Chocolate chip banana bread should have gooey chocolate, moist banana chunks and can be served hot or cold. This chocolate chip banana bread has it all and as such, this recipe has been a weekend go to for a long time in our household. I often get bananas at the start of the week and fight off anyone who wants to eat the last ripe few with hand smacks and stern words, just so I can use them in this banana bread. My husband now asks permission to eat bananas… my bad.
Bananas are certainly great when they are just ripe, eaten with your favourite breakfast cereal or on the mad dash to work when you are late. Though I certainly am bias. I think a banana is best left to ripen almost to the point of no return, and even further so don’t rush to throw out those black bananas yet, mash them and turn them into something fabulous. Most people hate overripe bananas, and even mentioning using those smooshy, black bananas, is enough to make some cringe – you know they haven’t tried chocolate chip banana bread!
This chocolate chip bread reminds me of a time long ago (may have been more than a decade ago) when I was taken to Bill Granger’s café in Darlinghurst for a meal after a long night drinking and dancing. I was (and am) a self-confessed bogan at the best of times, you will see this surface from time to time, I wasn’t pleased about our dining choice. Suffice to say, despite my initial hesitation to eat there, I was so impressed with the corn fritters served to me that I went on a search to find out who the chef and owner was. Not too hard to discover considering it was called Bill’s Café. So it was Bill Granger, and, it wasn’t long before I found a cookbook written by him so I could see what more of his food was all about.
At the time I wasn’t even cooking myself regular dinner meals, my flatmates could attest to this. Either they fed me or I was using pre prepared meals and to be honestly, mostly eating take out. Large shout out to A. My Incredible Metabolism in my twenties and B. The Dirty Bird… it got me through most nights… and days C. My mother and any friends who fed me in-between fed. I guess this was the start of a culinary journey for me, looking back, to imagine that my journey of food fascination started with a small plate of corn fritters eaten after a long night of drinking and dancing… is truly unbelievable.
The cookbook I got my hands on was a copy of one of his earlier version cookbooks ‘bills food’ and this choc chip banana bread was the first thing I dared to try, and, has been a staple ever since. Over the years I have changed a little here, and a little there to my personal taste. A bit of burnt butter, a little more chocolate… all the decadent things of course! Its already a naughty version, if you are keen for something a little more – ah hem – healthy, this is not the recipe for you.
If you DO love decadence, a good cup of tea or espresso with a slice of something yummy, this is what you are looking for (any time of day!). His original recipe uses 175gm of butter melted (not browned) 4 bananas and only 175g of chocolate chips. Its pretty forgiving, a little more of this, a little less of that just go with whatever is in your pantry!
Adapted from Bill Grangers version of ‘Chocolate Chip Banana Bread’ found at https://www.nigella.com/recipes/members/lilos-bill-granger-s-choc-banana-bread
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
250g Plain Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
175g Unsalted Butter
250g Caster Sugar
3-4 Large Ripe Bananas
2 Large Eggs (lightly beaten)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
200g Dark Chocolate Chips
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Grease and lightly flour a 19 x 11 cm loaf pan. If you have a non stick, there is enough butter in this recipe to not need greasing/flouring so skip this step.
3. Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat to brown. When browning butter, keep an eye on the process, as it turns from brown butter to bitter too burnt butter in a matter of seconds. Heat butter until foamy – HINT: carefully sniff the butter as it starts to foam, there will be a point where it will begin to smell a little nutty (it is delicate and can be missed), this is perfect, get it off the heat ASAP!
Alternatively, swish the pan around gently as it starts to foam and look at the butter under the foam. You are looking for a dark golden colour with slight flakes of golden debris which is the butters browned milk solids. If these are black – you have gone to far and the browned butter wont taste very nice. If you don’t want to or have had issues in the past with browning butter, don’t despair, you can skip this step and simply melt the butter and the bread will still be fantastic!
4. Into a large bowl, sift flour and baking powder together.
5. In another bowl, peel and mash bananas using a fork or by hand. I find if they are still not blackened and fantastically ripe, mashing with a fork isn’t enough and I like the texture produced when mashing by hand. No food processors please, you don’t want a puree here.
6. Mix sugar, browned butter, eggs, vanilla extract and dark chocolate chips till well combined.
7. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Avoid over-mixing! 10-12 folds with a wooden spoon is best. You will have a few spots of dry flour visible – this is ok. If you overwork the dough, your bread will be tougher.
8. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
9. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until cooked though when testing with a skewer. NOTE: banana bread will appear golden and crusty on top from about 45 mins into the baking process. Don’t be fooled – it is not ready and it will not burn. If you take it out now you will end up with a saggy loaf that will likely fall apart when pulled out of the tin.
10. Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes (don’t skip or your loaf may fall apart from the hot butter!) before turning onto a wire rack.
11. Serve warm with cultured cream or dollops of butter. I prefer a good dollop of the latter.
[lt_recipe name=”Chocolate Chip Banana Bread” servings=”8-10″ prep_time=”10M” cook_time=”1H15M” total_time=”1H25M” difficulty=”Easy” summary=”Gooey, moist and warm choc chip banana bread. Need I say more?” image=”http://www.foodfascination.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Chocolate-Chip-Banana-Bread-Main-300×188.jpg” ingredients=”250g Plain Flour;2 Teaspoons Baking Powder;175g Unsalted Butter ;250g Caster Sugar;3 Large Ripe Bananas;2 Eggs (lightly beaten);1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract;200g Dark Chocolate Chips” ]Preheat oven to 180C;Lightly grease and flour 19 x 11 cm loaf pan (if its non stick, skip this step);Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat until foamy and browned ;Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl;Peel and mash bananas in another bowl using a fork or by hand (you want some lovely chunks so avoid using a processor) and mix together with the sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract and dark chocolate chips;Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine – avoid over mixing! 10-12 folds with a wooden spoon is best;Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until cooked through when testing with a skewer;Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 mins (don’t skip or your loaf will come apart!) before turning out onto a wire rack;Serve warm with cultured cream or butter (I prefer a good dollop of the latter)[/lt_recipe]