I read something recently about the relationships between mothers and children, about how children know deeply who their mothers are because they are the only ones who know what their hearts sound like on the inside.
Isn’t that just the loveliest thing?
You know what else is lovely? Chocolate coconut banana bread.
This recipe has been living in my brain for some years, and on one of my recent brown banana rescue operations* I finally got around to trying it out. I actually made this loaf not once but thrice, because I wasn’t satisfied with the recipe the first time around. It was good, but overwhelmingly chocolately, if you can even believe that such a thing is possible. I mean, it wasn’t bad by any stretch, but I wanted to be able to taste all of the elements, not just the chocolate. The second time, with a few tweaks, it turned out AH-mazing, and the third time was a charm just because I had to make sure the recipe was perfect. And also because potentially I have a problem.
People, this loaf is good. Like, get-this-out-of-my-house good. You know what I mean?
There is all kinds of great stuff up in here. Whole wheat pastry flour, coconut oil, and two kinds of chocolate play nice with the bananas to make one heck of a loaf. And that crunchy, golden coconut crown? Come to momma. This banana loaf knows what my heart sounds like on the inside.
*Also included in the brown banana rescue operation was this granola, this pudding (hello, lover), this smoothie (turned smoothie bowl and topped with the aforementioned granola), and these muffins. That just about cleared the old brown bananas out of the freezer so I could get the new ones in and thereby avoid a marital dispute over the massive pile of brown bananas on the counter, aka the banana ‘situation’.
Coco Cocoa Banana Bread Recipe:
You’ll want very ripe bananas for this recipe, the browner the better. I like to let my bananas go practically black before I bake with them, and if they reach that stage without a destiny I just toss the in the freezer; they come out even sweeter.
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (a little over 1 cup mashed)
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup light brown muscovado sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
150g 70% or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp coconut flakes
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 325°F / 180°C. Generously butter a 9 x 4 loaf tin.
In a large bowl, combine mashed banana, melted coconut oil, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. In a smaller bowl, sift together baking soda, salt, flour, flour, and cocoa powder. Add the dry mix to the wet, and stir together to just combine. Fold the chopped chocolate through the mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking tin.
In a small bowl combine coconut flakes and brown sugar. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter, and then place the tin in the oven to bake.
Bake for 55-65 minutes. The loaf should be puffed and golden on top, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted should come out clean – however, if you hit a chunk of melted chocolate that might fool you. Check a few spots to be safe. Let the loaf cool in the tin for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack. Enjoy warm, or at room temperature.
Just a little reality check, and I almost hate to do this, but let’s acknowledge that all that good stuff still adds up to a legitimate treat. Have your banana loaf, and enjoy the heck out of it, but know that this is a moderation situation.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014