Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Rich Chocolate Banana Bread

Let’s pretend. So much of how I entertained myself as a little girl had to do with pretending. I was never fast enough or strong enough or athletic enough or, um, lean enough to join in all the (reindeer games) physical activity (undoubtedly super fun I know I know) that went on with other kids my age. Instead I was mostly with my dolls or playing dress up or reading books or generally having a ball with that pre-PlayStation thing called “my imagination”.

My imagination was my savior on many rainy afternoons. It saw me through my bouts “in the corner” when I was naughty. It made mine and my brother’s Barbie and Transformers games possible. It made long car rides bearable. It made me believe I could be Scarlett O’Hara. No small feat that. All that for the bargain price of absolutely free!

To this day it’s still with me. I nurture and pamper it. Feeding it richly and indulging its many whims. Wild dreams and imaginings still see me through many of life’s events. Not the least being long queues at the bank and waiting in airports – oh how it helps in those situations! But also during times of anxiety and stress that often come with this territory called (phooey) adulthood. Some may think it childish escapism, these games of “let’s pretend”. I like to think of it as “creative solutions”.

Like now for example. Like let’s pretend I’ve never posted a banana bread recipe on this blog before.

Rich Chocolate Banana Bread
(from What’s for lunch, Honey?)

  • 100g bittersweet chocolate
  • 150g butter, softened
  • 170g muscovado sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 2 large bananas, ripe and mashed

- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, taking care not to let the water touch the bowl. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder and fold into the wet ingredients (I like to use a flattish metal spoon for this).
- Add mashed bananas and melted chocolate and fold in well.
- Place in a greased and lined loaf pan and bake in a pre-heated 180C oven for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack, then wrap in baking paper or foil.

Meeta’s original recipe used 3 smaller loaf pans rather that one standard, and one loaf was topped with pink almond praline and the other with pistachios. I just left made one plain loaf, and let me tell you, it did not seem lacking at all! The cake is not too sweet, instead brimming with a dusky chocolate flavor which I feel works really well with the earthiness of muscovado (which in itself possesses dark notes). All this is held snugly together by the bananas' moist sweetness. In not so many words, yum :)

My wish for little C is that she discovers the wonders of the imagination before the world of Xbox and TV creeps in. There is no limit to what a little imagination can do…even if it’s just to pretend I haven’t posted the same cake in various guises! ;)

6/2/2010 update: It's Meeta's birthday! :)


Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, sweetie, that is more than OK - the more recipes with banana, the better!
These slices certainly look rich - they're making me drool! :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, it looks so scrumptious! Very chocolaty indeed!



Paula said...

that`s really awesome!

♥peachkins♥ said...

Repeating favorites!!!

The French said...

Looks crazy good. I guess saying it looks buh-nanas would be appropriate, no? Can't wait to try this!!!

Anh said...

No need to pretend, Joey. One can never have enough of banana bread. Chocolate… yum!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Patricia! I can never have enough banana bread! These were really rich…yummy!

They were Rosa! :)

Hi Paula! Thanks :)

Hi Peachkins! Yup! And these are you the ones I’ve posted! There is more banana bread where this came from, oh yes indeed!

Hi French! Quite appropriate ;) Hope you like it too!

Hi Anh! I agree :) And especially with chocolate!

kaoko said...

Gawd that looks so good. And to think I don't like banana bread. Might make an exception for this though.

Midge said...

This recipe brings together three of my favorite things: bananas, chocolate, and muscovado sugar!

(Oh, I hope you and C can come join us at Heavenly Chocolates on June 14th. We're serving a number of local chocolate treats including a Davao single-origin hot chocolate. :D)

Liska said...

Thanks for publishing this stunning photo. I HAD to give the recipe a try and it's great :)

Barbara said...

I've never made banana bread, so I I'm bookmarking this try soon. I made banana cake recently.

Paz said...

this looks rich! rich and good! ;-) yum!


ChichaJo said...

Hi Kaoko! Thank you :) I think chocolate allows us to make an exemption in many things ;)

Hi Midge! You favorite things make a great combination :) Will let you know if we can make it!

Hi Liska! Thanks! Glad you liked it! I checked out your post on this cake and your photos are gorgeous! I wish I could read your delectable looking posts!

Hi Barbara! I don’t think there is too much of a difference between banana bread and banana cake seeing how banana bread is not actually “bread” per se with no yeast and all...either way, enjoy! :)

Hi Paz! It was indeed rich…and yummy!

WizzyTheStick said...

NOt a fan of banana bread but the addition of that chocolate wow. I could convert:-)

The Purple Foodie said...

Man! this looks sooo amazing. Every time I come to your blog, I'm reminded that the dense chocolate Nigella cake is still pending on my to-bake list! Sig. And now I've just added another one. I love how banana bread is always soo moist and this looks so perfect.

Stepford Mum said...

Yum Yum Yum! Chocolate and bananas are wonderful together. I've made chocolate banana bread before, in the Moomin loaf tins, heehee, but with some brown bananas in the fridge now, it's time to make some more!

Mikostinko said...

I can't wait to try this recipe!!!

CJ said...

Yummy! I'll try this on Sunday =D

katiez said...

I've made chocolate zucchini bread but not banana bread...
As to imagination - that's why I can't watch scary movies.... mine puts so much more in than is really there LOL

Anne said...

chocolate and banana is marriage made in heaven :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Wizzy! Chocolate has made me convert a lot of things! ;)

Hi Purple Foodie! That dense chocolate cake by Nigella is really a winner in my book :) Love how bananas keep cakes moist too!

Hi Iyor! I like to stuff brown bananas in the freezer (peeled but whole in a ziplock bag) so I have them on hand whenever I want to whip up some banana bread :) I must use the Moomin tin next time!!

Hi Mikostinko! Hope you like it!

Hi CJ! Hope you like the cake :)

Hi Katiez! Chocolate zucchini cake is something I have been wanting to try too! I am the same way with scary movies!!

Hi Anne! I agree! :)

♡u8mypinkc00kies♡ said...

wow.. choco + banana bread = yummy!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi there u8mypinkcookies! Truly a yummy combination! :)

Mrs.LNoble said...

Banana Bread and chocolate wow! Wanna be my personal chef? LOL!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mrs. L Noble! Sure...do you pay in food? Although I must warn you, my cooking has a lot of ups and downs! ;)

Maria said...

These looks fantastic, I'll have to try the recipe sooner rather than later!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Maria! Hope you like it!

Anonymous said...

170g muscovado sugar? D:
What is that? Any substitutes?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anon! You can substitute brown sugar :)

Nacho Bing said...

thanks for the recipe. this will be my bonding activity with my only daughter this weekend!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Nacho Bing! I hope you enjoyed it with your daughter! :)