Confession #46: I have a family of monkeys… Chocolate Espresso Banana Bread

by alexandra

Post image for Confession #46: I have a family of monkeys… Chocolate Espresso Banana Bread

My family goes through bananas like they’re going out of style… I kid you not. Maybe you’ve seen people at the grocery store who have 3 huge bunches of bananas in their cart, one at each phase of ripeness from overwhelmingly green to perfectly yellow? Yup, that’s us. So, you’d think that with so many bananas in our house all of the time, there’d be plenty of opportunities to make banana bread with the overly ripe leftovers. In fact, this is not the case. Most of our bananas get put in smoothies or eaten plain, and while I have been able to snag a few for baking lately, the fact remains that you’re lucky if you get to lay claim to a couple of bananas in my house.

What I love about using bananas to bake is that they contribute so much natural sweetness, reducing or even eliminating the need for added sugar. This Chocolate Espresso Banana Bread, for example, has only 1/4 cup of sugar in it, which is pretty good for a quick bread! It’s also really moist, which is a factor that I deem very important when judging the quality of most any kind of baked good, and particularly quick breads. And of course, chocolate and banana are always a good pairing, but when you add espresso to the mix, it only gets better! There isn’t enough espresso powder in this bread to make too bold a statement, but enough to make an impact, I’d say. If you really like the flavor of coffee, you could add a bit more espresso powder, which I’ll probably do next time I make this loaf. Of course, on the contrary, if you can’t stand coffee  - in which case you’re crazy ;) – just skip the espresso powder all together, and you’ll still have a great breakfast/snack/dessert, depending on what time of day you allow yourself to indulge in chocolate. Personally, I prefer to start AND end my days with chocolate.

By the way, you can buy espresso powder, but you can also make it. Here’s the way I made espresso powder for this recipe.

Chocolate Espresso Banana Bread
Author: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups very ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 large bananas)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ stick butter, melted
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk, the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, rapidly beat melted butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating for about a minute after this addition. Beat in mashed bananas and milk.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring at lowest speed until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips by hand.
  5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Place in preheated oven to bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

This recipe uses:

Espresso Powder

Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Medifast January 16, 2012

Oh thank you so much for a new banana bread recipe to try, kind of a grown-up version, to the kitchen I go, thanks again.

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Jennifer (Delicieux) January 16, 2012

I love your philosophy of starting and ending a day with chocolate! A slice of chocolate banana bread looks like a perfect way to start a day!

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brighteyedbaker January 16, 2012

It’s a pretty good philosophy, isn’t it? Many people think chocolate in the morning is too indulgent, but it suits me just fine :) The bread is nice and moist; I hope you try it!

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Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen January 17, 2012

Mmmm…one of my favorites! I am so glad that you enjoyed the recipe! :)

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brighteyedbaker January 18, 2012

I did! How can you not enjoy banana bread with chocolate and espresso?

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IrishJenn May 31, 2012

I made this today ~ 4 mini-loaves. I had to substitute instant coffee because I couldn’t find espresso powder. They turned out really good. I like that it’s not too sweet. I think the espresso powder would give it even better flavor, so I’m going to track some down somewhere!

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brighteyedbaker May 31, 2012

I’m so happy to hear that! You can try make your own espresso powder, which is what I did for this recipe. It’s pretty simple. Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out.

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IrishJenn May 31, 2012

I saw that. I assumed that “leftover espresso grounds” meant the grounds that are left after you brew espresso, right? We don’t drink espresso. Can I get the same effect by finely grinding regular espresso ground coffee that hasn’t been brewed?

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brighteyedbaker May 31, 2012

Right. From what I’ve read, a key part of espresso powder is that the beans have been ground and then brewed. I also read, though, that you can grind coffee or espresso beans very finely and just use that, but use less because it will be stronger. I know I’ve used ground coffee beans in recipes before, and I was happy with the results.

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