Last night I decided to start baking around 11:45pm. I had been reading Baking: From My Home to Yours which was one of my birthday presents last week. Do you read cookbooks? I don’t read them cover-to-cover (usually) but I do enjoy meandering my way through a good cookbook (One of my favorite reads: The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper— it is well written and has some really wonderful recipes).
So… at quarter to midnight I decided to start baking Cocoa-nana bread from page 46. I did not, however, read the entire recipe before I started. If I had, I might have waited until today because the bread needed about 75 minutes to bake so I did not get to bed until almost 2am. But when I had a nice thick slice for breakfast this morning, it was completely worth it.
I had my slice with a little Greek-style yogurt and a cup of coffee (Isn’t that a cute mug? I found it at Target yesterday and tried to resist… ). But the real treat came this afternoon when I had a slice with raspberry jam. This bread is definitely chocolatey but not too sweet, and you get just a hint of the bananas. And with raspberry jam… perfection.
(Note: I didn’t have enough unsweetened cocoa so I substituted a good hot cocoa mix and reduced the sugar, being after midnight and all I didn’t feel like running out for more cocoa…)
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan, Baking from My Home to Yours
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used about 1/3 cup unsweetened + 2/3 cup sweetened cocoa)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar (I reduced this to about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup good chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli bittersweet chips)
1. Place an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and place on an insulated baking sheet. This will keep the bottom of the loaf from overcooking.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
3. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until softened (about 1 minute). Add in the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition. The batter may look curdled, but that’s ok.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas.
5. Now add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and barely mix until they are just mixed in. While on low speed, add in the buttermilk and mix until incorporated.
6. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, then cover the bread loosely with foil tented over it.
(This is where, had I read it completely before starting, I would have chosen to bake this today instead of late last night…but by the time I read this far, I was committed…)
8. Now… bake for an additional 40-45 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to remove from the pan, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Enjoy this bread, but my recommendation is to start it a little earlier than midnight :)