Introduction: Cacao-banana Squares With Cottage Cheese
I started to make this dessert for two simple reasons. First, I wanted my children - very well used to healthy food - had healthy snacks rather what you can get from the supermarket. Second, I have a sweet tooth and I wanted something more guilt-free. The first objective was accomplished, the second one not really because I like these squares so much that I can eat a scary amount of them.
And why are these squares healthier than random snack you buy at the store? They have no refined sugar, only some honey and I will mention an alternative for those who want to make them without honey. They are also gluten-free and therefore ok for people with gluten-free diet. The filling is cottage cheese sweetened with a little honey (again an alternative will be mentioned) and there's really nothing more in them.
Step 1: Ingredients
You need just a few ingredients, only what you see in the first photo:
- 2 tbs of all-natural unsweetened cacao powder
- 4 tbs of honey (if it's solid, heat it a little to make it liquid)
- 3 middle-sized bananas (if you don't want to use honey, make it 5)
- 4 eggs
- 500g of cottage cheese
- baking tray
- baking paper
I use a special type of cottage cheese which is typical in central Europe, it's called tvaroh (Quark in Germany and Austria). It is cottage cheese with the consistency of a very very thick yogurt, it is completely unsalted and is mainly used in sweet dishes and desserts. The full-fat variant tastes the best. To give yourself an idea of the consistency, look at the 2nd photo. You can use any kind of unsalted cottage cheese or thick yogurt though.
Step 2: Preparing the Pastry
Separate the egg yolks from the whites, beat the egg whites to get snow and let them rest in a fridge for a while.
Meanwhile mix the cacao powder with 2 spoons of honey and egg yolks (skip the honey if you don't want to use it).
Smash 3 bananas with a fork and mix them in the cacao mixture. Smash them very well but don't use any blender, they would become loo liquid and the pastry wouldn't be fluffy.
Mix the egg white snow in little by little. Don't stir the mixture, rather lift the snow with a spatula and let it fall. It takes time but it keeps the batter airy.
Preheat the oven on 200 °C / 392 °F. Place the baking paper sheet on the tray, pour the mixture on it and even it with a spatula. Bake for 12 minutes.
Let it cool down completely.
Step 3: Filling
Let's prepare the filling. Mix the cottage cheese with two spoons of honey or two smashed/blended bananas (you can use the blender for the bananas at this point).
Step 4: Make the Squares and Enjoy!
Spread the filling over half the baked pastry.
Fold the other half over the filling.
Slowly take the paper off.
Cut into squares and let them rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.