Dark Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe

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I’ve baked this easy-to-make, super moist dark chocolate banana bread recipe countless times over the years and with a bit of variations each time. Sometimes plain, other times with mini chocolate chips or when I’m in the mood to be extra indulgent, I’d add good quality chopped dark chocolates into the cake and drizzle a glossy glaze over the top. There was this one time I doubled the recipe and baked the dark chocolate banana bread in a huge 10-cup bundt pan, filled it with creamy cheesecake filling in the center and top with shiny glaze. It was so good! Since this is a reliable recipe that is super easy to make, and also a favourite among my family and friends who’ve tried, I decided it’s good enough to share.

Recently I purchased this rectangle brownie pan and decided to revisit this chocolate banana bread recipe using this pan. Since there are 8 rectangle molds in a pan, I thought why not make them a little different for each of them right? So here we have some pieces with crunchy peanut butter center, some drizzled with glaze and topped with crunchy pearls or sans glaze and scattered with mini chocolate chip morsels. It’s really all up to you for the toppings and fillings. But here I will be sharing what I made for this batch and will also provide estimated baking time if you want to bake in other pans sizes.

Ingredient notes, tips and tricks:

Flour – I used unbleached all-purpose flour. This is the one I used.

Cocoa Powder – Dutch-processed cocoa powder is highly recommended for this recipe. My favourite is Valrhona. Callebaut Extra Brute is another good one to use. Otherwise Hershey’s works fine.

Bananas – When making banana bread, ALWAYS ALWAYS USE OVERRIPE BANANAS. You can either get the bananas few days prior to making or if you really need to make this recipe or any banana cake recipes but can’t wait for the bananas to rot, fret not.

JUST. ROAST. THE. BANANAS.

To roast the bananas, preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Place the bananas with skin on the tray. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool, peel, drain off some of the excess water and mash with fork.

Buttermilk – I used this brand which can be easily found from supermarket. But if you can’t find buttermilk, you can simply make your own with only 2 ingredients. Lemon juice & milk. Although this substitute recipe is not true buttermilk, it still works well in the cake or any cakes that calls for buttermilk.

BUTTERMILK SUBSTITUTE

For this cake recipe, you will need 1/2 cup of buttermilk. To make the buttermilk substitute, simply add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in a measuring cup and fill milk to 1/2 cup mark. Stir well and let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle and thicken a bit before use.

DARK CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD

Moist and Chocolatey!

  • 150g all-purpose flour
  • 30g cocoa powder, preferably dutch-processed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 115g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 100g white sugar
  • 50g dark brown sugar (light brown is fine too)
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • 3 overripe or roasted medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Crunchy peanut butter (for filling), optional
  • Mini chocolate chips (for toppings), optional

Method

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line loaf pan of choice.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Place butter in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, then add both the sugars and continue to beat for another 2 minutes until light and fluffy in texture.

Crack the eggs into a cup and lightly beat it to break up the protein. With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle the eggs into the batter. This process may take a minute or 2. The slow addition of eggs to the butter method is to prevent the mixture from splitting. Once all the eggs have been mixed in, add the mashed bananas together with the vanilla extract and mix for a few turns.

Add 1/3 of the sifted flour mixture, beat on low speed for 10 seconds. Scrap sides of the mixer bowl. Add half of the buttermilk and beat on low for another 10 seconds. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk alternating in the same manner. Keep scraping the sides of the bowl so that the batter can mix evenly. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan.

If using 8 rectangle brownie pan:

Fill the pan with the batter to 3/4 full. If you want to add a peanut butter filling, fill the pan with the batter to 1/4 full. Add about a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter and fill the pan with more batter to 3/4 full, fully covering the peanut butter. Scatter some mini chocolate chips on top. I only scatter the chocolate chips on the cake without peanut butter filling so as to differentiate.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 28 minutes. Test the cake with a skewer. If the skewer comes out clean, then its done. Otherwise bake for a few more minutes.

If using regular 9×5 inches loaf pan:

Simply pour all of the batter into the lined pan. Scatter mini chocolate chips on top if desire. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Similarly, test cake doneness with a skewer.

GLOSSY GLAZE

I think the glaze really takes the chocolate banana bread up a notch. Apart from giving it a glossy finish, it adds a full on chocolatey flavour and texture to the cake. This glaze is easy to make and can be adapted for other recipes such as eclairs, donuts and bundt cakes. I like to use a blend of dark and milk chocolate for the glaze to achieve a well balanced taste that is not too bitter, not too sweet and has a slight creaminess to it attributed from the milk chocolate. Be sure to use good quality chocolates here. I like to use Valrhona Guanaja 70% for dark and Jivara 40% for milk chocolate. Highly recommend!

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 40g dark chocolate with min. 60% cocoa content
  • 20g milk chocolate
  • 1 tsp light corn syrup / glucose

Finely chopped the chocolates and place in a bowl together with the light corn syrup or glucose. Warm the cream over medium heat. Do not boil the cream. Remove from heat once you start to see tiny bubbles form at the sides. Pour the cream into the bowl of chocolates and let it stand for 3 minutes. Stir gently until all chocolates melted and no streaks of cream. The mixture should look shiny, smooth and irresistible. Try not to overmix as you don’t want to create air bubbles here. Pour the glaze over the cakes and let it drip down the sides. This glaze is enough for 1 regular loaf cake or 4 mini cakes. Since you will have 8 mini dark chocolate banana bread for this recipe, you can always double up the glaze if you want to glaze all 8 cakes.

Let me know if you make the cakes by commenting on this post or you can tag me on Instagram @vanillynbakes and hashtag #vanillynbakes

If you like this recipe, you may also be interested in these:

Banana Cake with Chocolate and Walnuts

Glossy Espresso Stout Chocolate Cupcakes

Classic Banana Bundt Cake

Happy Baking and Eating!

 

 

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