Lightning before the forecast blizzard/rain woke me Tuesday night. While the show went on outside and I tried to decide if all the noise was from wind or the wall-mounted heater, this bread idea suddenly popped into my head. Since there is a good chance of being stuck at home for a couple of days, luckily everything to make it is already here. Having spent so many years out here, and so many long winters, I’ve gotten good at keeping pantry, freezer, and fridge well stocked. Even though my husband and kids look in the fridge and think there’s nothing to eat, we’d be fine for a very long time. Meal plans might strain my creativity and they might complain about the lack of variety but nobody would starve.
My mother-in-law’s banana bread recipe was the standard here for over 30 years, but lately I’ve been making a different recipe with sour cream. I’ve tried chocolate chips in banana bread but even though I like the flavor, the chips themselves seem out of place. While the lightning flashed I thought about adding cocoa powder to some of the batter and making a swirl. After mixing everything together except for the cocoa powder, set aside 1/2 cup of batter. Divide the remaining batter into three portions. Stir the cocoa powder into the reserved 1/2 cup of batter and divide that into three portions. Line mini bread pans with parchment, spray the exposed ends with cooking spray, then fill each pan with 1/3 of the banana batter. Using 1/3 of the chocolate batter for each pan, spoon dollops onto the banana batter already in the pan. Use a chopstick or knife to swirl the two batters together.
I didn’t put nuts in this batch but next time I’ll toss in about a cup of toasted walnut pieces. In the meantime a spread of chunky peanut butter will do the trick.
– Joan, 12 April 2019
Banana bread with chocolate swirl
- 1 cup (192 grams) sugar
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) canola oil, or coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas, cut into pieces (should yield about 1 cup when mashed)
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (NOT dutched cocoa powder)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Beat the banana pieces in a stand mixer until liquefied. Add sugar, melted butter, oil or melted coconut oil, sour cream, and vanilla, mixing until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt and mix in. When dry ingredients are incorporated, remove about 1/2 cup of batter. Stir the cocoa powder into this and set aside.
Divide the remaining batter into 3 portions. Line 3 mini pans with parchment, making sure to grease the ends of the pans where the parchment doesn’t cover. Scrape one portion into each of the 3 pans.
Divide the chocolate batter into 3 portions. Spoon dollops over the batter already in the pans. Use a chopstick or knife to swirl the chocolate batter into the banana batter.
Bake at 350°F for 45-60 minutes. Use a sharp knife after 45 minutes to check the loaves. When inserted into the center of the loaf the knife will come out clean if they are baked. Check again after another 5-10 minutes if they are not done. When baked through, remove from pans and peel off the parchment. Let the loaves rest on one side for 15 minutes, then flip to other side. Cool completely before storing or freezing.