It is now less than a month until Christmas! And, just over a month until I go to America. I'm pretty excited about it all - and like I've said before, if anyone has any suggestions on where to go in Boston/MA and NY and the east coast, please let me know!
As for Christmas, I think I can now officially start singing carols without people getting annoyed. I absolutely love this time of year - it's summer, it's hot, you can swim all day, it's uni/school holiday time, it is my birthday, my Mum's birthday, one of my best friend's birthday, my cousins birthday and there are several large family parties going on. A hot Christmas is what it is all about. I've only ever had one cold/snowy Christmas, when I was in Italy. Granted it was one of the best Christmas's ever; we went ice skating in the town square, had a seafood lunch, got to play in the snow, and do all those things I've only ever seen in the movies. So this year, while Christmas itself will be hot as usual, I'm hoping for snow in America so I get a cold New Years.
Now, enough about Christmas for now.
I love this bread. It is so incredibly moist (as awful as that word is) with soft chunks of fresh banana and a delicious chocolate kick. There is a definite banana flavour to this bread, but I would not go as far as to say it is exactly like banana bread. You could probably eat this bread at any time of the day – its light enough for breakfast. The chocolate is not heavy or thick and the bread itself is more cake-like then bread like.
Level of Difficulty: Relatively easy
Level of Difficulty: Relatively easy
Average Cost: Not expensive at all
Main Ingredients: banana, cacao powder and raw honey
Occasion: Any damn time – even breakfast
Menu Options: Remember, raw cacao powder and raw honey have a much stronger taste than regular cocoa powder and honey, so you may have to alter measurements if you don’t have these ingredients. I do not believe Greek yoghurt is necessary, but I am not sure if the batter will be as thick or fluffy if you use normal yoghurt. You could always add a variety of nuts and dried fruit to this, swirl through peanut butter, nutella or melted chocolate, or glaze the top of the bread with cream cheese frosting. However, in an effort to keep this healthy, I’ve stuck with the basics.
Inspired by: Full Measure of Happiness and PB & Peppers. Just so you know what I mean when I say this – I decided I wanted to make a healthy chocolate and banana bread, so I went about researching ingredient substitutes and looking at some recipes online. These two recipes were my favourite and so by looking at these two recipes and ingredient substitutions and from my own knowledge of baking (which is limited) I came up with my recipe. In no way is my recipe barely adapted or just altered from these two amazing recipes, it is entirely its own. However if you are looking for two other great recipes, these would be my suggestions.
Makes 12 slices – nutritional values are for one slice.
Please read the note at the end of this recipe.
What you need:
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 large bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup raw honey
170 g Greek yoghurt (1 tub of plain Chobani was what I used)
½ cup dark chocolate chips (or your choice of chips)
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a bread pan well (I use oil spray and make sure the pan is liberally covered in it)
In a medium sized bowl combine the dry ingredients (the first six). Stir well.
In a large bowl, beat together the bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey and yoghurt. Use a stand or handheld mixer. Make sure you mix these ingredients together well, though if little chunks of banana remain that is fine.
Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet, using the mixer to mix together the ingredients. Be very careful not to overmix here – make sure a few little specks of flour remain in the batter.
Add the chocolate chips and stir in with a wooden spoon. This is when the last of the flour should disappear.
Pour the batter into a regular bread pan and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the batter comes out clean. ***
As the bread is soft, allow to cool for a little bit before slicing. I would allow to cool completely, because if the bread is too hot when you cut it, it will fall apart.
* This is a great trick = Cover the bread with foil for the first 30 minutes of baking. This will prevent the bread from browning too quickly, as is what happens when honey is used instead of sugar in baking. Then remove the foil for the final 15 minutes of baking and keep an eye on the bread to make sure it does not burn. If you do not do this, your baking time will vary and I am not sure how long it will take.
Bread will last for three-five days. After that, I’d be wary – it goes very soft.