adult ballet with me.  He wears loafers instead of ballet shoes and, thus can’t point his feet.  He has a faded tattoo that spells “bunky” on one of his arms.

“Write about how good it feels to get your scalp massaged at Hair Cuttery” ~ self-explanatory

These bits of jibberish are pretty important to me.  I am always paranoid about forgetting things — so when some stroke of so-called brilliance hits me, I have to write it down or else I will forget it immediately. Sometimes, I’ll write down something like “avocados are the butter of the Earth.”  Some of these snippets end up being stories I tell to you all, some of them end up being baked into pound cake, most of them remain in the gigabytes of my phone collecting cyber-dust.

Nonetheless, these shards and memories are the good stuff, like the artichoke hearts of life. When I’m rolled over in bed at 2 a.m. furiously typing a note to myself, you best believe it’s important.

With love,
Erica

Avocado Pound Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line and grease a 9-inch loaf pan.

  2. In a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil, avocado and sugar together. 

  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth, add vanilla extract and beat once more.

  4. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda. 

  5. Stir into avocado mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and spoon into loaf pan. 

  6. Bake 65 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, slice, and enjoy!

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banana bread with dark chocolate and ginger

I know the combination sounds weird, but that’s why I love this banana bread.
You take the first bite, expecting to taste sweet walnuts, or milky chocolate. Instead, you bite into sharp, spicy, crystallized ginger, mellowed by the sweet bananas and bittersweet chocolate. It is an amazing sensation.

As banana breads go, this is a nice, dense loaf with a fine crumb — and (dare I say), it would be delicious even without the filling. {but please add the ginger and chocolate! You will not regret it!}

I told myself I would wait for the bananas in the kitchen to get all brown and splotchy before making this banana bread (the uglier the bananas, the better the bread). But those bananas must have have been eternally yellow — I couldn’t stand to wait any longer! Here is a trick for all of you impatient ones like me who want splotchy-banana-banana-bread without splotchy bananas.

  1. Peel the bananas and put them in a microwave safe bowl
  2. Microwave for 2-3 minutes
  3. Take out of the microwave and mash
  4. When you pour them in the batter, be sure to also pour in the liquidy stuff that they leave behind — that is the best part! (I got this trick from Katie, it is also delicious over oatmeal or yogurt)

As Molly suggested in A Homemade Life, I popped mine in the freezer. Since, I have stood up from my desk about a dozen times, cutting off little slivers. Personally, I like it even better straight from the freezer than fresh from the oven, when it is cold it literally melts in my mouth. I now leave a knife in the freezer for easy access. I think more than half of the loaf is gone already.

With love,
Erica

From “A Homemade Life” p. 26 by Molly Wizenberg

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or a chopped up bar)
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt (I used peach, because that is all I had)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9 by 5 loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
In a small bowl, microwave the butter until just melted. (Be careful
and do this over medium power in short burst because it can explode or
splatter and that is a big mess.) Or melt it in the preheating oven.
Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and
salt. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk well to
combine. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed
banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well. Pour
the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a
rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined.
Do not overmix. The batter with be thick and somewhat lumpy, just make
sure all the flour has been incorporated. Scrape the batter into the
loaf pan and smooth the top.
Bake into the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick
inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 mins to an hour. If the
loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with foil.
Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 mins. Then tip out
onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing (if you can
wait that long).
The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to
protect from freezer burn. Try it cold, sliced fresh out of the freezer.