When we bake, we bake for others. But sometimes, it’s hard knowing the perfect treat to create for someone. I bake inner desserts–the essence of someone’s personality and character. Ever wonder what to bake the Beach Worshipper? First, you must truly understand them. Let’s begin:
Depending on where you live, you may think you don’t know a Beach Worshipper because most of us don’t live near a beach. Trust me, they’re out there. This is the person whose idea of vacation is laying out in the sun, whether it be on a bona fide sandy beach or on the un-cushioned lounge chairs of a country club or even poolside on a mega-cruise ship. While their attraction to sun is what identifies these people, it is the love for everything island and beachy that defines their character. In the Northwest, they take the relatively short flight to Hawaii every spring break (whether they’re a student or not). From the ho-hum winters of the Midwest, they drive directly south on I-75—cruise control set to 75mph—straight to sunny Florida. For anniversaries they go Caribbean. They talk of all-inclusive drinks, but reality is, they’re not really drinkers. They like the concept of coconut paired with pineapple and splashed with rum but, because they were never sorority sisters or frat brothers, they’ve never been inclined to “go wild.” They believe in the beach, not parties.
For them, you must bake a treat reminiscent of their last vacation—of that fruity drink served with an umbrella: Banana Rum Cake is their Inner Dessert.
If you want to go all out, skip the walnuts (the only nuts they’ve encountered on vacation are of the coco variety) and the chocolate. Instead, substitute 1 banana for the equivalent of drained crushed pineapple (talk about moist!) and top the batter with shaved coconut, gently pressing it into the batter before baking. Take me away! For giggles, make these into cupcakes and stick tiny novelty drink umbrellas in them–perfect for the office party for the beach worshipping co-worker who’s soon to get married and honeymoon in the sand.
2 cups all-purpose flour (for a sturdier crumb, I like to add a couple tablespoons of flaxseed meal)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 & 1/2 cups bananas (approximately 3)–this is where you’d slip in 1/2 cup crushed pineapple and only use 1 cup banana
3 tablespoons rum (plus a splash for good measure)
1 cup walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips (now is not the time to skimp)
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and bananas. Then add in the dry ingredients. Finally, fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Bake in a prepped pan (greased or cupcake papers) at 350F for about 45 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.