Thursday, December 6, 2007
Coco Nana Bread
For any of you who get a chance to taste this tomorrow -- please remember to thank Ben, since I wouldn't have been able to bake tonight (too lazy to go to the store) if he hadn't bought me a bunch of flour. :)
I suspect that one of the reasons I buy bananas every week (besides the fact that I like to eat them) is waiting for them to start turning brown so that I can bake with them. I had a couple of recipes in mind for these particular bananas when they went, and I only made the Dorie Greenspan Cocoa Nana Bread instead of the Pastry Queen Banana Bran Muffins because I had the Dorie book handy and I would have had to look for the other one.
Dorie claims that she made this bread as a way to make chocolate an acceptable breakfast food. I'm not sure that I would want this much chocolate and sugar first thing in the morning, but I'm sure some of you are all for it.
I actually like the pecan banana chocolate chip bread or the Dorie banana bundt cake more than I like this bread. I like the banana/chocolate flavor, but the chocolate seemed overwhelming to me -- of course that might change by tomorrow after the flavors have a chance to meld a bit more. I'll take other opinions on this, but I will probably stick with one of those other recipes (or new recipes that involve bananas) rather than repeating this one any time soon. It wasn't that it tasted bad or that it was difficult to make, I would just rather have more banana flavor and less chocolate flavor than this bread presented. If I want chocolate I will make cookies or brownies, if I want bananas, I want to be able to taste them.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 1/2 cup store-bought chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and place it on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other. (This extra insulation will keep the bottom of the bread from over baking.)
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about a minute, until softened. Add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. At this point, the batter may look a little curdled -- it's okay. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the mashed bananas. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Still on low speed, add the buttermilk, mixing until it is incorporated. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. Cover the bread loosely with a foil tent to keep the top from getting too dark, and continue to bake for another 40 to 45 minutes (total baking time is between 70 to 75 minutes) or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the bread and unmolding. Invert and cool to room temp right side up.