It has taken me some time to come around to the banana camp. For years they were the mushy and dense fruit I would reluctantly eat after a particularly bad charley horse (their potassium content is supposed to prevent muscle spasms). But even when ripened and sweet, they left a bitter aftertaste on my tongue.
Despite my nanner qualms, banana bread has become one of my favorite recipes and was my gateway to real baking; it allowed for more variation (and let’s be honest, more error) than the average bread or cookie dough. I could spill in a bit too much flour or sugar and the end result would still be moist, sweet, and satisfying. Then I found a recipe for double chocolate banana bread and my principal taste-tester (my amazing boyfriend) ate half the loaf in one sitting.
You don’t think I would keep that a secret, do you? See below for my adapted recipe! It’s not quite minimalist but it’s damn worth the long-ish list of ingredients.
1 and 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup of brown sugar
1 stick of butter, unsalted, melted
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup of coconut milk (or almond milk)
3 bananas, extra ripe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, brown sugar). Using a wooden spoon or a whisk, mix the ingredients thoroughly until all of the grains have combined.
In a separate mixing bowl, add the melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract and whisk together.
In another separate mixing bowl (yes, I know–lots of bowls in this one!) mash up the bananas using a potato masher or a fork. The consistency should be that of a thick slime.
Combine the bananas with the egg/butter/vanilla mixture using a mixing spoon or whisk.
Once this mixture has fully meshed, go ahead and pour the wet mix into the bowl of dry ingredients.
Using a wooden spoon, fold in the eggy wet mix. The dough will become a bit tough to stir, so add the 1/4 cup of coconut milk to thin out the batter and continue mixing until the floury mix has been fully absorbed. Add in the chocolate chips and fold them into the batter evenly.
Time for baking! I chose to make muffins this time. Spray the muffin pan with Pam and pour in the batter until it reaches the rim of each mold.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick can be removed cleanly (without remnants of batter).
If you opt for a loaf pan, simply spray with Pam, pour in the batter, and let bake for 40-50 minutes (again, until you can stick a toothpick into the bread and remove it without any gooey batter remnants).
When the muffins or bread have finished baking, carefully transfer them to a cool surface and enjoy!