Finally! It happened. I am launching my newly redesigned blog! Thank you very much for all your encouraging comments and emails I’ve been receiving along the way! I haven’t blogged in a while and it feels great to be finally back in the blogosphere, or better, the foodispehere.
To mark this occasion, I decided to bake something simple. I had some ripe bananas screaming for attention and I also had a bag of chocolate chips I’d been desperately trying to hide away from my chocolate-lover 5-year-old who finds chocolate no matter where I put it. So naturally, the choice fell on chocolate banana bread. Out of a dozen recipes I have for this delicious treat, there is one I refer to more often than others. It is Chocolate Banana Bread by Stephanie Jarowski, the owner of Joy of Baking, a wonderful web with tons of recipes for baked goodies. I adapted Stephanie’s recipe to my taste. The original recipe calls for white chocolate chips in the bread, but I used dark chocolate chips instead. Also, I used raw walnuts instead of roasted and I chose not to top the bread with brown sugar before it went in the oven. This bread is amazingly delicious – so soft and moist. I like it warm with a cup of hot tea.
If you have ripe bananas at home and would love to bake this bread but have no time at the moment, no worries, save your bananas for later use. Here’s what Stephanie suggests, “Instead of throwing them away simply slip them into a plastic bag and place them into the freezer until you have enough for baking. You can also peel and mash them, stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice for each banana, and freeze in an airtight container or bag. They will keep about six months in the freezer.” Thank you, Stephanie, for the delicious recipe and the great advice!
CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD
Adapted from Joy of Baking
1 3/4 cups (245 g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup (250 g) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas (approximately 1 pound / 454 g), mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (120 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (55 g) raw walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (85 g) dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Butter and flour (or spray with a non-stick vegetable spray) the bottom and sides of a 9 X 5 X 3 inch (23 X 13 X 8 cm) loaf pan. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients (flour mixture) until just combined and the batter is thick and chunky. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-65 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool, then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Nush Olsun! Enjoy!