I feel like I should somewhat apologize for the blog post title, at least to some degree, but I won’t. Whenever I see a banana, smell a banana, or talk about a banana, I immediately think to myself, “Don’t let that song start up in here because it’ll never leave!” and by then it’s already too late. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
No apologies. Also, I don’t want to suffer alone with this song in my head.
Anyway, I’ve been singing and humming this song for the better part of a week. I bought a bunch of bananas on Tuesday with the intention of letting them turn brown enough to put into a bread. I’m not a banana fan, at least not of its texture. I love the taste of bananas but I’m repulsed by the actual act of eating one.
That’s what banana bread is for. You smash a banana, you add other stuff to it, and then you bake it. Voilà! It’s suddenly edible.
1 ½ cups unsifted all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cups shortening
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 small or 2 large) B-A-N-A-N-A-S! (I’m so sorry!)
2 eggs (already beaten)
¾ cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Cut in the shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (for some reason, this was a pain in the butt – just use your hands. It’s a lot easier!)
- Add mashed bananas and eggs. Stir until just blended.
- Add mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Pour into greased and floured 9 ¼ x 5 ¼ x 2 ¾-inch loaf pan.
- Bake at 350* for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan, then cool completely on wire rack.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
(Please allow me to show off one of my new measuring spoons…Ooooh! Aaaaah!)
Elle had a friend over to play and I called them both into the kitchen to help me with the best part ever – LICKING THE BOWL! However, once they discovered the ooey-gooey chocolate mixture included bananas, they practically ran in the opposite direction. I’m not quite sure why they were so horrified by the thought of chocolate and bananas combined, but good on me as I got the last laugh and scraped that bowl clean. All by myself.
I love that there is something fundamentally childish about licking the bowl and all the mixing spoons we use when we bake. I always look forward to it. It’s one of the few activities from my childhood that I can still perform as an adult. One that thankfully doesn’t leave me resting with a heating pad to soothe the aches in whatever muscles I wrenched while trying to relive my youth by pulling some stupid stunt, like a cartwheel, sleeping the “wrong way”, or something else equally ridiculous and regrettable. As you can probably gather, I’ve done all of those before. Multiple times. So here’s to licking the bowl! It’s just safer.
Anyway, the smell of this bread baking in the oven reached every room in the house. It was heavenly! I had never made this before, only the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from the same cookbook. And I don’t believe in such a thing as too much chocolate, so I decided to include in this recipe my favorite ingredient from the first one, if only to enhance the chocolatey-ness.
In the end, I was quite pleased with the results. The bread itself didn’t so much possess the texture of a standard banana bread, which in my experience is usually very moist. I was surprised by this one’s consistency, which was much more like that of chocolate cake. It was slightly drier than I expected and normally like to have in a banana bread, but the chocolate chips were a perfect complement to the flavor of the banana. B-A-N-A-N-A-S! (Grrr….this song!)
A few tweaks and embellishments would really make this a perfectly rich indulgence. You could add more chocolate chips, maybe even so much as 1 ¼ cup, or make a chocolate glaze and drizzle it over the bread once it has cooled. Again, I don’t believe in such a thing as too much chocolate.