Friday, August 1, 2008

Bananas about Chocolate Banana Bread

If you were that way inclined, you could tile most of Sydney with the slabs of banana bread that appear on almost every cafe counter. Too often they are bland, soggy and old; saved only by toasting and slathering on the butter. This banana bread, from Sydney's unofficial cafe king, Bill Granger is better. Much, much better. The slices do not need buttering (but go ahead if you are that way inclined), and the loaf stays fresh and moist for at least 3 or 4 days. Or, I imagine it would if only it lasted that long in our house. The recipe comes from "Bill's Food" by Bill Granger, a great cookbook, beautifully laid out and photographed. And I think this bread is a great way to use up bananas that are starting to look a little old, as well as any odd bits of chocolate floating around the house.

Choc Banana Bread
adapted from Bill's Food by Bill Granger

250g (2 cups) plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
125g softened butter, unsalted
250g (1 cup) caster sugar (superfine)
4 ripe bananas mashed
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g (1 cup) good quality milk or dark chocolate chips (I chop up whatever is around)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Mix the butter, sugar, banana, eggs, vanilla extract and choc chips in another bowl. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine being careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter into a non-stick, or lightly greased and floured 19cm x 11 cm loaf tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until bread is cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve.

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