Banana-chocolate Bread

I go through phases of what fruit I love.  Thankfully, I generally love what's in season (right now I can't get enough watermelon!), but some fruit, like banana, isn't ever in season where I live so I just eat it when I want it.  Recently I was on a banana kick, but my sister was in town so I ate at my parents' house a lot.  Which means I neglected the food in my own pantry.  One night I came home and realized my bananas looked like this:

Ok, granted these aren't the ripest bananas I've ever seen.  I mean, they could have looked like this:


Gross.  But still, they were ripe enough that I didn't want to eat them alone.  So I decided I would make banana bread.  I don't have a go-to banana bread recipe because truth be told I don't love banana bread.  But I consulted The Best Recipe, a cookbook by the editors of "Cook's Illustrated" Magazine because I figured if anyone had a fail  safe banana bread recipe it would be The Best Recipe

I've mentioned my love of chocolate (the darker the better), right?  It's true.  I am a sucker for dark chocolate.  Sometimes I buy it and make my husband hide it so I don't eat too much at once.  (Is it embarrassing that I just admitted that?)  So imagine my delight when I found a recipe for banana-chocolate bread.  A way to use my overripe bananas and incorporate chocolate.  It seemed too good to be true.  But I tried the recipe.  And it wasn't.  Plus you'll notice that I tagged this recipe as "dessert" and "breakfast."  Again, seems too good to be true.  But it's not.  Hurray! 

(Note: The Best Recipe also has a recipe for Banana-Coconut Bread with Macadamia Nuts and Orange-Spice Banana Bread, both of which are now on my "to make" list.  Let me know if either of those sounds especially delicious to you, and I'll move it up to the top of my list).


1 cup white whole wheat flour
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 ounces grated or finely chopped dark chocolate, at least 70 percent (a heaping 1/2 cup)

     *True confession: Although I had overripe bananas on hand, I didn't have any dark chocolate on hand.  So I settled for dark cocoa powder.  I didn't measure it, just added a few shakes (probably no such thing as too much!).  So you can do it either way.  The loaf I made was delish, but if I know The Best Recipe, their version with chocolate instead of cocoa will be even better.

1 1/4 cups toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/4 cup plain yogurt (not low fat)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
2 large pastured eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350.  Grease and flour the bottom only of a regular loaf pan, or grease and flour the bottom and sides of a nonstick loaf pan.  Set aside.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, dark chocolate, and walnuts together in large bowl.  Set aside.

Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, honey, eggs, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl.  Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. 

Remember that I used cocoa powder, so your batter won't be as dark if you stick with the grated chocolate.
Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. 

Bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Recipe slightly adapted from The Best Recipe)

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