Banana bread has to be one of the most popular and well-loved snacks around. I have shared a few recipes on this site for various types of banana bread but I have to say, this one may be my fave yet. Who wouldn't love rich chocolate and banana batter swirled together into one incredible loaf?
Though this loaf doesn't rise as high as the other banana breads I have made in the past, I was amazed at its fine crumb and velvety texture. This baby is far from dense or dry. It is heavenly sliced up plain or smeared with some cream cheese. Personally I love mine with butter while it is still warm from the oven.
2 things about this recipe you should be aware of: 1. SIFT your dry ingredients. Do not skip this step. You want velvety then you must sift. 2. Use high quality cocoa powder. The cocoa powder is the only form of chocolate in this recipe so don't go cheap.
This bread is made in a large loaf pan and is ready in about 50-55 minutes. The batter, divided into light and dark, is swirled together right before baking. Though I did find the prep time a bit longer and more complex than your standard banana bread recipe, the pay off is big. I swear to you, make this once and you will never look back.
So if you are ready for some knock your socks off Chocolate Banana Marble Bread then let's get at it !
*adapted source recipe: Chocolate Banana Marble Bread, Sur La Table, The Art & Soul of Baking
WHAT YOU NEED
2 large very ripe bananas, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake and pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup unsifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
3 tablespoons (1½ ounces) boiling water, plus more if needed (I needed much more)
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
PREHEAT oven to 350F
GREASE a large loaf pan with cooking spray. I prefer an oil/flour baking spray
IN FOOD PROCESSOR, or by hand with a fork, puree the banana
Transfer pureed banana to a small bowl and whisk in milk and vanilla extract. Set aside
IN MEDIUM BOWL, sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside
IN SMALL BOWL, whisk together cocoa powder and boiling water to form a smooth, creamy paste. Set aside
IN BOWL OF STAND MIXER, fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on HIGH speed for 4-5 minutes, scraping down sides when needed
SLOWLY add eggs, 1 tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition
GENTLY MIX in flour mixture and milk mixture, alternating between the two (start with flour and end with flour)
DIVIDE batter in 1/2 placing one 1/2 in a medium bowl
ADD cocoa powder paste to 1/2 of batter and fold together with rubber spatula until thoroughly combined
DOLLOP alternating amounts of cocoa and banana batter in loaf pan so it resembles a checkerboard pattern
SWIRL batter together with a wooden spoon
BAKE for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
LET bread cool in pan 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack