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Sunday, August 22, 2010

O'Dough's Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

When is a cake not a cake? When it's served in a loaf that is wrapped in paper? When it is made up of something that is naturally referred to as bread? Does the presence of chocolate chips automatically tip the balance? These questions and more plagued me as I tested a new type of banana loaf, available from the fine folks at O'Dough's, a canadian company who list the usual suspects of buns, breads, and cakes among their products. I found their Chocolate Chip Banana Cake at R Downs, and resolved to review it. My thought was that, even though it was named "cake," it's banana quality would make it a good breakfast food. Of course, now that I see O'Dough's website, I realize my mistake, as the banana cake is described as a "desert cake." Oops.

So! Now that I've got that figured out, how did it fare as a breakfast option? Not bad. The texture falls somewhere between bread and cake (another reason why this stuff is so confusing), and when presented with butter, it slides a bit too far in the direction of "mushy." Of course, that's more on me than it is the breadcake. However, it has a solid, banana breadcake taste to it. The chocolate chips are of the "small" variety, which is the right call here, as large chips would have been too overwhelming to the loaf as a whole. It toasts up nicely, which, given that it's cake, is kind of a surprise.

In the end, I think that this is a product which is caught up in between worlds, so to speak. If you treat it like banana bread, and thusly as a breakfast food, it does all right, but there are better and more easily-obtainable options out there. However, I don't know who would want to eat it as a cake. It's tasty enough, but not in a "dessert cake" way, despite the presence of the chocolate chips. But if I want cake, I'm going to want cake. This... isn't cake, as much as it would have you believe.

Quick rundown of the nutrition facts before we go, and yes, the fact that it's a cake means that some levels aren't tremendously good. A serving of this cake weighs in at 1.4oz (or 40g). They claim 10 servings per loaf; I wish I had been paying more attention when I was slicing it up to see how many slices I got out of my loat, but... anyway. In your single serving, you get 155 calories, 65 of those from fat. Cake! You've also got 7g of fat (1.5g) of that being saturated. Cholesterol? Yup, 40mg worth. There's also 250mg of sodium per serving, and 22g of carbs (surprise, most of that is sugar, at 11g). And remember, that's just one slice. Given that the folks at O'Dough's brag that "you can't eat just one slice," you'll probably be doubling those numbers. Then again, it's cake. Have it, eat it, or both (if you can), it's cake.

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