So, on the heels of my fantastic Dominican vacation I ended up the manager on duty this weekend at The Olive Branch. I always like time in my big kitchen. I’ll admit, though, I tend to get restless. My staff has the prep and cooking process down to a fine art. They don’t need me!! Probably needless to say, this restlessness resulted in a baking experiment. I saw a bunch of bananas that were just going to go bad if we didn’t use them. So I started scouring the refrigerators and pantries for additional ingredients that would seem to go with bananas…
Cream cheese, chocolate, sour cream… These were the starting points for my black bottom banana cream cheesecake. I love it when a plan comes together!
So this is how it started: a chocolate chocolate chip cookie. I added cocoa to a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe and pressed it into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. In another mixing bowl I put 3 packages of softened cream cheese and 3 ripe bananas. I beat them together until smooth. I added 1 Cup of sour cream, 1 ½ Cups of brown sugar and ¼ Cup of banana schnaaps. (Believe it or not, we have such a thing on hand in our pantry. It is essential to our cakeball creations!) Anyway, once it was all smoothed and blended, I poured the cheesecake over the top of the chocolate cookie base. Popped it into a 325 degree oven for close to an hour. I pulled it out when the center of the cheesecake was almost set. I let it cool and put it in the frig overnight.
This morning I was anxious to see how it turned out. It worked perfectly!! It was declared a success by my whole staff. The chocolate cookie bottom was thick and rich and the cheesecake layer had the fresh taste of bananas and a smooth creamy texture. The layers complemented each other very well!! This creation cuts into bars well and would make a great take along dessert for any type of gathering. It holds up well at room temperature and is easy to eat with your hand. You could also lay down a chocolate drizzle, lay a slice on top and garnish it with sliced bananas and sifted cocoa powder for a “fancy” end to a dinner party. I am definitely going to put this one in the next cookbook!
Hope you have a chance to try it soon! Enjoy!