Banana Bread is delicious, but it’s particularly delicious with toasted nuts and chocolate. This one’s boozed up, even though I may have this for breakfast. Toasted with butter….MMMMM! Everyone needs a good banana bread recipe. Many are heavy, but this one is more cake-like than a bread. Banana bread is much better made with bananas that are ripe, but not too ripe. I do a couple of things differently from the “norm”, when I mix this batter. I spray the loaf pan with cooking spray, put a couple of tablespoons of flour in the pan, shake it around until it’s coated. Then I dump the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the pan. I use a spoon to stir it up, but I’m careful not to go all the way to the bottom. I just want that leavening mixed into the flour relatively well; set it aside. You may use a mixer for this batter, but I’ve never seen the need. I use a whisk. I put the butter or margarine in a large bowl, whisk it to loosen it up. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk that in, adding the eggs one at a time, and beating like a mad woman after each addition. Dump in exactly 1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, the lemon juice and the booze (I used bourbon this time). Whisk it thoroughly; the batter will probably look curdled and that’s okay.
Dump the flour on top of the batter, add the toasted nuts and chocolate chips/bits. Using your fingers, toss some flour on the nuts and chips. Coating them with flour will keep the nuts and chips from sinking to the bottom of the banana bread. Using a spatula, fold everything together until thoroughly mixed…but, don’t over-mix either…I know that sounds ridiculous. Really, I do. I know it’s a fine line, but make this often and you’ll learn where that line is. Practice, does in fact, make perfect. Pour the batter into the pan, top with some walnut halves, if you wish. Bake in a preheated oven. It took my loaf 70 minutes, but start checking after 55 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pan, on a rack for about 20 minutes. Run a table (dull) knife around the edge of the pan. Place the rack on top and turn the cake out; turn the cake right-side up and let cook completely. It’s important to cool completely before wrapping it up tightly and storing it at room temperature. A slice with a hot cup of tea or coffee, makes the afternoon funk evaporate. We like a slice for breakfast, toasted, with a schmear of butter or cream cheese. It’s also good with a dab of orange marmalade.
Boozy Banana Bread with Chocolate Bits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 mashed ripe bananas, exactly 1 1/2 cups
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime juice
- 3 tablespoons bourbon, rum or Tia Maria
- 1 cup very coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (please toast the nuts)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, and sprinkle with flour. Shake the pan, covering the bottom and 3-inches up the side with flour.
Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the pan. Gently stir to combine, avoiding scraping the bottom.
In a large bowl, whisk the butter, vanilla extract and sugar together, until well-combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking for 1 minute between additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the bananas, lemon juice, and bourbon; whisk together until completely combined. The mixture will probably appear curdled; that’s okay.
Dump the flour on top of the batter; add the walnuts and chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the mixture together just until. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 55-75 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Place the pan on a rack, cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Loosen the bread from the pan; invert onto a wire rack and cool completely. Will keep for up to 5 days, well wrapped, at room temperature. This is wonderful warm, but it is very difficult to cut, fresh out of the oven. Excellent toasted, with a schmear of cream cheese or butter.
Boozy Banana Bread with Chocolate and Toasted Nuts Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.