Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Chocolate Banana Bread

On Monday nights, I often watch a TV show that fills me with shock and horror but compels me to keep watching (not you, Khloe Kardashian), it is called Hoarders. Compulsive hoarding is a serious issue for some people and this show is as real as it gets.

It so happens that my own tendencies lean to the opposite of hoarding; I tend to throw out stuff ruthlessly and don't really have a sentimental attachment to anything. V always jokes that one of these days I'm going to decide that he and the dog are just cluttering up the place and donate them both to the nearest thrift store! But this show is making me even less tolerant of "stuff" than I ever was. If you need an incentive to clean out your own clutter, you must watch Hoarders.

After this Monday's episode, the ripe bananas I had been saving in the freezer HAD TO GO. Predictably enough, I made banana bread from a recipe I've used once before, so it is not new to me, but I haven't posted it before, so I'll include it in my 40 recipes project anyway.

Recipe #30 is Chocolate Banana Bread adapted from this recipe.

I made only some minor changes:
1. I reduced the amount of sugar to ¼ cup because the overripe bananas are sweet enough.
2. I used some almond flour and whole wheat pastry flour to replace some of the all-purpose flour.
3. I used walnuts in place of pecans.

This bread is wonderful- chocolatey without being overwhelmingly so, and it makes for a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

See you tomorrow!


  1. I,m truly enjoying your 30 day cooking sprint. Very inspiring - actually makes me want to go home and cook. I have started my own week long koshimbir sprint :-)..yesterdat it was kandyachya pateechi koshimbir and today it's going to be gajar koshimbir.
    Thanks for blogging :-)


  2. Great yummy recipe! Cannot wait to try it. About hoarding--totally hear you. We live in a tiny NYC we value our living space very much. What is not needed, has to GO! But I must admit, I hoard yarn. But I think I am getting better in destashing.

  3. Your post made me laugh and brought back a childhood memory - my dad is like you, always wanting throw away stuff "ruthlessly" and my mom (who grew up ultra-poor in a large family), of course just the opposite - saving everything for possible "future" use. The crammed closets of "stuff" would just drive my dad absolutely nuts and every so often, he would lose it and start giving things away. Us kids loved watching it, because my father would be "ruthlessly" making piles of ancient stuff to give away and my mom would be standing and lamenting nearby. Finally when my dad was done, my mom standing helpless by could take it no longer and would place herself in the middle of the give-away pile and dramatically stretch her arms out and repeatedly say in all seriousness - "go ahead, now give me away too!!" (was even funnier in Konkani!) The whole scene was so ridiculous that after a few minutes, all of us kids would bust up laughing. Mom and dad couldn't help but eventually join in and everyone would make a trip to salvation army in much better spirits. Anyway, thanks for a good laugh and for the yummy chocolate banana bread - have to try your recipe. Love your blog Nupur!!!

  4. I am horrified by that show! Like you I throw things away. Almost too quickly...sometimes I end up wondering "I thought I had such and such..." only to remember it was in last months garbage.
    Bananas and chocolate, what a perfect combination!

  5. Mmmmm I love banana bread, such a comfort food, but never thought of making it with chocolate. Will definitely try this weekend. With a forecast of freezing temps with snow, this ought to warm things up!

  6. Your post made me remember my frozen banana stash, I definitely have to make this recipe ASAP. Thanks Nupur.

  7. I could be a hoarder I guess... I bring so much from each trip home because I don't know when my next trip will be! But I use up a lot of what I buy too :)

    I love this chocolate banana bread. I made muffins once:

  8. Chocolate+walnuts+banana=bliss! This is the perfect bread to go with a hot cuppa' tea or coffee! And so far the best use for over-ripe bananas i can think of ;). I actually ripen bananas so that i get to enjoy this bread.

    As for sentimental attachment to "stuff", that can get very touchy for me sometimes ;). But yeah, i do end up nudging myself into getting rid of the clutter quite often-takes time, but works :).

