If your bananas can’t be homegrown, at least your banana bread can be homemade!
I grew up with banana plants growing in the backyard. So to me, bananas are not the year-round fruits that you find in just about every market in the world, but fruits you waited until just ripe to pick off the plant. And when they were ready, you ended up with loads of them.
Needless to say, the picked-too-early green bananas that are piled on my local market shelves don’t have the same appeal to me. But now and then, I crave sweet, ripe bananas – and what better way to enjoy them than in a delicious cake?!
Use ripe bananas for the best, most moist banana bread you’ve ever tasted
Here the sweet bananas are mixed with rich brazil nuts and teased by swirls of dark chocolate to make a most luxurious cake – one that might even make you dream of the tropics.
Dark chocolate swirl banana bread with brazil nuts
makes 1 medium loaf or serves 8
active time: 40 min
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 3-4 medium bananas)
- 1 tablespoon dark rum (or brandy)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 oz) (115 g) – at room temperature
- 2 extra large eggs – at room temperature
- 1/2 cup brazil nuts (or walnuts) (3 oz) (85 g) – coarsely chopped (use a food processor)
- 6 oz (170 g) semisweet chocolate (preferably Callebaut, Scharffen Berger or Valhrona) – melted in a double boiler and kept warm
- 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar as garnish
- 1 medium loaf pan (8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″) – buttered, lined with wax paper and buttered again
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Step 1: Melt the chocolate and prepare the mold as per the instructions in the ingredient section (see this video clip for a few pointers). Then place the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir well and set aside.
- Step 2: Place the mashed bananas, rum, vanilla and 1/4 cup of sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk until well blended and set aside.
- Step 3: Place the soft butter and balance of sugar (1/2 cup) in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix at medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing at medium speed until well incorporated and smooth. Add the flour mixture and fold until just incorporated. Add the banana mixture and fold with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Divide the batter in half. Add the chopped nuts to one half and fold until just incorporated. Add the melted chocolate to the other half and fold until just incorporated. Pour the batters alternatively into the prepared mold. Run a knife from side to side through the cake a few times to mix the two batters together. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the sugar. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in its mold. Loosen the cake by gently pulling up on the wax paper and then lifting it from the pan. Peel the wax paper off and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.