Monday, January 5, 2015

choco-oat-nut roasted banana bread.

I realize that I have already blogged about banana bread twice before (here and here) and perhaps it's redundant to discuss it again because really, how many banana bread recipes does one need?  

But if I can, I would like to make a case for one more because this one really is excellent.  (I may go as far as to declare it my new favorite but shhh, don't tell the others.)  

This banana bread is the definition of banana bread as it is stuffed with 5 (yes FIVE) bananas and those bananas don't need to be well past the peek of ripeness.  They simply need to be yellow as they get roasted in oven where they turn to sweet, jammy, banana mush.  They get blended with brown sugar and maple syrup and a bit of olive oil and then folded with oats, flour, spices, and CHOCOLATE AND NUTS (!!) to produce one hell of a bread.   It's flavorful and hefty and it works at breakfast just as well as it does at snack time.   I have plans to make it again this week and there is no shame in that.    

Choco-Oat-Nut Roasted Banana Bread
Recipe from Seven Spoons 

I loved everything (and I mean everything) about this recipe except for the pan size.  Who owns a 14 x 4.5 inch pan?  When you live in a tiny apartment you don't have the luxury of such things.  But fret not, there are plenty of options.  I baked mine in a traditional 9 x 5 loaf pan and put the excess in one of the mini loaf pans Tyler found me (which is about 4 3/4 x 2 3/4).  I realize not everyone may own a mini loaf pan (so maybe I shouldn't be complainning about her pan size...) so you could also bake it in 2 9 x 5's and have them be flatter loaves OR bake the excess in a muffin tin.  If you use a muffin tin start checking for doneness at the 20 minute mark. Don't you love options?  

Makes 1 (or 2) loaf (loaves).  See note above.

For The Bread

Butter for greasing the pan
4 bananas, ripe but firm
1/2 cup (65 g) walnut pieces
1/2 cup (105 g) dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (125 ml) pure maple syrup
1/3 cup (80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (95 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (105 g) whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup (50 g) rolled oats
3 to 4 tablespoons mixed seeds (optional but I like pepitas if you choose to add it)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon medium-grained kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup (120 ml) sour cream or thick, plain yogurt (not nonfat)
4 ounces (115 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

For the Topping

1 tablespoon rolled oats
2 tablespoons mixed seeds
1 tablespoon flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 banana, ripe but firm

Preheat an oven to 350°/175°C with a rack in the lower third. Grease a 14-by-4.5-inch loaf pan with butter. Line with parchment paper, with long sides overhanging. Butter the parchment. Alternatively, butter and flour a standard tube pan, knocking out excess.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the 4 bananas, whole and unpeeled, on top. Bake until the skin is deeply roasted on both sides, but not split, 20 to 30 minutes. Flip once during baking, and add the walnut to the tray for the last 10 minutes of roasting. Remove the bananas to a bowl to collect their juices. Chop the walnuts and set aside.

Once the bananas have cooled a little, remove the peels and leave the fruit in the bowl. Mash to a pulp with the brown sugar. Beat in the maple syrup, olive oil, followed by the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in the vanilla. Sprinkle the flours, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger on top of the wet ingredients. Fold to almost combine, then spoon in the sour cream. Give a few more turns, then gently incorporate the chocolate and walnuts. Scape the batter into the prepared pan. 

In a small bowl, stir together the oats, seeds, flour, cinnamon, and olive oil until it clumps. Honestly, I do this with my fingers, and scrunch it together. Peel and slice the banana into thirds lengthwise. Scatter the streusel over the batter, then arrange the banana on top. Bake in the preheated oven until the bread is golden and puffed, and a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean of batter (chocolate doesn't count), 60 to 70 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes, then use the parchment to lift the loaf onto the rack to cool completely. 

Makes 1 (or 2) loaf (loaves).

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