Many thanks to Deb at the Smitten Kitchen for this recipe! I can sympathize with her very tiny kitchen because I make do with similar constraints, and so in the spirit of solidarity with those of us who bake in tiny kitchens I decided to give her recipe a try. I’d been wanting to make a banana chocolate chip bread for a while. When I finally went searching for a recipe to try and came across Deb’s the “double chocolate” part won me over right away. In addition to both of us having tiny kitchens, it’s possible that Deb also shares my belief that there is no recipe that cannot be improved by the addition of cocoa powder.
Now, if that picture didn’t win you over, or you just want more pictures of delicious chocolate, try this:
If you’re still not sold then you must not like chocolate. That’s okay, I have a recipe for that. For those of you that want to know how to make this amazing banana bread, keep on reading! This bread is super easy to make and it’s a chocolate-lovers delight; the banana flavor is still present, it’s not completely overwhelmed, and it pairs up wonderfully with all the glorious chocolate. Now, on to the recipe and more pictures!
Yield: One 9×5″ loaf
Preparation Time: 20-30 minutes
- 3 medium-large very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (150g)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (125g)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (~6oz/170g)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas until smooth.
- Add the melted butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla and whisk until well-combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and gently stir until just-combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the pan and smooth to an even surface.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes until the classic toothpick test comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- You’ll want your bananas to be as ripe as possible without actually being off because you’ll be mashing them into a paste. The softer the bananas, the smoother the paste, the more evenly the banana flavor will be distributed throughout the bread. That being said, I am tempted to try a variation of this with two very-ripe bananas that get mashed and two barely-ripe bananas that just get diced up and folded in at the end with the chocolate chips so that there are chunks of banana floating around the bread. I’ll report back on how that goes…
- Optional ingredients for this loaf would definitely include a half cup of toasted walnuts or pecans, as classic additions to banana bread. A half cup of toasted coconut could work quite well, too. To take this amazing bread even further, I feel that it’s a strong candidate for a maple buttercream frosting to top it off.
- It’s important to let the loaf sit in the pan for a good 20-30 minutes before you pop it out. The center will still be cooking and if you remove the loaf from the pan too early you run the risk of a mushy center to your otherwise glorious banana bread. Have patience and be strong; it’s worth the wait!
Here’s what I chose for “medium-large” bananas:
Slicing up the bananas first helps speed along the mashing process.
Add to the bananas the butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla, and whisk like crazy until you get a consistent texture. It will likely still be a little lumpy; after all, one can only mash bananas so much.
There is a glorious amount of cocoa powder in this recipe. Whisk it together with the rest of the dry ingredients until it’s all roughly the same color, to ensure the smaller quantities have been well-distributed.
Add the dry mixture into your wet ingredients and gently stir until there are no more streaks of dry mix throughout the batter.
Last ingredient (but no less important…) is the chocolate chips, which just need to be gently folded in.
Now you can pour this lovely batter into your loaf pan and get it in the oven! No one will fault you for leaving a bit of the batter behind in the bowl to tide yourself over while waiting on the bread to bake…
Fair warning: the glorious smell of this bread can be overpowering. If you’re going to pass out from the chocolate fumes, just make sure you get this pan safely out of the oven first so you don’t accidentally drop and ruin the bread.
After about a half an hour, allowing for the center to keep cooking so that it doesn’t end up being mushy, you can pop the loaf out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Now you’ve reached the best part. Last step: eat!