I know I have mentioned before that “I don’t care for bananas”. That is the nice way my Mom told me to say things. Inside I am thinking, “I hate bananas!”. But that is not polite conversation, so instead I utter more refined phrases, such as “I don’t care for bananas” I considered it proof of my deep love for my children that I squished up bananas to feed them as babies, because doing so – particularly first thing in the morning – made me want to barf. Blech. It’s a good thing that maternal instinct is so strong or they might have had coffee and cold pizza for breakfast – fortunately they got lovely banana squish.
But, as we get older, our tastes change, and we might learn to appreciate a food that previously was not exactly our favorite thing on the planet. That is certainly the case for me, because I love bananas now! Bananas are fantastic. Delicious. Gob-smacking wonderful!
Okay – so there is just one tiny caveat to the above statements. Chocolate. Now, I can honestly say that I love bananas when they are combined with two kinds of chocolate and baked into to a moist and decadent bread. That’s progress right?
Enough palaver – let’s get this done. This bread uses what we learned back in Home Ec class as, “The Muffin Method” of baking. That means you combine your dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another bowl, and then combine them with as little mixing as possible, to ensure a tender result. Over mixing makes the flour develop more gluten. Gluten is good in Italian bread, but not very pleasant in a muffin or in quick breads like this one. I also much prefer the cut-up chunks of banana in here, rather than just mashing it as you would for a lot of other banana bread recipes. Chunks ensure that you get some areas that more just chocolate and others that are more banana, which is a really nice contrast.
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup baking cocoa
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt - I use fat free, but use whatever you prefer
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 medium to small bananas, not mashed, but cut into a medium dice
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350º
- Prepare an 8x5 inch bread pan by buttering generously. You can cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan, fit it in and then butter that too, if you like - this ensures that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and soda and salt - set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, or a two cup measure, combine the egg, vegetable oil, yogurt and vanilla.
- Add the yogurt mixture, the cut up bananas and the chocolate chips to the dry mixture and fold together just until combined.
- Scrape evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean - you may have to try more than one spot to make sure you aren't hitting a chocolate chip.
- Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack - cool completely before wrapping tightly to store. Refrigerate if there is any left after about 2 days.
I have to confess that I am still lacking in appreciation for just plain old bananas. They are pretty darned wonderful like this though – enjoy!