This was baked specially for my Malay neighbor who is extremely kind and trusting.
And the other loaf is purely for my own indulgence. :P
I’m someone who cannot bake something and not taste it. I need to know how my end product turns out.. and importantly, after all the slaving in the kitchen, i need to reward myself a little, you know. Hee!
I bought this particular book some months ago, probably more than half a year since and apart from flipping through it, i haven’t baked a single thing from the book.
So it was about time, i reckon and used it i did.
I love the book.
I love the clear instructions.
And i love the how my cakes turned out.
I’ve baked many types of banana breads and cakes for the past few years and this one is definitely a keeper. I like the simplicity and yet, tasty. Well, for the record, it did blow the neighbor away because we received a lovely text just 5 minutes after we sent it over. Apparently, the weight conscious neighbor had 3 slices at 1 go!
I like how the bitterness from the Dutch cocoa powder plays down with the natural sweetness of the bananas. Not sure if you’re anything like me, but i really love slicing marble cakes, for each and every slice of the cake is beautiful and different in their own way!
A lot of times, I’d go ‘oooh‘ at a few and ‘hmpphhh‘ at another for their patterns. Picking up the slice that i am gonna devour can cause quite a bit of a ruckus sometimes because i would be torn between wanting one with more chocolate or the one with less or the slice that is most beautiful of all. :P
Chocolate-Banana Marble Bread
(adapted from the Art & Soul of Baking – Sur La Table)
- 2 large or 3 medium very ripe bananas, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (2ounces) sour cream, at room temperature – feel free to use cream or buttermilk!
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups sifted plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) unsifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) boiling water, plus more if needed
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened (65° to 68°F)
- 3/4 cup (7 ounces) sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the loaf pan with melted butter or high-heat canola-oil spray and line it with a piece of parchment paper that extends 1 inch beyond the long edge of both sides of the pan. Peel the bananas and place them in the bowl of the food processor. Process to a smooth puree. (Alternately, mash them in a bowl using a fork.) Measure out 1 cup of the puree and transfer it to a medium bowl, discarding the rest of the puree or saving it for another use. Add the sour cream and vanilla and whisk just until blended. Set aside.
Use a fine-mesh strainer to sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together into a medium bowl. Whisk to blend well. Set aside. Place the cocoa powder in the small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cocoa and stir until it forms a smooth paste – it should run thickly off the spoon. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of boiling water and stir again. Set aside.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until the butter is very light, almost white in color, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Turn the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs, 1 tablespoon at a time, completely blending in each addition before adding the next. About halfway through the eggs, turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with the spatula, then continue adding the rest of the eggs. Scrape down the bowl again.
With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add one-third of the flour mixture. Just as it is barely blended and you can still see a few patches of flour, add half the banana mixture. Repeat with the remaining flour and banana mixtures ending with the flour. Scrape down the bowl and finish blending the batter by hand.
Transfer half of the batter to the second medium bowl. Add the cocoa paste and, using the rubber spatula, gently but thoroughly blend it into the batter.
Drop alternating spoonfuls of dark and light batters into the prepared pan, then marbleize by using a spoon to gently turn the batter over in 3 places down the length of the pan.
Bake the banana bread for 55 to 65 minutes, until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. When cool, remove from the pan, peel off the parchment paper, and cut slices by sawing gently with a serrated knife.
Makes 1 Loaf