Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I was a monkey in my other life: {recipe} Banana Bread with Mexican Chocolate

I am bananas for bananas. Yes. I did just say that.

I have loved them since I was a child. But I'm one of those weird folk that prefers my bananas JUST BEFORE they are ripe: nice, firm and just starting to develop their sweetness. Yes, I'll eat them fully ripened but my preference has always been the former. 

Sliced into bite-sized pieces and floating around my cereal, sliced and snuggled between two slices of bread smathered (yes, I did just make up a word, go with it, please) with peanut butter, a peanut butter and banana quesadilla - sans the queso of course cuz I'm not that odd - are just a few of my favorite ways to indulge.

Last week, I bought bananas hoping to haul my buttocks out of bed a half hour earlier than usual so I could enjoy a bowl of cereal with them before running off to work. Good intentions, surely, but the lure of a little more sleep kept me snuggled up with my fur child who also had no desire to get up earlier than I'd trained her to. So come the weekend, my nice firm bananas were nice and brown and gave way too much for my liking when I touched them. 

Now what? Wasted money?  
Lightbulb moment. 

Banana Bread.

And not just any banana bread, but chocolate, no MEXICAN CHOCOLATE banana bread. Yes! That will do quite nicely, thank you very much.

The recipe I had on hand called for 7 bananas. Hmm. I had a mere three.  
Google and my favorite bloggers to the rescue. I found this one over at Simply Recipes and thought, yes! This one I can adapt. 

I brought it into work today. It was gone in no time.

Which only means, I'll have to make it again.



Banana Bread with Mexican Chocolate
makes one standard loaf
(adapted from Simply Recipes)

  •  3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed with a fork
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla  
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • half a disk Ibarra Mexican chocolate, finely grated (see note) 
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Prepare a loaf pan by greasing the bottom and sides with butter. Cut out a sheet of baking parchment to fit the long width of the pan and have it oversized enough to come up at least 2 inches on both sides of the pan. These will be your "handles" allowing you to easily lift the cooled bread out of the loaf pan (see photos above). Grease the parchment.

With a wooden spoon, stir butter and bananas together in a large bowl until well incorporated. Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda over the entire mixture and stir well. Add salt. Stir well. Add flour and chocolate. Mix to combine. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Use parchment to lift bread out of pan and place on a serving dish. Slice and serve.

 NOTE: if you follow the link to the Ibarra chocolate, you'll notice another popular brand, Abuelita. You could use it but I have to say, there seems to be camps on the matter. Yes, camps. Liken it to those who prefer Coke to those who prefer Pepsi. Clearly Coke is better but there are still those poor folk who keep hanging onto Pepsi. In this scenario, Ibarra is Coke and Abuelita is Pepsi. And I'm sure by now you can tell that I'm a Coke person, not Pepsi. Seriously, to someone who has grown up drinking Mexican hot chocolate during cold winter evenings, my palate can tell the difference and it clearly prefers, as does my entire family, Ibarra. But if you can only find Abuelita in your local ethnic market, by all means, go ahead and use it. Just don't tell me. :)


 Until next time,

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