Chocolate Banana Bread
*Video recipe* After you make this moist chocolate banana bread, you’ll never go back to the regular kind!
Chocolate is mood-enhancing- no doubt. Not the child’s version- pale brown and sickly sweet, rather the bitter, dark chocolate that never breaks symmetrically, the kind that breathes sophistication. If this type of chocolate does leave you with a euphoric aftertaste, it should be consumed for breakfast so that the day is begun on a positive note. Nonetheless, chocolate must be had in moderation, so that each time it is eaten, you can enjoy it. At our house, eating an extravagant breakfast- and by extravagant I mean a spread of fried eggs sunny side up, crisp bacon, croissants and banana bread – is rare. It’s a fantasy of a 5-star hotel breakfast buffet. Rare, like I said. What’s realistic is scarfing down a banana or a glass of milk before school then eating an hour later during class while rushing through math sums.
But you can do extravagant without the lavish spread of a 5-star hotel. Take chocolate banana bread, for example. The luxury of chocolate with the everyday mellowness of bananas. You can never go wrong with the combination. When trying out a recipe for cake or bread, you never know whether or not the result will actually be worth the effort – but banana bread is effortless, and somehow, I was confident that I would’t go wrong combining chocolate and bananas together. They pair up beautifully.
The richness of chocolate can oftentimes be overpowering, but the flavor of bananas was still very much prominent in this creation- after all, it has to be, it is banana bread. In order to achieve a moist bread; however, it is important to use ripe bananas- the ones that are spottiest- the ones that attract fruit flies (there’s a reason they’re attracted to the yellowy-brown bananas). Ripe bananas are sweeter – more flavorful, and far easier to mash. I’m not a fan of eating ripe bananas. Personally, I them slightly on the underripe side. Nonetheless, I cannot disagree that ripe bananas are richer in flavor than my preferred type. Ripe bananas are also responsible for moisture- combined with melted butter. In terms of sugar, I always like to use brown sugar in baking because of it’s generally more flavorful than regular granulated sugar- it also works marvelously with the bananas to achieve a moist bread. While using brown sugar isn’t required, it is necessary.
Cocoa comes closest to chocolate in its purest form- especially natural cocoa, the main flavoring of chocolate in this bread. But fear not, the batter teams with chunks of bittersweet chocolate- I do like to use a combination of milk and dark chocolate as opposed to solely bittersweet chocolate, but you can go either way. I also like to add chopped walnuts for a crunch- and they’re healthy- so why not?
You’ll notice that most of the ingredients in this banana bread are probably ones you have on hand- furthering the simplicity. You can prepare the loaf the night before (it does require a longer time in the oven in contrast to a cake) and devour it morning after so that you can start a rushed day on a positive note. With that, I give you chocolate banana bread.
Check out my video tutorial:
- 3 medium to large ripe bananas (the riper the better!)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chocolate chunks/chips of choice
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with butter or non-stick spray.
- In a medium sized bowl, mash the bananas.
- Stream in the melted butter and whisk to combine.
- Next, add in the brown sugar, followed by the egg and vanilla extract.
- Mix after each addition and make sure that all the ingredients are well-incorporated.
- Whisk in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon.
- Once incorporated, add in the cocoa powder, making sure there are no lumps. You can sift the mixture if you’d like.
- Then add the flour, mixing just until combined. You can also stir all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add them to the wet mixture.
- Fold in the chocolate chunks and nuts.
- Pour into the prepared ban and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool slightly before slicing.
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen