Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 8th March 2013

For the longest time the one item that was guaranteed to land in my grocery basket was bananas but for the last six months I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve purchased them. They were back in the basket early last week because we were craving banana bread. I’ve been waiting patiently (not) for a good week and a half for the bananas to ripen and be full of flavour. The day finally arrived yesterday; the bananas were as dark as the night sky and perfect for my Chocolate Banana Bread.

A close up photo of Chocolate Banana Bread with two cut slices exposing interior.

Banana bread never lasts long in our house; it’s barely out of the oven before everyone starts to dig in. I wanted to add chocolate this time but my first attempt was a disaster, a little too much chocolate (is that even possible?), not enough banana or leavening and slightly too bitter. First chocolate banana bread – untouched – I think I see banana bread pudding in the near future.

A photo of Banana Chocolate Bread with Cocoa-Cinnamon topping displayed on sheet of baking paper.

Second chocolate banana bread – rich chocolate, sweet banana, deep nutty flavour and caramel – heaven sent! I used a generous amount of golden yellow sugar, which adds a wonderful moistness to the crumb and also provides a tasty caramel flavour.

A photo of a small antique milk bottle halfway filled with milk with blue and white striped straw and Double Chocolate Banana Bread displayed on rectangle-shaped slate board.

In the first banana bread I added chocolate in three ways, cocoa, melted bittersweet chocolate and bittersweet chocolate chips – too much – too bitter. This time I showed restraint and reduced the amount of cocoa did away with the melted chocolate but left the chips to provide the glorious small dots of oozing chocolate.

A photo of Chocolate-Banana Walnut Bread displayed on a dark wooden board with two cut slices.

In the past I’ve never taken the time to roast the nuts first. When you take a moment to think about it, the nuts must be roasted first to achieve maximum flavour because they’ll never get hot enough to roast because the batter insulates them. I’m glad I performed the extra task because the glorious deep nutty flavour achieved only by roasting them separately makes a big difference in the overall flavour of the bread.

A photo of three mini Chocolate-Banana Nut Bread loaves displayed in a row on a white, rectangle-shaped serving dish.

To achieve the incredibly soft, moister texture I added the generous amount of brown sugar I mentioned above but I also used canola oil instead of butter. I also lightened the thick batter with heavy cream that I whipped to medium peaks (a wonderful tip I picked up from Shirley Corriher via her cookbook, BakeWise). The whipped cream adds moisture, which provides a remarkable soft crumb and best of all it imparts a lovely flavour.

A photo of three slices of Chocolate Banana Bread with Walnuts displayed overlapping each other on a rectangle-shaped slate board.

When I prepared the first banana bread I didn’t prepare a topping and it was like getting all dressed up for night on the town but forgetting to put makeup on – something was missing. This time I took inspiration from Starbucks. Have you ever enjoyed their Chocolate-Cinnamon Bread? It’s topped with a cocoa-cinnamon crust; it’s full of amazing flavour but it also provides a wonderful contrast in texture.

A photo of four mini Chocolate Banana Bread loaves cooling on wire rack.

I took their lead and prepared a similar topping using brown sugar, cocoa, Vietnamese cinnamon, nutmeg and coarse sanding sugar. The topping added a crispy top crust, which is the perfect contrast to the soft, moist crumb and it also provides a warm, sweet, spicy flavour.

A close up photo of Chocolate Banana Bread with a slice removed to expose the interior displayed on a wooden cutting board placed on a multi coloured cloth napkin.

As far as I’m concerned, chocolate and banana – are made for each other!

A close up photo of three mini Banana Chocolate Bread loaves displayed on white, rectangle-shaped serving dish.

Happy Weekend!

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Muffins & Quick Breads, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base

Comments (7)

7 Responses to “Chocolate Banana Bread with Roasted Walnuts”

  1. Sosoo Says:

    Wow, Miss Grace! I don’t like bananas but with your delectable photos and presentation, I just can’t resist to try them tomorrow. After mu success with Torta All’ Arancia, I guess, I will double it up by this one. God bless you and your wonderful hands who makes delicious desserts for us always. Take care!

  2. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    I’m so happy you enjoyed the Torta All’Arancia Sosoo and thank you so much for your kind words, your support is so very appreciated!

  3. marly Says:

    Those melted chocolate chips in that banana bread look so good! This is definitely going on my “to do” list!

  4. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Marly, I warning you – this banana bread is a little addicting, one slice will never be enough.

  5. kksb Says:

    I am in the process of baking this and am trying not to cry. In the cocoa-cinnamon topping there is no measurementlisted for the cocoa. The banana and milk mixture is done and the dry ingredients are already sifted together.Help! I do have another question as well. In the instructions you state “Add the buttermilk-banana mixture and beat…”. The ingredient list calls for whole milk not buttermilk. Which part is correct?

  6. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    I am so sorry, I’ve updated the recipe, I used buttermilk but if you used milk the bread will still taste wonderful. The topping requires 1 teaspoon of cocoa.

  7. Banana and chocolate, more than a cake mixture | BLYSSfully Yours... Says:

    [...] chocolate banana bread recipe here I saw and thought of testing tonight in honour of 187 years and 1 day since banana became a [...]

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