Double Chocolate Banana Bread

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I’ve recently been in a rather lamentable blogging slump. The kind of slump that results in persistent lack of motivation to create, write and photograph, other than a quick snap via Instagram (I must both thank and berate Sam, Jemima and Matt for convincing me to join that bewitching time-waster. I think I’m in love).

Not that I haven’t cooked anything in the interim. I’ve been cooking daily, but more for nourishment than blogging purposes. We’ve eaten warming kale and chickpea stew in a spiced coconut broth, spelt-crusted quiche filled with walnut pesto, bitter greens and Meredith Dairy goats cheese, cumin roasted carrots with crushed toasted pepitas and a fragrant orange syrup cake with dollops of thick Greek yoghurt. Everything was delicious, but no notes were taken. No photographs were snapped. It was just one of those weeks.

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Now, I know for a fact that I’m not alone in the ‘slump experience’. I’ve read similar posts from blogging friends (particularly those with day jobs like myself) who have echoed the same sentiment. But shared experience doesn’t lessen my personal frustration, particularly when speaking of diminished enthusiasm and productivity. Let’s just hope the cloud passes soon.

bananasend sunskin

Now, back to today’s post for double chocolate banana bread. I’ll say from the outset that the recipe isn’t mine, it was the result of three ripe bananas and a visit to Deb’s beautiful blog, Smitten Kitchen.

After playing around with the idea of ‘healthying up’ the recipe with coconut oil, cacao powder, agave and different wheat-free flours, I decided to bake it almost exactly as-is: with pure butter, granulated sugar, white all-purpose flour and Dutch-process cocoa.

floursugarmix

The result is a beautifully rich, moist and intensely chocolatey loaf that serves beautifully as a dessert (a la mode, with ice cream) or an indulgent afternoon tea (toasted and spread with smooth, rich peanut butter or Mayver’s tahini honey spread. You can thank me later).

In the true sense of a word it’s more of a ‘cake’ than a healthy ‘banana bread’… but you know what? On this dreary, grey, demotivated day, I don’t care. A cup of tea and cake was the therapy I needed.

Some days, you just need cake.

bread

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Barely adapted from this recipe by Deb at Smitten Kitchen.

  • 3 large, ripe bananas (equivalent to just over 1 cup of mashed banana)
  • 115g organic butter, melted
  • 145g dark molasses sugar (substitute any other brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 125g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa (don’t substitute unprocessed cocoa here, it will give you a different result)
  • 170g (about 1 cup) chopped 70% cocoa dark chocolate (use chocolate chips if you have them)

Heat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees f). Grease and line a 9×5-inch loaf pan, then set it aside.

mash

Mash the bananas, then place into a large bowl. Whisk in the melted butter, brown sugar (as my molasses sugar was very lumpy, I sieved it first and added a little water to make a paste), egg and vanilla extract.

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Sift over the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder, then stir to combine. Add in the chocolate and mix well.

flourcocoacocoa mix

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan.

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Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it onto a cooling rack.

loaf

Serve warm or at room temperature (or preferably, toasted and spread with peanut butter or Mayver’s tahini honey spread. Yes, I’ve said it twice now. Need further convincing? See below).

bite bite2

This banana bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature or longer in the refrigerator, wrapped in foil or plastic wrap. It also freezes well for up to 2 months (make sure that you wrap it well to prevent freezer burn).

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127 responses

  1. I know exactly what you mean, Laura – these days when cooking is fine, but there’s no motivation to write and make pictures (and indeed, it takes a lot of time, doesn’t it). So glad however that you shared this gorgeous banana bread with us – exactly what I would need right now after hours of writing a blog post and editing photos ;-). Have a wonderful week-end – and I’m looking forward so much to meet you in Berlin, soon :-).

    • It really does take a lot of time. Some days I get really rejuvenated by it, excited to post about whatever I’ve created, and then there are the days when I really can’t be bothered at all. I guess it’s the same with everything, isn’t it :) Thanks so much for your blogging friendship and support Claudia. You create AMAZING food, words and photographs and I very much look forward to chatting face to face! xx

  2. The blogging slump – we all know it well. And yes, I agree that those of us with busy day jobs have it tough. I find it hard to finish up a 10-hour day (common in my industry – Festivals), and then come home and write even MORE. Sometimes a few days or few weeks’ break is all you need. Glad to see you are back at it. Take it slow until you find your mojo.