  9. Rupa- A koshimbir sprint is a wonderful idea! Now that's something I should do myself instead of sitting around making desserts :)

    Rima- Yes, the yarn (and knitting paraphernalia) hogs so much space :D My yarn is confined to two rubbermaid bins, and I try very hard to keep each one only half full.

    Priya- I so enjoyed hearing about your parents story! Whenever spouses are on opposite site of the spectrum, it makes for interesting situations :) What I really love is that the argument dissolved in laughter and all's well that's ends well. Thanks for sharing!!

    Kelsey- LOL I know what you mean, but truly, the people who keep everything can never find things when they need them so we're better off ;)

    Namita- We got our first freeze this week too, and just the aroma of baking banana bread warmed me right up!

    Pavani- So you have the secret frozen banana stash too :D ?

    Raaga- No trust me, buying things to use them is not at all hoarding!

    musical- I never have to ripen bananas, they seem to get overripe sitting on my warm kitchen counter! This bread is a perfect way to dispatch them.

    Nithya- Thanks!

  10. I too a hoarder and when I went on a very short trip to US I almost filled one of my suitcases with different candies and abking supplies which I can't get in India ;) Thats a lovely loaf Nupur! When substituting AP flour with nut powder try adding oats flour (I grind rolled oats in mixie) for say 1/4 for a cup. It gives nice flavor and texture.

  11. How did you prepare the bananas for this? The recipe states to mash them but yours were frozen to begin with.

    I'm curious because my frozen stash of bananas is always reserved for making banana-blueberry lassis, and I never thought about using them for banana bread!

    An Indian cook in NY

  12. Nice n tempting bread...will try it sometime.

  13. Nirmala- Stocking up on baking supplies is perfectly understandable and not even close to hoarding!

    An Indian cook in NY- I thawed out the bananas on the counter, then mashed them.

    Deepti- Thanks.

  14. Nupur, I made this bread yesterday and although it tasted great and the texture was perfect, we thought the chocolate masked the banana flavor. It might as well could have been a chocolate-walnut loaf. You think it was because my bananas were not ripe enough? How was your loaf as far as balancing the chocolate-banana flavors was concerned?

    I did not have Dutch-processed cocoa powder so I used Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder. Do you think reduced the quantity of cocoa without changing anything else will work? Or should I just used riper bananas the next time? Or both?

  15. Priya- I thought the banana flavor came thro' in mine. You could try to ripen the bananas until they are almost covered in dark spots. You could reduce the cocoa powder and not add any chocolate chips.

  16. Thanks for your response, Nupur. I will try riper bananas the next time. If I chose to eliminate the cocoa totally and only add chocolate chips, would that change anything else? Like the quantity of baking powder or baking soda? I am not a very experienced baker, so I'm always nervous when tweaking baking recipes :(

  17. Priya- In many baking recipes, cocoa is used to replace flour (and simulaneously add a deep chocolate flavor). So if you eliminate cocoa, you could add an equivalent amount of flour back. Other than that, no changes would need to be made.
    Don't be nervous- baking recipes are much more flexible than you might think!

  18. Thanks Nupur, for the info and encouragement. I'll let you know how it turns out when I make it next -- hopefully soon... the festivities permit a lot of indulgence :)

    Since you are answering my questions patiently, let me take some more (undue)advantage of that ;) There is a certain someone in the house who likes everything "a tad sweeter". If I slightly increase the quantity of sugar in any cake, by say, 1/4 cup... what else would need to change? Sorry if I'm being a pain in the neck! :(

  19. And Priya, (Nupur: sorry to answer a question meant for you) I have a great tip from Abigail Johnson Dodge (author of The Weekend Baker). It has worked very well for me. She says when bananas turn really black and all you want to do is to throw them in the bin, that's when you make banana muffins and banana loaves. I let them go completely black and then the flavour comes through, even if you've added cocoa.

  20. That Show makes people forget that there are serious problems underlying the hoarding. The stuff is just the symptom, what lies beneath is often very sad....

  21. I am one of life's hoarders - in fact I joke to my partner that I wont leave him because I don't like getting rid of anything


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