So I guess I’m breaking my self-made tradition of posting pastries made with liquor on the first week of a new year, just because somebody drank all the booze I was supposed to bake with and I just wasn’t in the mood to go out and buy more. So instead I thought I’d write about something I haven’t in a while: Banana Bread. In particular, a Double Chocolate Banana Bread.
Because that’s how you’re supposed to start your year– with a bang!
If a Banana Bread could reinvent itself to be more swanky, this would be one of those ways. Apart from a good amount of chocolate spread (or Nutella if you like) swirled into a delicious banana base, you’ve got bits of cacao nibs inside that give this bread a nice earthy crunch.
Cacao nibs, in case you haven’t heard about them before, are basically cacao beans that have been roasted and broken into small pieces after having their husks removed. They’re basically a pure unsweetened version of chocolate chips with a deep nutty taste. And just like with chocolate chips, you can snack on cacao nibs right from the bag.
Although I reckon those who like milk chocolates will find these lacking for their tastebuds. Dark chocolate lovers like myself may appreciate them more au naturel, but everybody will love cacao nibs in the form of a Double Chocolate Banana Bread. I promise you!
Here in the Philippines, I feel like cacao nibs aren’t that well-known, but thankfully they are quite accessible thanks to local brand Malagos Chocolate. This post is NOT SPONSORED by them, but when I like a product I patronize them. You know that. And for no other reason than me being a huge fan of Malagos Chocolates, you’ll probably be hearing about them quite often on this blog, if you haven’t already.
Another thing you’ll hear a lot about, Philippine fruits. The Philippines produces some of the best mangoes and bananas in the world, so while I know I’ve already written about a fair amount of banana breads on the blog, I can’t stop. Actually, I won’t stop. Especially because Philippine bananas make awesome banana breads. 🍌
Just look at those pieces of cacao nibs playing nicely with the chocolate swirl and the specks of bananas!
Despite the add-on’s, this recipe comes together like any banana bread, except you put some chocolate in layers between the batter and swirl them to make these marbled layers. My marbling skills are horrible, I confess, but my Double Chocolate Banana Breads came out well anyway. Because it’s nearly impossible to mess banana bread up.
Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup whole milk plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup cacao nibs*
- 1/2 cup favourite chocolate spread, divided**
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and place the baking rack in the middle. Grease a 9 x 5- inch loaf pan and set aside.
- 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, until combined.
- 3. In another large bowl, whisk the butter and sugar to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then whisk in the vanilla, bananas, and yogurt.
- 4. Switching to a spatula, add the flour mixture to the bowl and mix just until combined. Do not over-mix! A few streaks of flour is okay. Fold in the cocoa nibs.
- 5. Pour the first 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan, then top with 1/2 of the chocolate spread. Pour the remaining batter on top, then finish with the last half of the chocolate spread. Use a wooden skewer, chopstick, or a knife to randomly swirl the chocolate spread into the batter. You may top with sliced bananas, if desired.
- 6. Bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until the loaf is golden brown, pulls slightly away from the edges of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. (If you hit the chocolate spread and the toothpick comes out wet, try to test in another spot.) If the loaf browns too quickly on top, tent with foil. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Serve with coffee or milk!
- *I use the Malagos brand of cacao nibs. If you really don't want to use them I suppose you can just substitute with semisweet mini chocolate chips.
- **You're welcome to use Nutella if you like.