Thursday, September 04, 2008

New Favorite Banana Bread

The other day, I came across this recipe on the Joy of Baking site for Chocolate Banana Bread. I'd packed for the move all of our bags of assorted chocolate chips, hoping they'd make it in a cooler. They did, although slightly fused in blocks, but still usable. This recipe called for white chocolate chips, so I thought what the heck. Sitting in the fridge were perfect-for-banana-bread blackened bananas, and all the other ingredients were in the pantry. Stephanie, the host of Joy of Baking, writes all the well-tested recipes using volume measures as well as weights. I weighed out per her instructions, and I'd do exactly the same next time. This bread came out, like, totally awesome! After testing for doneness (no crumbs on my tester pick), and a brief rest in the pan, I turned it out onto a cooling rack, whereupon Eddie and I kept passing by, touching the sides to see if it had cooled down enough to "test" it out. When we couldn't wait any longer, Eddie made a pot of tea and we devoured nice thick slices. We could not resist the urge to shmear a bit of butter on first. Delicious! Not too sweet, good banana flavor, and just enough chocolate from the cocoa and white chips. The optional sprinkling before baking with raw sugar was a nice touch, giving the top a sugary crunch. Click on the above link for the Joy of Cooking site, but for convenience, here's the recipe. I did not change anything, but made it exactly as written. Why change perfection?
Chocolate Banana Bread:

1/2 cup (55 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (30 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 ripe bananas (approximately 1 pound or 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (85 grams) white chocolate chips

Garnish:

Turbinado or Demerara sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack to middle position. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Set aside.

Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients until just combined and batter is thick and chunky. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Scrape batter into prepared pan and sprinkle the top of the bread with coarse brown sugar (optional).. Bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 - 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf

1 comment:

Jancd said...

This recipe looks delicious. I have all the ingredients and will be making this soon. I enjoy checking on you guys and am glad you are getting settled. Jancd