Chocolate Banana bread
Although the title is chocolate banana bread, the texture and flavors are definitely towards the pound cake, I’ve made in the past banana bread versions that are more towards the bread texture, something like the south American style of the banana bread, but this recipe is 100% cake look and feel.
Light and airy cake
The most important factor in making a light cake is by mixing the butter and sugar for a few minutes and only then adding the eggs creating a pale full of air bubbles mixture that will reflect in a light crumbly texture after baking.
a note about beating the eggs, do not over do the mixing, it will indeed resolve in an airy batter however at the baking stage, the cake will rise fast and dive even faster leaving a big crack in the middle, we are interested in an even baking.
Another key factor to avoid a dense cake is adding both baking powder and baking soda, both of them will create a chemical reaction with the sugar and flour which will resolve in carbon release hence the bubbles (same as you can see clearly in pancakes when the air bubbles emerge).
Chocolate banana bread – adding the chocolate
There are various ways of adding the chocolate to the batter, some mix it all and create a dark cake, however, in this recipe I’m interested in creating a nice color separation between the chocolate and the white parts.
The way to do so is by mixing a small portion of the batter with the chocolate and crushed bananas and separating the dough into 1/3 and 2/3 so we start by pouring a 2/3rd of the batter into the baking pan, adding the chocolate and covering with the remaining dough.
like every pound cake, long baking is essential, this cake is baked for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes in a temperature 175°c/ 350°F. Make sure you bake it all the way thru, until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs sticking on it, don’t worry about losing its moisture, it will be OK within these timeframes but a cake that is not fully baked cannot be repaired, so better be extra careful and check from time to time after 1 hour of baking.
place the dry ingredients: the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Place the butter and sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix until the blend is pale and a bit fluffy.
Add the eggs one by one until fully incorporated in the mixture, don’t over whisk the eggs, not more than 2 minutes.
Pour the vanilla extract and the orange peel and mix until blended in, mix for 30 more seconds.
The batter should be loose but with a firm body.
Take 3 tablespoons of the batter and mix with the bananas, add chocolate powder and brandy and mix until smooth.
Butter a loaf pan, I use a 8.5” long x 4.5” wide pan but any dimension will do, it’s up to you how high you want your cake.
Place 2/3 of the batter in the pan, add the chocolate mixture and cover with the remaining 1/3 of batter.
Sprinkle the brown sugar on top.
Cool on a rack for 30 minutes and serve.