“Will, Will! We’re having that bread Mommy gave us yesterday for breakfast with strawberries!” Paige chirped to her brother after sneaking a peek at the counter where I was preparing breakfast. There were smiles and dashes for the table. Then the “mmms …” I don’t think I will ever tire of hearing Will say, “Mommy, this is great.” (For the record, when something isn’t great, he tells me.)
This bread is significant to me because it’s been awhile since I last baked. Between traveling and work, it fell by the wayside. But I’ve missed it a lot. This was kind of like the gateway bake … preparing for more. If all goes well, my cookie jar will be filled this weekend for the first time in too long. But for now, I baked this moist bread swirled with chocolate and banana.
I’ve been planning to make banana bread for longer than I care to admit. In fact, I experimented with banana muffin tops not too long ago hoping they could be an easy faster alternative. They weren’t. The recipe with pretty good, but the muffin tops were a fail (we had to eat them with a fork right out of the pan).
This recipe is based my favorite banana bread, Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread. Everyone has their favorite banana bread recipe, and mine is usually dotted with bits of chocolate and meaty walnuts. But this time I wanted something a little different — a little banana, a little chocolate without the nuts. So I went for a marble-style bread. Believe it or not, it’s pretty easy. You make the bread batter and then separate out a cup. The cup of batter becomes the chocolate variety and the remainder is mixed with mashed bananas for the banana half. Then you add both to a baking pan, swirl it a bit and bake.
Who could say no to such a beautiful golden loaf? The kids were so excited when they caught a whiff of the sweet aroma from the kitchen. I can’t blame them. I was too.
Tell me about your favorite banana bread — or better yet, share a favorite recipe!
Chocolate Banana Marble Bread
yields 1 loaf
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan with cooking oil spray. Set aside.
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until the mixture looks light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating well each time. Add the vanilla to the mixture and mix well on medium speed until smooth.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer running on its lowest speed, add the flour mixture to the bowl little by little, until just combined. Remove 1 cup of batter from the mixer to a large mixing bowl. Add the mashed bananas to the mixer and mix well until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan.
Stir the cocoa powder and oil into the batter in the bowl until evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan. Drag a knife through the batter a few times.
Slide the pan into the preheated oven and cook for 45-50 minutes. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before slicing and serving.