Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chocolate Banana Jam

4 ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
A few drops almond extract
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon finely ground almonds

In the blender pulse the banana, sugar, orange juice and spices.  Pour them into a pan and stir over medium heat for 5-8 minutes.  Pour over the chocolate chips and whisk until melted and smooth.  Add the vanilla, almond extract and ground almonds. 

When it cools down to room temperature store in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.  This beats the heck out of Nutella Hazelnut spread.  Spread it on toast or homemade bread.   It also makes a great filling for an empanada.  Yum!


An empanada is like a Spanish turnover.  You can fill it with savory or sweet fillings.  Today we’ll fill it with our chocolate banana jam.

3 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 egg
1 egg white
4 tablespoons very cold butter

In a bowl, beat the water, egg, and egg white together. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the 3 cups of flour and salt.

Cut the butter into the flour mix with a pastry blender or use your food processor. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center or again you can do this in the food processor.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours.

Tip: If you want to keep the dough longer than 24 hours, you can freeze it.

Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough until it’s 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut out four inch diameter circles using either a biscuit or cookie cutter or some other circular object.  You can lay a small plate on top and cut with a knife if you do not have a cookie cutter.  Spoon a small amount of the filling into the center of the disc and fold the dough over until the filling is covered and a semi-circle is formed.  Do not over fill.  Crimp the edges closed with a fork and place the empanada on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Follow the same process for the remaining dough discs and place the formed empanadas in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.

Before the chilling time is done, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pierce the top of each empanada with a fork to allow the dough to breath during the baking process (thus forming a flakier crust). You can brush the tops with an egg wash (1 egg and 2 tablespoons of water whisked together) but it’s not necessary. Bake the empanadas for 18 to 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Want to make it easy on yourself?  Buy the frozen puffed pastry and save yourself some work.  Follow the directions on the package.  Just cut them into squares to save waste and have a chocolate turn over instead. 

You may serve warm or cold.  Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it if you are serving it warm.  You can also drizzle it with chocolate syrup or sprinkle it with powdered sugar.  See my recent blog for homemade chocolate syrup.  I promise it was easy and delicious. 

Have a super sweet day.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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