    • Yes, I can definitely understand how you feel Yasmeen! At the moment I’m working 9 hours on average and by the time I get home it’s dark. Definitely not fun when you’re trying to photograph something. I am glad that we can support and understand each other though, you do an AMAZING job with your blog and I am grateful for your support and advice. Thanks heaps xxx

  3. This whole ‘slump’ thing must be going around because I’m reading about it everywhere! And you know what? Don’t worry about it at all. I don’t even think it’s normal to photograph food everyday, and post it everywhere for all of the world to see, you know what I mean? I really admire the bloggers who can express their feelings honestly, instead of just posting for the sake of posting. So, I admire you for staying true to yourself. All of this will pass. You have a super loyal following who will be waiting for you in 2 days or 2 weeks. Now, go eat a piece of that chocolate goodness and grab some wine. It’s all good :) xx

    • Oh really Em? Ha, I didn’t realize… maybe it’s something to do with the change of season! And yes, I do think that what we do is a little abnormal but it’s nice that we can find understanding and love within the gorgeous blogging community (I mean that – there are such wonderful souls gathering here). Thanks for the appreciation of my honesty, haha… I know that many people try to keep their content ‘light’ but I really just do whatever comes naturally. I hopefully haven’t lost any followers so far ;) Thanks again beautiful. And yes, Friday night is wine night, yay! xxx

  4. I hope you find your blogging mojo again, but take all the time you need! Maybe it’s this time of the year, when work gets busy, holidays seem far away, and there the rest of the year to get through. I’ve been remiss with my blog too.. Though the chocolate banana bread looks like just the thing to get someone through a lazy afternoon…or week!

    • Aw, thanks lovely. Yes I think that’s the case, it’s just too busy at the moment. I get home when it’s dark and then can’t find the motivation to do anything except eat and sleep. I noticed that you were taking a break but definitely felt that there was just reason for it… I think all of us need to take time off at times. It leads to a new freshness… and delicious concoctions like your kick ass beer bread (oh gosh, I was drooling over those images for ages!) x

  5. Pingback: Life Lately (and Blogiversary Number Two) « Laura's Mess

  6. Oh Laura, blogging slumps are normal… mine has been going on for three months now! jaja! Work gets in the way when your blog is a hobby. Yesterday I made banana bread with chocolate chunks, but I had this recipe in mind… I knew I had seen it somewhere! Will be making it soon. And about that orange syrup cake you mentioned….

    • Oh Paula, yes I was wondering how you were! I’ve missed you but I do think that it’s wonderful you’ve taken the time you need to rest and recover. Blogging can be demanding on top of everything else happening in life. Thinking of you lovely. Thanks for stopping over here to leave a note, I was so excited to see it… you’re a dear blogging friend! xx

  7. Pingback: CHOCOLATE, BANANA & HAZELNUT CAKE, WITH CINNAMON & BRANDY CHERRIES AND CITRUS & CARDAMOM ICE CREAM | Cheesy Biscuit

  8. Dear Laura, I sure hear you regarding facing difficulties keeping up with other blogs and maintaining a regular publishing schedule on your own when you are under pressure at work. I know the feeling well enough.
    Having said that, your post is wonderfully lovely as always with awesome photography (I love the translucent banana peel!) and a yummy recipe I love every ingredient of!
    Hang in there, Laura. The quality of your posts is stellar and you should take comfort in that!
    Big hugs, my friend :-)

    • I can imagine how you’d feel also, Stefano, particularly as your wine blogging is so intricate and involved with the tasting notes and links. You do a seriously amazing job and each post is an absolute pleasure to read. It means a lot to have you stop by when you find the time and I love reading your posts and seeing your amazing wildlife photography… it’s refreshing and beautiful. As for the photos, thanks so, so much! Your comments mean a lot! Huge hugs back to you and Francesca :)

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