I’ve been feeling a little bit like I’m in a cooking rut. First, I Brian moved out—a huge source of my inspiration (Love you, Bri!). Then, I was without a refrigerator for about a month. Then for about a month I had no pots or pans. With my busy schedule I was practically living on granola bars and sandwiches.
Now, I have all the things I need! But I needed a little inspiration back. When I saw a couple of black bananas in my fruit bowl, I decided to go back to my roots. Baking.
Before I came to culinary school I thought I wanted to be a baker. I spent several months teaching myself to bake before my dad suggested the idea of switching to a culinary degree. I was an awesome baker though! I would bake all day back home.
I feel like part of my talent may have come from my grandmother—Mamaw. She was a champion baker. She died from cancer when I was young, but to this day we still have her white KitchenAid mixer.
Last week I decided to get a KitchenAid of my own. I was browsing them, deciding on features and colors before I realized that I wanted hers. A white, standard KitchenAid mixer. Today I felt my Mamaw baking with me in my kitchen. Everything went perfectly as planned. Her spirit gave me the inspiration I asked for. Miss you Mamaw! Love you. Think about you every day! Keep your spirit with me always.
Spiced Dark Chocolate Banana Bread (yield: 3 baby loaf pans or 1 loaf pan)
- 1 3/4c all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 c granulated sugar
- 1/2t salt
- 1t ground cinnamon
- 1/4t ground clove
- 1/4t ground nutmeg
- 1t baking powder
- 1/4c chopped walnuts
- 1/4c chopped dark chocolate
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/3c buttermilk
- 1/2c vegetable oil
- 1/2c brown sugar
- 1t vanilla extract
- 1c mashed overripe bananas
- Preheat your oven to 325F. Fifteen minutes into baking I turned mine down to 300F (my oven is sensitive so pay attention to yours, too!)
- Sift together the dries (notice I put the brown sugar in the ‘wets’ because you can’t sift it so just add it with the wets!). Some ingredients (like the kosher salt) may not go through so just add it!
- In your KitchenAid (or by hand), beat the eggs. Do this first because you never know when egg shell bits will fall in. Then add the other wet ingredients, including the brown sugar but NOT the mashed banana (make sure to shake the buttermilk carton first before measuring).
- Chop the walnuts and chocolate if you didn’t buy chopped. I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate. What a heavenly chocolate it is. I recommend it highly! Also I didn’t use the full 1/4c. I added until I saw fit and then ate the rest.
- Mash your bananas before you measure them. Measure 1c then add to the batter. Mix well.
- Please! DOUBLE CHECK that you included every ingredient. Also—taste the batter! Sometimes you can tell when something is wrong, but it’s also good to see if you like it. I nommed on batter until the bowl was clean. It was just TOO good.
- Spray your pans! Nothing is worse than a stuck baked good. So disappointing!
- Mine baked for about 45mins, but like I said before it all depends on your oven! A helpful tip—rotate the pan/pans for even cooking. Towards the end check FREQUENTLY so you don’t burn it.The bread is ready when a toothpick comes out clean. Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 15mins, remove from the pan, then cool completely.
- This bread is great with a little spread of butter. Mmm.
- Eat entire loaf. No sharing. :D
I hope you enjoy!