Do you whistle while you work? Hum to the tune of your favorite foods? Like to get a little jiggy in the kitchen? Food, drinks, and music are the perfect mood-enhancing combination. Twice a month, this blog will explore the intersection between feelings, memories, sounds, and flavors by providing fun recipes accompanied by drink and music pairings. Culinary explorer and resident singer-in-the-kitchen Nicole Capó will also highlight awesome women doing interesting things in music, food, and beverage and discuss how these things bring out the best in each other.
A weekend away with good friends after a stressful week really does wonders and what better way to make it sweeter than with a sinfully delicious banana almond cake. Fair warning to you all: This banana bread loaf is decadent, dense, and moist. It’s the kind of cake that makes you remember just how good things that aren’t artificially sweetened or coated in fake cheese powder can be, while still making you lick your sticky, caramel-coated fingers. A really great cake, like a weekend getaway with friends, can help you forget those little problems that build up over the week and make life a bit more delightful. If you need further assistance in stress relief, I highly recommend a dance party alone or with friends—nothing feels better than listening to some badass ladies to remind yourself that you’re a total rockstar. I suggest Sia, Haim, Purity Ring, and Grimes to name a few.
Banana Almond Cake with Caramel Drizzle
2 ¼ cup old-fashioned oats
½ tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Dash of salt
1 ½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and cut into medium-sized chunks (I used a Pink Lady)
3 ripe bananas
½ cup shredded coconut
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
¼ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
¼ cup almond milk
Handful almonds & shredded coconut (for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8x4 inch loaf pan with butter or nonstick baking spray.
Place oats in a food processor and pulse until the consistency is fine, like flour. You may need to scrape down the sides to ensure all of the oats are blended. Transfer oats to a medium bowl and whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves.
Place the apple chunks in the processor and blend until creamy, stopping to scrape down sides every few seconds. Add in bananas and shredded coconut and blend until creamy. Mix in vanilla, honey, and almond extract. Slowly mix in dry ingredients and pulse until combined.
Spread evenly in loaf pan and bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and allow to come to room temperature. Keep the oven on.
Place the handful of coconut and sliced almonds on a baking sheet and place in the oven until lightly toasted (keep an eye on these, as the coconut will brown quickly).
In the meantime, combine brown sugar, maple syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the almond milk and continually stir until the caramel has reached the desired consistency, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Sprinkle almonds and coconut on top of the cooled cake and drizzle with caramel.
Drink pairing: A beer with hints of caramel and nutty flavors compliments the toasted almond and banana notes in the cake. Crack open an amber ale and enjoy!