Banana Bread Sandwiches with Chocolate Goat Cheese Spread and Strawberries

by Kelly on May 25, 2011

Banana Bread Sandwiches with Chocolate Goat Cheese Spread and Strawberries-1

Have you entered my Saucy Mama giveaway yet? Entries are being accepted until Friday, February 27 at 12 AM Central time. To enter, visit the post here.

For this month’s installment of 5 Star Makeover hosted by Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! we were given a more broad assignment than in previous months – Gourmet Picnic Food, in anticipation of the Memorial Day holiday.  I had just as much fun coming up with my entry for this month as I did in challenges past.  For those who might have missed my previous months’ challenges of Bacon and Eggs and Sustainable Seafood, the goal of the group is to create gourmet makeovers of classic dishes or flavor combinations.

Immediately when we got wind of the assignment I knew I wanted to do a playful take on the sandwich, since they were always a mainstay of the picnics we had growing up.  Ours were classically American – cold cuts and deli cheese with lettuce and tomato, all tucked in between thick slices of bakery bread that had been lacquered with a generous spread of Miracle Whip.  But this time I opted for something radically different – a sweet sandwich that could satisfy a craving for breakfast or dessert.

To create my sandwich, I started with two generous slices of homemade Banana-Oatmeal Bread, adapted from Cooking Light.  Then, to continue the sweet flavors, I filled my sandwich with thin slices of ripe strawberries and the star of the dish, a rich and creamy chocolate goat cheese spread.

Banana Bread Sandwiches with Chocolate Goat Cheese Spread and Strawberries-3Yes, you heard that right, chocolate goat cheese spread.  Its inspiration was Westfield Farm’s Chocolate Capri.  I’ve long been won over by the pairing of these two seemingly odd bedfellows (I’ve made both brownies with goat cheese and chocolate whoopie pies with goat cheese, just to test the theory.) so as soon as I heard about the Chocolate Capri, I knew I wanted to create my own version.  And this Chocolate Goat cheese spread absolutely delivers!  A simple combination of unsweetened chocolate (Use the best quality you can get your hands on.), soft goat cheese, half and half, and powdered sugar, it yields a decadent spread that perfectly balances the richness of the chocolate with the creaminess of the cheese.  The end result is just barely sweet – I use just enough powdered sugar to add body and offset the bitterness of the unsweetened chocolate – so that you don’t lose the characteristic tang of the cheese.

Not to hijack the attention away from the other components of this sandwich, but I think I’m in love with the Chocolate Goat Cheese Spread.  Maybe it’s just a more wholesome sounding way of saying ‘frosting,’ but whatever you call it its fabulous and versatile.  I’ve already been thinking that it would be lovely tucked inside a crepe in place of Nutella or made into a sweet cheese ball for the holidays and rolled in pistachios, cocoa nibs, or chopped dried cherries.  Or what about piped on top of a banana cupcake or spread on a bagel?  Or more simply, just licked off a spoon.  Seriously, the possibilities seem endless.

Banana Bread Sandwiches with Chocolate Goat Cheese Spread and Strawberries-2

But jumping back to it’s current application, it was a perfect filling for the sandwich. The slight tanginess of the spread was nicely offset by the pungent sweetness of my perfectly ripe strawberries.  And bananas and chocolate always pair well in my book so the bread worked wonderfully in this application.  I especially liked how the inclusion of the oats in the bread made it a tad heartier than a standard banana bread, but without losing its characteristic moist texture.  I think the only thing I was hungering for was a bit of crunch so if I made this again, I would probably mix some coarsely chopped pistachios into the filling.  I’ve also been thinking that it would be adorable made into little tea sandwiches with the help of some cookie cutters.

Thanks again to Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! for hosting.  This challenge was a lot of fun and I cannot wait to see what the others created and to see what next month holds.  Do check out their blogs on Friday to see the wrap ups.

Banana Bread Sandwiches with Chocolate Goat Cheese Spread and Strawberries
Serves 1

Ingredients:

-2 slices Banana-Oatmeal Bread
-1/4 cup Chocolate Goat Cheese Spread, room temperature
-1/4 cup sliced strawberries

Method:

Spread 1/2 of the Chocolate Goat Cheese Spread on each piece of Banana-Oatmeal Bread. Top with sliced strawberries. Press the strawberry and chocolate topped slices together and slice as desired.

