Wednesday, August 29, 2012

banana bread with dark chocolate and ginger

I know the combination sounds weird, but that's why I love this banana bread.
You take the first bite, expecting to taste sweet walnuts, or milky chocolate. Instead, you bite into sharp, spicy, crystallized ginger, mellowed by the sweet bananas and bittersweet chocolate. It is an amazing sensation.
As banana breads go, this is a nice, dense loaf with a fine crumb -- and (dare I say), it would be delicious even without the filling. {but please add the ginger and chocolate! You will not regret it!}

I told myself I would wait for the bananas in the kitchen to get all brown and splotchy before making this banana bread (the uglier the bananas, the better the bread). But those bananas must have have been eternally yellow -- I couldn't stand to wait any longer! Here is a trick for all of you impatient ones like me who want splotchy-banana-banana-bread without splotchy bananas.

  1. Peel the bananas and put them in a microwave safe bowl
  2. Microwave for 2-3 minutes
  3. Take out of the microwave and mash
  4. When you pour them in the batter, be sure to also pour in the liquidy stuff that they leave behind -- that is the best part! (I got this trick from Katie, it is also delicious over oatmeal or yogurt)

As Molly suggested in A Homemade Life, I popped mine in the freezer. Since, I have stood up from my desk about a dozen times, cutting off little slivers. Personally, I like it even better straight from the freezer than fresh from the oven, when it is cold it literally melts in my mouth. I now leave a knife in the freezer for easy access. I think more than half of the loaf is gone already.

With love,
Erica



From “A Homemade Life” p. 26 by Molly Wizenberg

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or a chopped up bar)
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt (I used peach, because that is all I had)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9 by 5 loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
In a small bowl, microwave the butter until just melted. (Be careful and do this over medium power in short burst because it can explode or splatter and that is a big mess.) Or melt it in the preheating oven. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter with be thick and somewhat lumpy, just make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.
Bake into the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 mins to an hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with foil.
Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 mins. Then tip out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing (if you can wait that long).
The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to protect from freezer burn. Try it cold, sliced fresh out of the freezer.

4 comments:

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    1. Thank you so much! I am a huge fan of Family Fresh Cooking!

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  2. This is a great recipe! Unfortunately I can't buy crystallized ginger in the Netherlands, so I used raisins and pecans to replace them.
    Will buy crystallized ginger definitely next time I'm in the US!

    I've made banana bread muffins today, and brought them to work. Colleagues were happy with it, yeah!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe :)

    Ellen from http://inmyredkitchen.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. That's great! Pecans sound delicious!. I have always enjoyed pecans more than walnuts in banana bread. Did you toast them before adding them to the batter?

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