It’s very weird that it’s taken me so long to post this recipe, because this chocolate banana bread is the thing I bake more often than anything else. Even more than brownies. James’s work snack of choice is banana bread, and every couple of weeks I made a this loaf, slice it up, and freeze it so that he can take a piece out every morning. I actually buy more bananas than I know we can eat for the purpose of letting some of them go past their best in order to turn them into banana bread. I fear I am missing the point of fruit.
Banana bread has sort of gained an unearned reputation for being a healthier choice. I do have a recipe for spelt banana bread which is sort of ‘healthy’ (as it uses spelt and wholemeal flours, greek yoghurt, and maple syrup, rather than white flours and caster sugar) but it’s still, inescapably, cake. Banana bread, you guys, is cake. Let’s not be fooled by the fruit contained within and the sober sounding ‘bread’ in the title. Baking it in a bread tin does not make it bread. It’s no more virtuous than a Victoria sponge. Especially not when you do what I have done here and stuff it with chocolate. But why wouldn’t you? It’s so tasty.
It is a delight of a cake. It’s moist, decadent, and full of flavour. It’s very easy to make, and would be a fun, simple one to do with kids. It keeps beautifully, even if you don’t freeze it. You can make it with whatever chocolate you like, or mix it up and add nuts. None of the ingredients are obscure. I’ve drizzled the pictured banana bread with melted white chocolate, but this step could certainly be skipped.
You could even keep up the charade and pretend it’s healthy because it has bananas in it, if it will make you feel better. I won’t tell.
Source: Recipe adapted from the ever-excellent Smitten Kitchen.
Notes: This, and indeed any banana bread, will not work unless your bananas are very ripe. They can be over-ripe, almost completely black-skinned, but they can’t be firm and green.
You can use any type of chocolate for the chunks in the banana bread, but I love baked white chocolate and like the contrast between the dark cake and the pale chocolate here.
3 large ripe bananas
115 grams butter, melted
150 grams light brown soft sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
125 grams plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
100g white chocolate
50g white chocolate for drizzle (optional)
- Put your butter on to melt gently. Heat your oven to 170C/ 150C fan/ gas 3. Grease a non-stick loaf tin. Mash your bananas in the bottom of a large bowl – if they are ripe enough, you should just be able to attack them with an electric hand whisk. Whisk in the melted butter, light brown soft sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place a sieve over the bowl and weigh the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into it, then sift them over the wet mixture. Break your 100g chocolate into squares and add to the bowl. Fold everything together until only just combined, but do not mix further.
- Pour your batter into your loaf tin and bake for around 40 mins, or until the banana bread is risen, firm, and passes the skewer test. Let cool in the tin for around 20 mins, then turn it out to cool completely (or just cut chunks off and stuff it into your mouth when it’s warm, as I definitely do not do every time). If finishing it with more white chocolate, simply melt the chocolate and drizzle over the cake, then leave to set at room temperature.