There are few things I love more than chocolate and bananas. On their own, both elements are satisfying–but together, they take dessert to a new level. Whether they’re blended into a milkshake, scattered on top of an ice cream sundae, or combined in a pie or cake, the two flavors complement each other perfectly.
When I found this recipe for double chocolate banana bread, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. It combines two of my favorite ingredients, and puts a new spin on a classic dessert: Usually when I make banana bread, I don’t include additional ingredients, or I add a few chocolate chips for a hint of sweetness.
For this bread, I added half a bag of chocolate chips, plus half a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. The result is nothing short of delicious: I felt like taking the bowl filled with batter and eating it alone in one sitting. But not all ideas are feasible, and, I reasoned, I should share the end product. So with a bit of willpower, I poured the batter into a pan and put it in the oven to bake.
One of the best parts of baking is how your house/apartment/living space smells while you’re waiting for the finished product. Most of my childhood food memories involve me sitting in my bedroom reading, with smells from the oven wafting upstairs, pulling me away from the next paragraph or chapter.
While a bit tortuous, waiting also has its perks: The end product is usually as delicious as it smells. This bread was unreal: It tasted like a cross between a brownie, a moist piece of banana bread, and a muffin. It was light and fluffy, but also sinfully rich. I’m not sure how it accomplished all those things, but I’m glad it did. The chocolate will melt in your mouth, the gooey chocolate chips add an extra touch of sweetness, and the subtle banana flavor complements the intensity of the chocolate.
I would only be exaggerating a little if I called this the piece de resistance of bread. If you want to satisfy your chocolate and banana craving all in one go, I would highly suggest giving it a try.
Double Chocolate Banana Bread (slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup (115 grams) butter, melted
3/4 cup (145 grams) brown sugar (I used light; either light or dark work)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (about 6 ounces or 170 grams) semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
Heat your oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or spray it with a nonstick baking spray.
Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. (You’ll have a little over 1 cup mashed banana total.) Whisk in melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place baking soda, salt, flour and cocoa powder in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and sift over wet ingredients. Stir dry and wet ingredients with a spoon or stand mixer until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips.
Pour into prepared pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. (A melted chocolate chip smear is expected, however.) Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The banana bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature. I keep mine wrapped in foil.