I'm afraid I won't be weaving a funny anecdote about my banana bread making experience. Nor will I be facing any challenges in the process, or overcoming any obstacles to make the best darn chocolate banana bread EVER! Nope, my life is not always that exciting. You'll find this hard to believe but sometimes my baking adventures aren't adventures at all! So here goes:
Once upon a Sunday morning during that time of year known as summer to the rest of the world (it's true other
dwellers, it's not just a myth! Some countries have sun and warmth for more
than just 1 month of the year!!), that time of year where my usually empty
diary finds itself choc-a-bloc, I found myself at home unexpectedly one
weekend. Me, three ripe bananas and a craving for some home-baked goodness!
Naturally, my mind went to banana bread, and even more naturally, my fingers
flicked through the pages of Nigella's 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'. Ta daa... there it was; Banana
Bread! And then my eyes spied at the bottom of the page a variation; Chocolate
Chip Banana Bread. Even better. But due to extreme laziness, I couldn't be
bothered to go out and buy chocolate chips so I met Nigella's recipe halfway
and settled for chocolate banana bread. As I was in a 'quantity over quality'
type of mood, I made two loaves with the recipe and while they were very good,
it would have been much better if I had made just one and had those perfectly
tall, square slices that a good loaf cake produces. UK
The recipe below is for banana bread with the chocolate chip variation included at the bottom. Enjoy!
75ml bourbon or dark rum
175g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
125g unsalted butter, melted
150g sugar (I used brown)
2 large eggs
4 small, very ripe bananas (about 300g weighed without skin), mashed
60g chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin, buttered and floured
Makes 8 - 10 slices
1 - Put the sultanas and rum or bourbon in a smallish saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for an hour if you can, or until the sultanas have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.
2 - Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3 and get started on the rest.
3 - Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.
4 - In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained sultanas and vanilla extract.
5 - Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit.
6 - Scrape into the loaf tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 to1 1/4 hours. When it is ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.
For Chocolate Chip Variation: Replace 25g of the flour with good cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate) and add 100g of dark chocolate cut into smallish chunks. You can also use chocolate chips.