Chocolate Goat Cheese Spread

Ingredients:

-4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
-6 ounces fresh goat cheese (Chavrie and Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery are two of my favorites)
-3 tablespoons half and half
-6 tablespoons powdered sugar

Method:

Place the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl along with the shortening. Microwave on 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted. Set aside and allow to cool for a couple minutes to bring down the temperature.

Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients to a bowl and whip with a handheld or stand mixer until creamy and well combined. Add chocolate and whip until smooth and well combined. Texture should be like a thick butter cream frosting.  Serve at room temperature or make ahead up to 4 days, and allow to come to room temperature before serving.  (Alternatively if you are impatient you can stick it in a microwave on 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until it is a soft, spreadable consistency.)

Banana-Oatmeal Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light
Yields 18 slices

Ingredients:

-1 cup packed brown sugar
-7 tablespoons canola oil
-2 large egg whites
-1 large egg
-1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas
-1 cup rolled oats
-1/2 cup fat free milk
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-Cooking Spray

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat well at medium speed of a mixer. Combine banana, oats, and milk; add to sugar mixture, beating well. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir with a whisk. Add to sugar mixture; beat just until moist. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria (District Chocoholic) May 25, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I LOVE goat cheese and chocolate together. But I’d never have thought to make a sandwich with banana bread. Really cool!

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5 Star Foodie May 25, 2011 at 11:08 pm

A very decadent addition to the picnic! The creamy chocolate goat cheese spread sounds so good with the banana bread, nice.

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Marisa May 26, 2011 at 12:22 am

Chocolate and goat cheese sounds like a delicious combination to me–perfect with the strawberries on top! Great picnic dish.

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Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living May 26, 2011 at 11:28 am

Oh Kelly… you have outdone yourself with this one. You managed to pack a bunch of my favorite foods into one phenomenal sandwich! I just baked a loaf of banana bread, and will have to whip up some of that fantastic goat cheese spread. I adore pairing tangy goat cheese with something sweet, and this sandwich sounds the perfect application :) . I can’t wait to make this!!

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sippitysup May 26, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Picnic? Sandwich? You are blowing my mind with your creativity… GREG

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Faith May 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Now that is a beautiful sandwich! The strawberries are a gorgeous touch, but that chocolate goat cheese spread is what really lured me in!

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Carolyn Jung May 27, 2011 at 12:25 am

Mmmm, it’s breakfast. It’s dessert. It’s a joy to eat all in one. ;)

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Tanantha May 29, 2011 at 1:26 am

Chocolate goat cheese spread has intrigued me the most. What a cool idea! Yes I agree this dish is playful and perfect for a picnic!

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Angela@spinachtiger May 29, 2011 at 8:19 am

I have never put chocolate and goat cheese together, but it has to be great. There is chocolate!

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Trix May 30, 2011 at 11:01 am

When I think about it, I can see how chocolate and goat cheese would marry well together, what with the tanginess of the cheese and the sweetness of the chocolate. Very creative!

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Bren May 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm

choco and cheese are divine and so i’m certain the goat cheese combo worked marvelously! I love it!

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Cara June 3, 2011 at 8:40 am

Ooh, I’m in love with the Westfield Chocolate Capri! The farm is actually not too far from my house, so every so often we’ll take a drive out there and pick some up :)

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deana@lostpastremembered June 4, 2011 at 7:59 am

Well, bless my soul, what a novel idea to set the sandwich on its ear. Great concept to put goat cheese with chocolate. How I love strawberries and never thought to pair them with banana bread.. must be amazing!

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Lori Lynn June 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

Wow! Super combination of ingredients! And so pretty too.
LL

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Daily Spud June 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Oh my! Love that you did a sweet take on sandwiches but, seriously, that chocolate goat cheese spread has sent my head spinning – move over nutella :)

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CaSaundra June 7, 2011 at 8:45 am

Silly me, but I’ve never even though of using banana bread as a sandwich..this is perfect flavor combos for summer too!

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Jen H June 7, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Um, I’m completely drooling over that goat cheese spread. Amazingly creative and so yummy looking and sounding. I think I know what I’ll be doing with the goat cheese I bought yesterday.

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