Whether we bake, freeze or make smoothies, we always find ways to use up overripe bananas, but this time we bought bananas especially to make this bread. It was one of the recipes on Jessica’s list in her favorite bakebook (can you guess what it is? She should start one of those cook-through blogs and get a movie deal like Julie & Julia). She started mashing the bananas, but Richie didn’t want her to bake that day, so I took over.
This quick bread can be a dessert or breakfast! We made three, one for the parents, one for my in laws, and one for the freezer, because we always like to make extras for later.
Chocolate-Banana Marble Bread from The Art and Soul of Baking
- 2 or 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup (2 oz.) buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups (7 oz.) sifted cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup (1 oz.) unsifted Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz.) boiling water, plus more if needed
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz.) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350 and grease the pan(s). The recipe calls for 1 9×5″ load pan, we used 3 smaller ones.
- Peel the bananas and place in a bowl or food processor. Mash or process to a smooth puree. Measure out 1 cup of the puree and transfer to a medium bowl; that’s all you need. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and set aside.
- Sift the cake flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a medium bowl and blend well. Set aside.
- Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl, pour boiling water over it and stir until it forms a smooth paste-it should run thickly off the spoon. If it’s too thick, add another tablespoon of water and stir again. Set aside.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high for 4 to 5 minutes until the butter is very light. Turn the machine to medium and add the eggs, 1 tablespoon at a time, completely blending in each addition before adding the next. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on the lowest speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half of the banana mixture. Repeat with remaining ingredients, scrape down the bowl and finish blending batter by hand.
- Tranfer half the batter to a medium bowl, add the cocoa paste and gently but thoroughly blend it into the batter with a rubber spatula.
- Drop alternating spoonfuls of batters into the prepared pans, then marbleize by using a spoon to gently turn the batter oven in 3 places down the length of the pan.
- Bake for 55 to 65 minutes.