Double chocolate banana bread: Yesterday was July 4th, and today I’m wishing that it was the weekend again. Not just because I spent the weekend soaking in the sun, baking up the storm, and eating as much food as humanly possible, but also because there is a lovely construction crew outside of my window. They start promptly at 7am every day, and the construction workers are NEVER late. Seriously…like not even 7:02 am…please give me those extra 120 seconds of sleep. All that aside, I’ve seriously got some weekday blues.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling down, or when things suck, I can always find comfort in chocolate and some mindful meditation. But, I don’t always want to eat an entire bar (or two) of chocolate myself, and some times, I want to wallow in pity while still eating healthy. This is the genius creation that I came up with, vegetarian, low in sugar, high in chocolate, and packed with lots of fruit – I give you double chocolate banana bread! It’s super chocolatey without being overwhelmingly sweet, and just a hint of banana comes through. It’s basically the best way to show Monday (or any day) who’s the boss. You will be the envy of everyone at the office, eating your double chocolate banana bread, sipping your tea/coffee and basically kicking ass. You got this.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD | Makes 8-10 servings INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup ripe bananas mashed (~ 2 bananas)
3/4 cup neutral tasting vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s special dark)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 (F) and grease a 9x5x3 inch bread pan
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil and bananas. Whisk everything together until creamy.
Add baking soda and salt to wet mixture and incorporate thoroughly.
Add in cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and flour and mix in until there are no more streaks of flour in the mixture
Pour mixture into bread pan and sprinkle top with more chocolate chips if desired.
Bake for about 60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges of the bread pan so the loaf will come out clean when it’s cool.
Bread will keep for 5 days in an air tight container or up to a week in the fridge. Baked bread can also be sliced and frozen. Simply pull slices out a couple hours in advance and you’ll have a nice chocolatey treat waiting for you 🙂
Have you ever felt so sad, that it seemed like your heart gained an additional 100lbs and your stomach dropped to the bottom of the ocean, deep, deep down, unable to be saved? I received this kind of news the other day, heart-wrenchingly painful, and almost too much to stomach. But I realized that the point of hearing this news, was to help lighten the burden, so one person wouldn’t have to carry it all. After all, 10 people carrying one burden is so much easier than just one person carrying it all.
So, instead of running away from this news, I gave thanks for being surrounded by wonderful people in life and the chance to help make things right. Still, we can’t help but still feel sad and at some points, helpless. At times like these, I always find myself drawn back inside the kitchen, as if I could use the heat and warmth of the oven to ward away the bad news. Baking is an escape, yet at the same time, an activity that helps me think, process and reflect on the news that I have heard and figure out the best actions to take.
Today, it felt like the only person that I could turn to was Julia Child and her delicious banana bread (with just a couple modifications!). For me, banana bread has always been the perfect balance between elegant and homey. Bananas are not used as a typical baking ingredient, making them a little bit fancy, but a dash of vanilla and a handful (okay, maybe two or three handfuls) of chocolate turn it into one of the best comfort desserts in my opinion. There’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into fresh and fragrant banana bread, and discovering molten pockets of luscious chocolate. Today I made this, for Julia Child, for the people that I love, and for me. A small piece of comfort in an entirely shaky and unknown world.
MOLTEN CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD | modified from bon appetit INGREDIENTS
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large, I find mashing them with a fork on a plate is easiest)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chunks (not chips!)
Preheat oven to 350° and oil a 9x5x3″ loaf pan
Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, add chocolate chunks and make sure individual chocolate pieces are coated in flour (this will ensure they don’t sink to the bottom of the loaf pan while baking)
Whisk eggs, sugar, bananas, vanilla and oil in a large bowl until smooth
Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combined
Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top
Bake for 60-70 min or until a toothpick/fork/skewer inserted into center of loaf comes out clean (be careful not to overbake, or bread will be dry!)