Tomorrow is Good Friday in New Zealand. Happy Easter, everyone! I bring you a chocolately recipe, made more so with the addition of chocolate chips.
Working with a group of coffee aficionados with a chocolate addiction and a seemingly infinite capacity for cake consumption led me to combine two recipes for coffee banana bread and chocolate banana muffins. All three recipes can be made as a loaf or 12 muffins.
Make this at least a day ahead, if possible. While perfectly edible after less than one day, the longer you leave it, the more time it will have to develop flavours and actually become more damp. The chocolate chips become more melty-absorbed into the cake with the extra curing time… if that makes sense.
300 g (3 medium) ripe bananas (peeled weight)
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 ml flavourless vegetable oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran)
4 tsp instant coffee powder
splash of milk (optional)
180 g sugar (add more if you prefer a sweeter taste, between 200-250 g)
20 g cocoa
175 g flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
160 g chocolate chips (optional; dark chocolate is my preference here)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C for the loaf or 200°C for muffins. Grease and line your tin of choice.
- Mash the bananas with the salt and vanilla.
- Mix in the oil.
- In a separate bowl, mix the coffee powder in the eggs to dissolve. If most of the coffee granules do not dissolve, add a splash of milk to help it along. Mix the eggy mixture into the banana mixture.
- Measure out the sugar with the cocoa, giving a good mix with the back of a spoon to remove any lumps (thus no cocoa sifting is required). Mix into the batter.
- Mix in the flour and baking soda. Then mix in the chocolate chips, if using.
- Pour into the tin (this is quite a runny batter, but don’t worry!) and bake at 50-60 min for the loaf and 15-20 min for muffins.
- Rest in the tin for 5-10 min before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack. Take special care when taking the loaf out of its tin and peeling off the baking paper, as the cake is particularly delicate when it’s warm.
- Once completely cooled, store it somewhere safe (from heat and hungry hordes) for at least a day so that it can become more delicious. I wrap the loaf completely in fresh baking paper and put it back into the now cleaned tin.
Now this is not the prettiest loaf, I’ll be the first to admit. But it does taste good, considering that I don’t actually like bananas. It’s damp and heady, and slices like a dream. I hope you’ll give this recipe, or one of the other variations, a go.
Most of us know that if you have ripe bananas but are not ready to bake yet, they can be stored by peeling and freezing in sandwich bags. But what to do when you are ready to bake, and the bananas are not ready? Place whole on a lined oven tray, and bake at 150°C for 10 to 20 min; they’re ready when the skins turn brown. Cool a little before peeling and cooling completely, before use.