Ever buy bananas with the intention of letting them turn speckly, fugly, soft and mushy? Well if you don’t , you most definitely should. Overripe bananas are an excellent excuse to make banana bread.
This banana bread, courtesy of the folks at Cook’s Ilustrated, has deep banana flavor while remaining moist and light. But I think the best part of it is the chocolate. Yes, I know I’ve said a zillion times I don’t like chocolate but it totally works in this bread. I used a knife to cut up a bar as fine as I could and turned it into something like a chocolate dust. Because it was so fine, the chocolate flavor will not hit you over your head. What it does do is beautifully perfume the bread and give it that extra little umph that takes it over the top.
Make this bread for someone you love or your coworkers, like I did. And you’ll be assured to be called a hero in the office.
Only make sure you tell those you live with that you meant to leave your bananas to almost go bad. As my dear hubby almost threw mine away. Imagine the banana tragedy. Oy!
Chocolate Banana Bread
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 1/4 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F degrees. Spray the inside of a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Whisk the flour, chocolate, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts together in a large bowl and set aside.
Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined. The batter will look thick and chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)