Sunday, July 23, 2017

Banana Bread with Muscovado and Chocolate Chips

You know by now that I like banana bread. But I must have posted a dozen recipes already! I wanted to try something a bit different, so I made one with maple syrup, but I felt like I couldn’t taste it much. I mean, it was good banana bread, just somewhat plain. I then tried a recipe from Orangette that uses muscovado as a sweetener. Sadly, muscovado was *really* expensive at the store, so I did the same thing Molly Wizenberg did in her recipe: I used all the muscovado I had, which was about half of what was called for, then I used brown sugar and a tablespoon or two of molasses to make up the rest (I weighed it all to get the right amount). It was really good, and with chocolate chips, impossible to resist!

2 cups (250 g.) all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 generous pinch of kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. (235 g.) muscovado sugar
14 oz. (400 g.) ripe bananas (peeled weight), or about 3 medium bananas
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 ½ oz. (100 g.) dark chocolate, chopped to the size of fine gravel (I used chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease a standard-size loaf pan (approximately 9 ½ x 5 inches) and line it with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Whisk to blend.

In another bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. They should still be lumpy, not fully pureed. Stir in the vanilla.

In yet another bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter briefly, just to get it going, and then add the sugar. Continue beating until the mixture is light, fluffy, and the color of coffee with milk. Add the beaten eggs, and continue to beat. (If the mixture looks like it’s curdling at any point, add a spoonful of the flour mixture.) Add the chocolate and the mashed bananas, and beat to mix. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture. Beat to incorporate.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out moist but clean. If there is any sign of wet batter, continue baking for a few more minutes, tenting the top with foil if it’s browning too much.

Cool the finished loaf in the pan for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides with a thin knife, then carefully lift out the loaf with the parchment liner. Cool completely before slicing.

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