This bread is AM-AZING, I just couldn’t wait to tell you. Oh-so perfectly moist banana bread with a decadent dark chocolate batter delicately swirled in and a caramelized pecan streusel sprinkled on the top. Oh my, look at that I’ve salivated all over my keyboard. I like long, extravagant recipe titles so this sounds more complicated than it actually is, trust me. The first time I had banana bread when I was a child was when we lived in New York, and my mom bought this divine banana walnut loaf, and I remember thinking that I had never eaten banana that way before but somebody was definitely on to something. Shortly after that, we moved back to France and that put an end to that – in fact we didn’t have oreos, pancakes, muffins, cupcakes, donuts, and lots of other American goods in France in the early 2000s. So nicely sheltered from the mass food industry as we swam in a sea of artisan-made cheese, cured meats and crudités. Anyways, when they started opening Starbucks coffee shops in Paris, I was pretty happy to rediscover banana bread and even set out to learn to make my own recipe. And then I stopped eating gluten. And THAT put an end to that, and a lot of the above-mentioned.
As I learned my way around the kitchen with gluten-free flours, banana bread and banana muffins were some of the first things I started to make because bananas are such a blessing to bake with. They fit in almost any baked good, make a great binder, and deliver spongy and moist yet well-risen treats. I’ve made quite my share of banana breads, but I’d call this recipe here the banana bread masterpiece. Banana + chocolate is old news, but some of the best things in life are timeless. And since I don’t make baked goods on an everyday basis, if I’m going to whip up a treat, it better be fudging worth every bite and finger-licking sinful. This banana bread fits the criteria, it’s so ridiculously good you won’t be able to stop, and it’s still light in sugar.
So aside from that, everything’s been pretty splendid on my end. I’ve finally recovered from last week’s terrible stomach bug which is unfortunately a pretty common risk for foreigners in Peru, especially when your body is still adjusting to the food and climate. Having stayed home recovering on most nights this week, I’ve finally started watching the TV series Mad Men – yes, about ten years after everyone, and I love it. It’s put me in such an “Oldies but Goodies” mood and I’ve been listening to 60s playlists on repeat for days on end, swinging to Sam Cooke, The Shirelles, Ritchie Valens, and more versions than I can count of “Earth Angel” in my kitchen feeling like a ditsy little fifties housewife and totally grooving it. And seriously, the lyrics in these songs…. oh sigh: “I can mash potatoes, I can do the twist, tell me baby do you like it like this?”. Romance is lost on all of us today I tell you!
Here’s an awesome one for all of you – now go put on your good housewife apron and make this banana bread to this snazzy little tune.
Recipe: Decadent, Fudgy Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread with Pecan Streusel
For the Banana Bread Base3 very ripe bananas (yields about 2 cups of mashed bananas) 2 cups almond flour 1/3 cup ground flaxseeds 3.5 Tbsp (50g) of unsalted butter, melted 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 Tbsp of Raw Honey
For the Chocolate Swirl2 oz. (56g) of dark or raw chocolate, broken up into pieces 2 Tbsp (28g) of unsalted butter
For the Pecan Streusel1 cup of pecan halves, coarsely chopped 1 1/2 tsp of raw honey
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease a medium-sized bread loaf pan (I used a 8.5×4.5 inch loaf pan).
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the almond flour, flaxseed meal and baking soda.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat and incorporate the raw honey, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when the mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Let cool a few minutes.
4. Mash the bananas in a bowl until there are as little lumps as possible. Incorporate the melted butter and honey mixture, and add the egg and vanilla extract, whisking until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones.
5. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the butter, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth (about 1:30 minute). Take about 1/3 of the banana bread batter and mix it with the melted chocolate.
6. Transfer the batters to the greased loaf pan, alternating between the two. I drop about 3 tbsp of one batter, then switch to the other and go on until all the batter is used up, and lightly use the back of a spoon to create a swirl.
7. For the pecan streusel, mix in a small bowl the coarsely chopped pecans with the raw honey. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the banana bread.
8. Bake in the oven for approximately 60 minutes. Cooking times can vary depending on your oven, you want to take the banana bread out when a knife inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
9. Let cool completely before slicing. This will allow for the moisture to spread evenly in the bread. I also like to put mine for an hour in the refrigerator so it hardens a little and is easier to slice.
Shared on Marvelous Mondays, Healthy Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Fresh Foods Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Let’s Get Real, Get Him Fed, Gluten-Free Fridays, Fight Back Fridays