Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chocolate Banana Nut Bread

With Darin's family in town last week, I wanted to make them something special to eat. Quick breads are always great options since they are prepared easily, take little time (and time was of the essence this past week), and can be eaten for breakfast or as snack. I was a little nervous making this for guests as I like to test them out before I give them away, but I asked Darin's father how it tasted, and he gave it two thumbs up. Whew! I did sneak a tiny piece of it out of the oven, and I wish it had a more intense chocolate flavor, but the bread did bake up beautifully and still had a good banana flavor. This bread was moist, chocolate-y, and tender.

1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1-3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (any chocolate here would be fine)
3 ripe bananas, mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place oven rack to middle position.
2. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
3. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8–10 minutes, until lightly toasted.
4. Let cool and then chop coarsely (be sure to leave a few aside for garnishment if desired).
5. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
6. In a medium-sized bowl, mash bananas.
7. Add eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
8. With a rubber spatula, lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined and batter is thick and chunky.
9. Fold in the pecans and chocolate chips.
10. Pour batter in prepared loaf pan.
11. Garnish with whole pecans, if desired.
12. Bake until bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour (start checking at 50-55 minutes).
13. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 1 loaf

Source: Adapted from Delish


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