Once upon a time, banana bread was my standard baking fare. In Australia, banana bread was exactly what I wanted every time I had been surfing; that sweet, fluffy, delicious square of treat with a coffee was just perfect to soothe a battered body.
Then, somewhere along the line, I got banana-breaded-out. I had too much. Away from Aus, it seemed just plain wrong. Despite a few attempts at coconut banana bread, the passion for it slipped away as my surfing muscles also faded. It was a sad day.
This weekend, I returned to my banana bread ways. Inspired by a marble cake I saw on Pinterest (don’t judge me), I realised that I just needed a boost; a new way to enjoy that banana awesomeness. And isn’t making something pretty with chocolate the best way to give anything a whole new make over?
The blending of chocolate, banana and vanilla in this recipe is every little kid’s (and every big kid’s) dream. It’s the perfect pick-me-up when you’re having a bad day. Warm, and smothered with vegan butter, it will melt anyone’s heart.
This recipe is for a mini banana bread, as I have a little mini loaf pan that I love using, but you can easily double the recipe to make a full-sized banana bread; just be sure to leave it in the oven a little longer, checking regularly to see if it is cooked through.
1 cup wholewheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup water + 2 tablespoons reserve
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 F) and grease a mini loaf pan or line it with baking paper
Sift together the wholewheat flour and sugar, then stir in the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt
In a smaller bowl, stir together the coconut oil, 1/4 cup water, vanilla essence and mashed banana
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined
Scoop out half of the mixture into another bowl
Sift the cocoa into one bowl and add the reserve water, mixing until just combined and even
Alternate pouring the chocolate and non-chocolate mixtures into the loaf pan, then drag a knife through to create patterns
Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
I love to enjoy a slice of this topped with vegan cream, or simply on its own with something hot and delicious; tea, coffee, hot chocolate, whatever you love. It’s a great little loaf for afternoon tea with friends, and of course, if you’re a surfer, there’s nothing better for an apres-surf snack!