Last week I was invited to a fondue party. It was all of my favorite things in one room: friends, melted chocolate, and an immense smorgasbord of bite-sized dippable goodies. What a world we live in, that communal chocolate-dipping is a socially accepted–even celebrated–ritual!
For the fondue party, we were all asked to bring some sort of dipper. I wanted to bring something besides fruit or pound cake, as those are classics I was sure someone else would gladly cover. I debated between homemade marshmallows (good), gourmet rice crispy treats (gooder), until I settled on the most genius idea I have ever had in my life:
I am here to tell you that the combination of moist, fragrant, spiced banana bread and melted chocolate is pure bliss. But you don’t have to go to the trouble of whipping up a batch of chocolate fondue to recreate the experience. Adding chocolate chips to your banana bread is almost as good, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to transport in lunches and things.
I don’t want to be immodest, but this was truly one of the better things I’ve baked so far this year. As soon as I tasted it, I wondered why I wasn’t baking banana bread on a weekly basis–it’s that good. Moist, flavorful, with a hint of cinnamon and–let’s be honest–way more than a hint of chocolate, I couldn’t stop nibbling and picking at it.
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup oil (I used half vegetable, half coconut--you can use all veg)
- 3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (about 5-6 large)
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1-2 cups mix-ins like toasted nuts, chocolate chips, etc (optional)
- Spray 2 9x5 loaf pans well with nonstick spray, dust lightly with flour, tap out any excess flour. Preheat oven to 350.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl, set aside.
- Beat together eggs and sugars in bowl of electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, mixing, then mix in bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and any mix-ins thoroughly.
- Divide batter between loaf pans, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 1 to 1¼ hours.
- Cool loaves in pans on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaves right side up and cool completely.