Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread - dairy free

Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Hi friends. I've missed you. But I'm hoping this delicious, delicious banana bread will bring us close once again.
There's the chocolate. Let's talk about that first. The chunks of dark chocolate are still melty if you cut the bread as soon as it's kind of cool enough to cut. Or if you don't flour your pan well enough and a few chunks get left behind. They're even still good at a normal temperature.

Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Then there's the banana breadiness. It is good stuff. Dense, moist, and sweet. Just the way banana bread should be.

Which brings us to the chocolateyness in conjunction with the banana breadiness. And that is where it's at. The sweetness of the bananas means that I really like the juxtaposition of the dark chocolate (and finally, a big word that's also a real word in this post).

Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

So the moral of the story: make this bread.

Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread - dairy free
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

The recipe instructs you to coarsely chop the chocolate, and I liked having a mix of itty bitty pieces and large chunks. You should chop your chocolate however you like, or just use chips. I used dark chocolate, and I liked that level of chocolateness. The original suggested bittersweet, but I think semi-sweet would also work. Pick your favorite or just go with what you have on hand. 

If you find your three bananas don't equal 1 1/2 cups (I didn't), you can just make up the remaining amount with extra yogurt. For example, my three mashed bananas equaled 1 1/4 cups, so I used an additional 1/4 cup of yogurt to equal 1 1/2 cups. Then I just used the 1/4 cup of yogurt called for in the recipe. Make sense?

I found I loved this as-is. However, if you want to fancy it up as a cake (in a pretty bundt pan perhaps?), head over to 101 Cookbooks for her version with icing.

1 C / 4.5 oz / 125g all-purpose flour
1 C / 5 oz / 140g whole wheat flour
3/4 C / 4.5 oz / 125g dark muscovado or brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 C / 4 oz / 115g coarsely chopped bittersweet or dark chocolate
1/3 C / 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 C / 12 oz / 340 g mashed, VERY ripe bananas (~3 bananas)
1/4 C / 60 ml plain, whole milk yogurt OR non-dairy yogurt (I used almond)
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F, and place a rack in the center. Grease and flour a 9- by 5- inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan, or equivalent.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate pieces and combine well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, olive oil, mashed banana, yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown. The original recipe called for about 50 minutes of bake time, but mine took about an hour and a quarter. You want to get that beautiful color on the cake, but at the same time you don't want to bake all the moisture out of it. So the minute you're in that zone, pull it. Erring on the side of under-baking versus over.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.

Bread stays good at room temperature for 2 or 3 days, so if you want it to keep longer, store it in the fridge.

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