Cooking Spree: Chocolate Banana Bread

I have a confession to make:  I’ve been on kind of a cooking spree.

Well, a baking spree. It’s what happens when I don’t cook for awhile. It all builds up and comes out in a binge.

I was visiting a friend in D.C. a couple of years ago, and she served this amazing banana bread with chocolate chips. A winning combo. I don’t make banana bread often, maybe once a year, but I had some leftover bananas just about to turn and a hankering to bake something. Plus I live and breathe for chocolate. Any kind, anywhere, anyhow.

This is a fairly healthy recipe for banana bread, with less sugar and butter than usual. So it’s not very sweet.

But don’t worry, I thought of a way to ruin that:

Nutella.

It’s a classic, beautiful marriage, Nutella with bananas. Here’s the recipe — for the regular bread, how to add chocolate and how to stuff it with Nutella. No matter the option you choose, I hope you enjoy!

————————————————–

Chocolate banana bread 

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I used TJ’s 0% Greek)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add:

1/2 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips OR
1 13-oz jar of Nutella

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, and stir with a whisk.

Beat the sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add the mashed banana, yogurt and vanilla; beat until blended. Add the flour mixture, and beat at low speed just until moist.

*At this point, gently stir in chocolate chips, but don’t overmix.

Spoon batter into a loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch) coated with butter or cooking spray.

*If adding Nutella, spoon in 1/3 batter, then half of the jar of Nutella. Add another layer of batter, then the rest of the Nutella. Finish with the remaining batter. Gently swirl the Nutella through the batter with a knife if you’d like.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove. Cool completely before slicing.

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When we were in Sydney, we went to Bill’s, a neighborhood-y breakfast joint in Darlinghurst owned by celebrity chef Bill Granger. He’s kind of the Australian Tyler Florence. (You might have seen some of his shows on Cooking Channel, like “Bill’s Food” or “Bill’s Holiday.”) Bill’s consistently ranks as best breakfast in Sydney, and boy was it. They serve this warm chocolate banana bread topped with ricotta. I’m sure his ricotta is locally-sourced or homemade, but maybe we could find a decent version stateside. It’s an interesting way to bulk up your normal banana bread into a heartier breakfast. Just an idea.

Here’s another (sheepish) confession: I also made blueberry scones.

(I know.)

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3 thoughts on “Cooking Spree: Chocolate Banana Bread

  1. Yum! You know I had to get on right away and read about this banana bread. sounds super good. I like your blog! Guess what I’m doing right now? Not blogging!

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