Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chocolate Banana Marble Bread

Round two of my banana mission! After this, I only have three bananas left to use. This is good news! Yesterday, on my in day, I baked. Of course. This is getting to be really bad. And now that Pesach is coming, I have so much to get rid of before I leave and that means more baking which means more tasting which means weight gain, something I hate! But back to the baked good at hand. I decided that bananas are a most underused fruit in baking. After doing extensive flipping through my books, I finally hit on this Banana Chocolate Bread from the Art and Soul of Baking and thought it would be perfect. Banana bread with a twist. And it used three bananas and some buttermilk. Double score! Annoyingly, this recipe required me to dirty quite a few bowls. First mix the bananas and liquid, combine dry ingredients, make a cocoa paste and then cream the margarine and sugar. After that, the steps finally come together. Half the batter is mixed with the cocoa paste, dolloped in the pan and then swirled and baked. The resulting loaf is quite attractive, moist and full of good banana flavor. The chocolate is strong, due to the cocoa paste, made by pouring boiling water over the cocoa powder to bring out its flavor. However, it does strike a good balance with the bananas. I wonder if it would make much of a difference to just add cocoa powder without making the paste... I also think my marble-ing technique needs a bit of work as at one end of the loaf was a huge amount of chocolate with very little plain batter. Ill have to make another marble cake to correct this problem.. Oh well! All in all this is definitely a winner and, while this is really more like a cake because of the creaming method, it really is a great alternative to plain banana bread.

Chocolate Banana Marble Bread
from the Art and Soul of Baking

2-3 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup dutch cocoa powder
3 tbsp boiling water
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
Place the bananas in a small bowl and mash very well.
Add the buttermilk and vanilla,
and whisk to blend.
Place all of the dry ingredients in another bowl,
and whisk to blend.
In a small bowl, place the cocoa and pour the boiling water over it.
Stir to make a thick but pourable paste. If its too thick, add additional water.
In a large bowl, place the margarine and sugar.
Cream until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time,
blending thoroughly after each addition.Add the flour mixture in partsalternately with the banana mixture, ending with the flour mixture.
Here is the completed batter.
Separate half the mixture and add the cocoa paste.
Stir thoroughly to blend.
Dollop the batters as such in the pan.
Using a knife or a spoon, swirl the batters together.
Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack. When cool, remove from the pan and slice.

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