Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Chocolate Banana Bread

I love making banana bread because I hate to see those spotted bananas go to waste. This recipe from Sunset Magazine is a different spin on the tried and true banana loaf. Who can resist adding chocolate?


12 ounces pitted prunes or 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened prune baby food
3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 medium)
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 cup of each)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup banana chips, coarsely chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. In a small saucepan, bring prunes and 2 cups water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until prunes are very soft, about 20 minutes. Drain. (Or just use the prune baby food and skip this step!)

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 5- by 9-in. loaf pan and line bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit.

3. In a food processor, whirl prunes and bananas until very smooth. Add eggs and whirl to combine.

4. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir in banana mixture until evenly moistened. Stir in nuts, banana chips, and chocolate chips. Scrape the thick batter into pan and spread level.

5. Bake bread until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out a little chocolaty but not gooey, 45 to 50 minutes. Loosen bread from pan with a knife and invert onto a rack. Remove parchment. Turn bread right side up and let cool at least 1 hour before slicing.

Enjoy with a nice cold glass of milk. Yum.

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