In the last few years, I’ve become obsessed with banana bread. I think it’s because I find it relatively easy to make and because it reminds me of my childhood. See, my mom used to make banana bread, but it wasn’t ever just plain banana bread. It was chocolate chip banana bread, and somehow that made it a decadent experience for me. It was probably my favourite dessert or snack growing up and it wasn’t until I was 28 that I even asked her for the recipe. The only problem was that it required shortening, and I just wasn’t interested in using that. So I looked for alternative recipes and made some of those.
First, I came across one that cut back on the sugar content, but then, for whatever reason, I found that I was having a harder time getting it cook through. The bottom always ended up slightly mushy, and despite being really tasty, it just wasn’t quite right. Then I found another recipe and another and eventually started to play around with different combinations to try to jazz up the original chocolate chip banana bread that my mom introduced me to. Ultimately, I just opted to embrace the sugar – what’s cake without it anyway? Healthy? Pssh…
Anyway, back to experimenting in my kitchen! Before I had my baby girl, I would regularly hang out in my kitchen and try out different recipes and even try my hand at making stuff up on my own. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that if you’re short on time as not all gambles pay off, obviously, and then you kind of feel crappy about wasting food. But now that the newborn fog is in my rearview mirror and I’ve started to get myself into something of a routine that allows me to spend a bit more time in the kitchen, I thought I’d revisit an experiment I did in the days leading up to giving birth, when the urge to bake and feed my pregnancy cravings was strong. That’s how I ended up I taking a stab at making double chocolate peanut butter banana bread. Just because it sounded amazing, and hey, what do you know? It turned out pretty good!
Before diving in, I feel I ought to make a note for my American friends: I used grams when making this recipe. You can attempt to convert it to US cup measurements by using an online converter like this one but be warned, I haven’t tested it! You can also just get a digital kitchen scale and work in grams, if you like.
Here’s what I did…
- Cooking spray for greasing
- 140g butter, softened
- 140g sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 overripe bananas, mashed
- 140g self-raising flour
- 25g baking cocoa
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3-4 Tbsp peanut butter, slightly melted
- 1-2 handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Grease loaf tin with cooking spray or extra softened butter or use a loaf tin liner.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and slowly add eggs until fully incorporated. Fold in mashed bananas.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking powder. Stir until well mixed.
- Add dry ingredients to wet and fold in 1-2 handfuls of chocolate chips until just combined. Avoid over-mixing.
- Pour just over half the mixture into the loaf tin. Then pour in slightly melted peanut butter, and top off with the remaining chocolate mixture. Use a knife or the stem of a spoon or fork to swirl the peanut butter through, but don't overdo it!
- Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until a skewer/toothpick comes out clean. Turn off oven and leave the tin in the oven for another 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
For the slightly melted peanut butter, I just chucked 3 large spoonfuls into a bowl and heated it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and stirred it all up!
Granted, this is one of my first attempts at sharing an experiment from my own kitchen and I’m certainly not a trained baker or chef so your mileage (and taste) may vary from mine! But in any case, if you were hoping to try this one out for yourself, have a go and let me know what you think or how it turned out!