Thursday, 7 October 2010

Chocolate Banana Bread




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 UK 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. 

The recipe below is for banana bread with the chocolate chip variation included at the bottom. Enjoy!

Ingredients

100g sultanas
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 170ÂșC/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. 

10 comments:

Adura said...

Ummm... when exactly did you make this? Just wondering why I didn't taste it... you can make it up to me by baking it again to get my official approval :)

Azuka said...

Nice. Now that I have a place of my own with an oven I'm making the foray into baking and this recipe looks like one I should try.

(By the way, I was under the impression "I'm not most girls" was your only blog).

Annie O. said...

I've made this, its realllly gooooood

Suzanne Brume said...

Nice... Guess I know what I'll be doing next weekend :)
I'm so anxious to hear about the NY part of your dessert crawl!

Wande- ladyee said...

That looks sooo yummy! I'll have to try this recipe!

Vickii said...

@Adura - I made it a while ago but don't worry, it's definitely going to feature a lot in my kitchen so I'll be saving you a big chunk next time I make it!

@Azuka - Nice to hear from you! Are you still blogging? This is definitely a great recipe to try - Nigella recommends it for new bakers as it's so difficult to get wrong. 'I'm not most girls' was my only blog for a long while - I only just started this one this year :D

@Annie O - So lovely to hear from you! I agree, it's really good!

@Suzanne - Let me know if you do try it out! I only went to Serendipity in NY - didn't have time!! I know, I'm upset too :)

@Wande-laydee - Thank you! And do let me know if you do try it out!

Azuka said...

@Vickii. Yes, I do -- once in a while.

You pretty much have almost everything I want to try baking -- meat pies and chocolate cake for example.

I'll be visiting very often.

Ms Afropolitan said...

sounds yummy Vickii!

during the summer months (and pretty much all year) i repeat my mantra 'I don't live in London for the weather, I don't live in London for the weather.'

1511th said...

I will save this and make this soon. Looks so good

Vickii said...

@Azuka - I'll definitely be checking out your blog. Let me know if there is anything you want to try and I could recommend a recipe :D

@Ms Afropolitan - I know *Sigh* London weather leaves a lot to be desired. At least it helps us appreciate good weather when we come across it :D

@1511th - let me know how it goes when you try it :D