chocolate almond banana bread


We've had a couple snow days this week - and apparently in the coming week too. Snow days mean many things like cozy clothes and binge marathons on tv. But if it's a work day, you don't get to binge tv ... and need to compensate with other things. I chose to compensate with this banana bread. I have no regrets. It's seriously so good.

To be fair, I got the inspiration for banana bread from my friend Rachel who posted a snap of their loaf. It seemed like such a great idea and I happened to have two perfect bananas ready for use. I've been getting a lot of inspiration from Food52 recently - so I found this original recipe there. The original recipe calls for "almond paste" which I absolutely didn't have in the middle of a blizzard. Allegedly you can make a substitute by pulsing almond slivers and sugar together - that seemed like another dirty dish to do ... so I just tossed in some slivered almonds.

This loaf is something else. Banana bread is always good - but perhaps never feels "next level". This chocolate almond version is absolutely "next level" but at the same time very approachable and not far from the traditional version. The crust of the bread is pretty much perfect. It's thin and sweet and amazing when it is warm. I'd absolutely recommend this to anyone who has a bit of sweet tooth. Plus, it's completely kid friendly.
Here's how it goes.
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease your two 9" x 5" loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder (if using). Stir in the bittersweet chocolate and slivered almonds.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the sugar, oil, eggs, and bananas until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the pans. Bake for about 45-60 minutes (if you're using a different, smaller pan, start checking much sooner). I got distracted and never set a timer... and I didn't take any pictures either so no timestamps to help.
  6. Remove from the oven - and enjoy!
Shopping List
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 very ripe mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, for enhanced chocolate flavor)

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