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Monday, August 31, 2009

Bill & Houston's (Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coconut) Banana Bread

Gigi, a friend in Oz, was asking about banana bread recipes, over on Facebook.

It's the end of winter in Oz, and it's the end of summer, here in the UK. So, it may be a perfect time for Gigi to make one last winter warmer, it's definitely a perfect time for me to dust off my comfort-food recipes.

This recipe is originally from one of Bill Granger's books. (I think it's this one.) As good as Bill's banana bread was, though, I though it was missing a little oomph. So, I played around with a few warm flavours, modified it significantly, and this bread is now one of my favourite winter recipes.

It is *not* low-cal, and it is not for those who are banana purists.

And for those of you who need clear delineation between what can be called breakfast and what can be called dessert, this bread is *not* for you.

Bill & Houston’s Chocolate Banana Bread
Original by Bill Granger, modified by Houston Spencer

  • 275 g (roughly 2 ¼ cups) plain, all-purpose flour. (For a full-on flavour explosion, I substitute about one third of the flour with dried, grated coconut.)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 125 g (4 ½ oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 250 g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 4 over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 250 g (1 ½ cups) good-quality dark or milk chocolate chips. (...but, go on, use the dark!)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F / Gas 4).

Mix the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Mix the butter, sugar, banana, eggs, vanilla extract and chocolate chips in a separate bowl.

Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Do not over mix. A looser mixture is best.

Pour the batter into a non-stick, or lightly greased and floured, 19 x 11 cm
(71/2 x 41/2 inch) loaf tin and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until the 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. Serve in thick slices.

Makes 8 to 10 slices.

Baking times for this bread vary a lot for different ovens.

Also, as with many breads like this, the relative moistness is a matter of personal taste. More flour can create a firmer, slightly drier bread with shorter cooking times.


Comments on "Bill & Houston's (Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coconut) Banana Bread"


Blogger Almost American said ... (10:08 PM) : 

Ooh - that sounds yummy! I'd never thought to add coconut or cinnammon. The one I made this weekend had blueberries and lemon zest in it. The recipe I use calls for 2 cups of flour and I usually use 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of wholewheat flour and 1/2 cup of ground almond meal. I also use half white sugar, half brown.

We prefer the dark chocolate chips too!


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