Saturday, March 9, 2013
I have to admit, I don’t often make banana bread. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like it. But the last time I made one, I was the one who consumed almost the whole loaf! Ahem….it’s not that I didn't want to share; I believe food tastes better when shared with loved ones. But seems like the rest of my family doesn't care about banana bread, and one doesn't even want to come close to it. Is that even possible?
On the other hand, my kids love bananas, I often buy them in bulk because I don’t want to run low on my fresh banana inventory. My kids seem to want one whenever we just ran out. So, I tried to keep them around the house these days. If they are ripen sooner than we can consume, I turn them into these Breakfast cookies or freeze them up to make smoothies at a later time.
Today was another day I needed to use up some over-ripen bananas, again! Then, I realized my freezer still has quite a bit of frozen bananas and I also got these cookies around the house. So, I thought of making banana bread, again! However, I certainly didn't want to end up consuming the whole loaf all by myself, again! Did I say again? Then, an idea came to mind, which was adding more ingredients and flavors that my family loves, into this banana bread! Bingo! Why didn't I think of that last time?
So, in this Banana Bread, I added some semi-sweet chocolate chips. Who doesn't like chocolate chips, right? And orange zest; what a winning combination?! As I was reaching over to get butter and eggs from the fridge, I realized I have a bit of vanilla yogurt that I need to use up as well, so they all joined the pool! The end result was amazing! The Banana Bread was soft and moist in the middle because of the banana and yogurt. The top and edges are golden brown and slightly crunchy. The sliced almond on top added a little bit more crunch and nuttiness. You can taste the aromatic banana, the refreshing orange zest, and a bit of decadent and sweetness from the chocolate chips all in one bite.
Here’s how I make it:
1) This is how the banana looks, sometimes the bananas I used got even more brown spots than these!
2) In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, set aside.
3)In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. (this particular batch, I used brown sugar. more on that in just a minute)
4)Then stir in the chocolate chips, set aside.
5) In another medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, yogurt, vanilla and orange zest until well combined.
6) Then, whisk in the mashed bananas.
7) With a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.
8) Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top (opps, forgot to take a picture after adding the almonds) and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center and comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Super simple and easy to make, isn't it? In the #3 pictorial above, you see that I used brown sugar this time. I was testing out different ingredients and you can use either brown or white sugar. The one with brown sugar yields a more chewy texture bread while the white sugar version will give you a more fluffy texture. I personally preferred the later one, but it’s all up to you. Also, if you like the chocolate chips to be more evenly distributed throughout the cake/bread, use mini chips instead of the regular chocolate chips.
The verdict? My family loves it. Not only this bread is simple to make and take so little time to prepare, the most important point is that even my most challenging food critic in the house (also a non-banana bread eater) loves this loaf! So, I declare this recipe is definitely a keeper! I hope you’ll give this recipe a try too. I know you’re going to love it. Is there any food that you love but seldom make it at home because the rest of your family doesn't like it? I would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading and have fun baking!
Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips: (Printable Recipe)
Makes: one 9 by 5 loaf
3 over-ripen bananas, about 1 1/4 cups after mashed
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs, room temperature
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Then stir in the chocolate chips, set aside.
In another medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, yogurt, vanilla and orange zest until well combined. Then, whisk in the mashed bananas. With a spatula, fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center and comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely. Enjoy!