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.
To mark this occasion, I decided to bake something simple, yet luscious and super delicious. 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 for the bread I found online and in books and magazines I have, one stood out for me. It was the recipe by Stephanie Jarowski, the owner of Joy of Baking, a wonderful baking website with tons of great recipes.
I adapted Stephanie’s recipe to my taste. The original recipe called for white chocolate chips in the batter, 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. My adaptation of the bread turned out amazingly delicious! So tender and moist!
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!
Make this bread, guys. You will love it, love it, just love it again and again!
Chocolate Banana Bread
Adapted from Joy of Baking
Note: If you don’t like walnuts, you can omit them in the batter altogether. The same with chocolate chips—the cake turns well without them, too. Also, I like to mash the bananas into a coarse mass instead of a mushy puree, so that you can see chunks of banana in the bread. Makes for an interesting looks and texture. Try it!
1 3/4 cups (245 g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder (natural unsweetened cocoa powder is ok, too)
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 (I often use 1/4 cup chocolate chips and love the results better)
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Butter and flour (or spray with a non-stick vegetable spray) the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-by-3 inch (23-by-13-by-8 cm) loaf pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
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.
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.