Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread

DSC_0988bAlthough it’s not commonly taught, I think that everyone is familiar with Newton’s law of bananas. That law is: no matter how large or small a bunch of bananas you buy or the size of your family, there will always be two leftover bananas that become too overripe to eat. They sit in their basket, accusatorily, shrinking and slowly becoming covered in black spots. You look at them every morning guiltily. No one wants to put soft bananas in their breakfast cereal. Eventually, they pass a point of no return. Then it’s bin them or turn them into banana bread.

My recipe for banana bread is prosaic, but delicious. The bananas, cinnamon, and brown sugar turn the bread brownish, creating the illusion that it is health food. I always add chocolate chips and walnuts, which in my home means chocolate for breakfast. Whole wheat flour staves off self-reproach, should one be inclined to eat half a loaf of banana bread at one sitting, as I did last week. This bread is moist, dense, and not too sweet. If you want a lighter loaf, switch the proportions of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. If you really want to indulge yourself or endear yourself to your family/significant other/flatmate, use milk chocolate chips instead of dark, although then you might have a slightly more difficult time rationalizing banana bread for breakfast.

Leftover batter can be turned into muffins, or you can make all muffins if you prefer. Even though this bread takes less than an hour to make from start to finish, if you don’t feel quite up to making banana bread when your bananas have reached that critical point, you can mash them, put them in a Tupperware, and freeze them until you’re ready to use them.  DSC_0941aIngredients:

1 cup (140 g) whole wheat flour

¾ cup (90 g) all-purpose or plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 bananas

2/3 cup (120 g) brown sugar

1/3 cup (65 g) white sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla paste, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Slightly less than ¼ pound (100 grams) melted butter

Slightly less than ¼ pound (100 grams) chocolate chips

2 ounces (56 grams) walnuts, chopped

DSC_0945aMethod:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius), and grease a loaf pan and lightly dust it with flour.

Sift together your flour with the baking powder, soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, mash your bananas together with the cinnamon and brown sugar with a fork. You can purée them if you prefer, but I like to use a fork because then you have lumps of banana scattered throughout your loaf.

Whisk together the two eggs with the white sugar and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the melted butter, whisking, and then combine with your banana mixture. Fold your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, trying not to over-mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts and bake for about 40 minutes (15-20 minutes if you’re making muffins), or until a wooden pick inserted into the loaf comes out dry. Allow to cool in the pan for about five minutes, and then (if you wish), turn out onto a rack. Feel free to enjoy while still warm and the chocolate is gooey.

DSC_0949aMakes one large loaf, or about a dozen large muffins.

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27 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread

  1. This looks marvelous, and I particularly like that bottom photo. I’ve got some rotty bananas sitting on the counter. But, alas, our brand new oven isn’t working correctly!

    • Banana ice cream? Or does that sound horrid? May be delicious, with praline. I envy your ice cream maker. I’m sorry to hear your new oven isn’t working. :(

  2. I have never understood the popularity of bananas, Susan. I never buy them so I never have to make banana bread. If I were going to make banana bread, I would try your recipe sans chocolate — I like the brown sugar, whole wheat flour and walnuts you have used here.

    • I read an article in the New Yorker a couple of years ago about how most people only eat maybe two varieties of bananas out of the hundreds that are grown because the big fruit growers chose those varieties to grow and export because they travel best. The article claimed that the bananas we see in our grocery stores are among the most uninteresting. I did eat some local bananas in Domenica that changed my conception of what a banana could be.

  3. Nothing quite as beautiful as over-ripe, spotted bananas, because that means banana bread! Good job! I work oat flour into mine. I don’t know if it makes it ‘health’ food exactly, but I sleep better at night.

  4. Bananas, walnuts, and chocolate, together again! How can this bread be anything but delicious with the Big 3 as ingredients? Love the idea of making muffins, too. They “work” much better for me.

    • I set out to make muffins but realized I don’t have a muffin tin in London. Hence the loaves and the ramekins. :) I do agree with you about this flavor combo.

    • Thank you Daisy. I was in two minds about blogging this because everyone has a banana bread recipe, and it’s quite simple. At the same time, often what people want is something simple and familiar, right? :)

    • You weren’t?! Newton had a great fascination with New World herbaceous plants.* I agree entirely about bananas, chocolate and walnuts.

      *Not actually true. :)

  5. This looks delicious! I’m a banana bread fiend, but in my family, the bananas always disappear before I can use them! I always have to hide them if I want them to ripen enough to make banana bread, haha.

  6. Omg! I wish that I had read this post two days ago when I tossed TWO grotty-looking bananas! How did you know?!

    Bookmarking this. Good to remember that when in doubt of edibility, mash up the suckers!

  7. This looks utterly awesome. I love banana bread and was saving two blackened bananas to make some this weekend. Last night I got distracted by the idea of banana ice cream and churned them into a custard instead but as soon as I have more black bananas I am making this. Love that first photo with a squidgy slice, yum!

    • Thank you! I’m very excited by the thought of your banana ice cream! Are you putting salty peanut brittle in it? An ice cream maker tops the list of appliances I wish I owned.

  8. Just went to whisk my eggs… and don’t know how many!! I’ll have to just go with it, but I would love to know how many you used! :)

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