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 ¼ 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.
|Chocolate Espresso Banana Bread|
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ 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
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk, the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- 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.
- Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring at lowest speed until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips by hand.
- 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: