Yeah, yeah. I didn't like the cinnamon, and still made those bars. And wasn't terribly fond of them (although that didn't stop me from scarfing down two of them before giving them away). Brilliant, huh? And I like bananas, I really do. Just by themselves is all. I don't like them in smoothies, or in cakes. Breads. Desserts. I don't like them in anything, really. I like the fake banana flavoring in stuff, like Circus Peanuts (because I eat revolting stuff like that), but not real banana.
So imagine my shock, surprise, utter joy, when I loved loved loved this bread. Of course: that might have a little something to do with the copious amounts of chocolate. It's not just the chocolate, though: this bread is very nice, a soft moist bread but not heavy as banana bread can sometimes be. And it makes for a happy morning when you have a nice thick slice for breakfast :)
A word of warning for you banana lovers: it is very, very chocolatey, especially the first day. The banana doesn't hit you for a bit after eating it. However it does, in fact, mellow out by Day Two - then the chocolate and banana are living in perfect harmony. This is a fantastic recipe, and I can't wait to make it again, except maybe with a few changes (perhaps peanut-butter banana bread?).
Dorie's Cocoa-Nana Bread
(From Baking: From My Home To Yours)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. semisweet cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 c. buttermilk (plain yogurt also does well)
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and place it on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other. (This extra insulation will keep the bottom of the bread from over baking.)
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about a minute, until softened. Add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. At this point, the batter may look a little curdled - it's okay.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the mashed bananas. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Still on low speed, add the buttermilk, mixing until it is incorporated. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. Cover the bread loosely with a foil tent to keep the top from getting too dark, and continue to bake for another 40 to 45 minutes (total baking time is between 70 to 75 minutes) or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the bread and unmolding. Invert and cool to room temp right side up.