Banana bread is a great way to pretend you’re that eating something virtuous when, really, you’re eating cake. That’s what makes this chocolate banana bread, from Jessie Sheehan’s Snackable Bakes (my new favorite baking book), such a treat. There’s no pretense here about “healthfulness” or “low-calories” or “gluten-free” (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It’s basically chocolate cake mashed up with banana bread with all of the best qualities of each.
And the Secret Ingredient Is… Sour Cream
I have a theory about baked goods and the theory is: if there’s sour cream in it, it’s going to be good. That’s because the sour cream adds richness, tanginess, and, because of the way it interacts with the baking soda: lift.
The rest of the ingredients you already have around the house, assuming you keep bananas around the house. (I do and I let them get really, really black before baking with them.) Then there’s the cocoa powder (I like Valrhona), flour, baking soda, salt, vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla, an egg, the sour cream, and the banana. Oh and did I mention the chocolate chips? Yeah, there’s chocolate chips in there too.
You’ll Want to Lick the Chocolate Banana Bread Bowl
I don’t know about you, but seeing a batter like this in a bowl makes me feel like a nine year-old, standing at the sink, waiting to get my hands on an egg beater to lick off every bit that I can without cutting my tongue. Only now I’m an adult and I suppose if I wanted to I could eat all of that batter with a spoon. But why do that when you can bake it for seventy minutes and get this?
Once it comes out of the oven, you let it cool for as long as you can and then you slice into it and eat a warm piece of chocolate, banana-enriched goodness.
Call it breakfast. Call it dessert. Call it a snack. Call it whatever you want — banana chocolate cake, chocolate banana bread — but whatever you call it, make sure you save a slice for me… because ours is all gone and I’m sad.
The Ultimate Chocolate Banana Bread
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I like Valrhona)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips If you add a little more, I won't tell anybody
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup créme fraiche or sour cream
- 1 cup mashed bananas, about 2 very ripe ones
- Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8.5 X 4.5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or softened butter. Line the bottom with a large sheet of parchment that extends up and over the two long sides of the pan. (This makes it easy to lift the cake out later!)
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the chocolate chips. (This keeps them from sinking to the bottom when you bake!) Whisk the sugar, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl for 30 seconds; whisk in the egg and then the creme fraiche or sour cream and, finally, the bananas. Gently fold in the dry ingredients into the wet with a rubber spatula just until the last streak of flour disappears. Don't overmix or it'll be tough.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway point. The bread is done when a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with a moist crumb or two.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Lift the loaf out of the pan by the parchment overhang and cool to room temperature before serving (if you can wait that long).
2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Chocolate Banana Bread”
I am not a baker. I made this. Followed the recipe. It was not good; more like a dry chocolate brick. Is there a way to rescue this? Thanks.
If it was dry, my guess is that you cooked it too long? Next time, start testing after about sixty minutes with a toothpick. If it comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, take it out right away and be sure to lift it out of the pan by the parchment after twenty minutes, or that residual heat might continue to dry it out. For the record, I followed the same recipe and mine was as moist as could be!