“I am nothing but I must be everything.” – Karl Marx
Busy. That’s how I would describe my current situation. I’m in the midst of balancing life, work, leisure and study. Though the finish line is insight… exams are nearly over! And amongst all the present chaos, I started to crave a slice of home-ly banana bread. So I took the morning off the other day and made my favourite rendition.
I know there are a million recipes for banana bread out there, all of them claiming to be the best. Is there such a thing as a bad banana bread recipe? I’ve tried my hand at many over the years, from the healthy & whole-flour type to sugary loaves that are really just cakes in disguise…and I’m yet to discover one.
But the one recipe that has stood the test of time is this, a staple in our home. It’s filled with butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Dark chocolate, white flour and eggs. It is rich. It is decadent. It is delicious. And most importantly it’s filled with intense and sweet pockets of mushy banana. It never fails to disappoint. And it is the best.
This recipe was originally not intended for the blog. But I was so content with the outcome that I felt the need to share. I did not style it. I did not think about what props I needed to include, fill your eyes or fancy the photographs up with. The banana bread itself does all the delicious talking. I simply shot it straight off the kitchen counter-top as soon as it arrived out the oven.
If you’ve been around this space long enough too – you’ll notice that I’m considerably short of photographs of finished banana bread photos for this post. And I’m sorry about that, but as I photographed away, I couldn’t resist but helping myself to the freshly baked, pillowy soft temptation of a few mouthfuls of warm banana bread, which later turned into thick slices. I’m sure you can all understand.
Chocolate and Brown Sugar Banana Bread is a twist on the traditional loaf. A basic banana bread recipe is elevated by the addition of dark chocolate which perfectly complements the sweet banana flavour. The banana bread is moist and flavourful on its own and is as comfortingly delicious as only a good home-baked loaf knows how. I like to serve it straight from the oven, whilst the chocolate is still melted and banana pockets are hot, or toasted with a pat of butter and generous slather of salted honey.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 3 large bananas
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 oz. / 115 g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F / 180 C. Grease and line a 9 ½ x 5 x 3 inches / 24 x 12x 8 cm loaf pan with parchment paper. Then set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. In a separate medium sized bowl, mash the bananas to form a slightly lumpy paste then stir in the vanilla. Set both bowls aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, or with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light, fluffy and pale coffee in colour – roughly 4 to 5 minutes (depending on the temperature of your butter and weather this process can take up to 6 minutes).
- Whisk the eggs lightly together to combine, and then slowly add them into the butter and sugar mixture – introducing a spoonful of the sifted flour mixture if there are any apparent sides of curdling. Gently fold in the chopped chocolate, followed by the banana mixture. Finally fold in all of the sifted flour.
- Scrape the mixture into the lined loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out moist, but clean. Leave in its pan to settle for 15 minutes, before loosening the sides and carefully lifting out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before slicing and serving.