There’s nothing I love more than finding new ways to re-invent the classics. I’ve been making this banana loaf for nearly five years and I’ve found endless ways to tinker with the original recipe. From coconut to chunks of dark chocolate to cinnamon glaze, I can’t help but be mad for banana bread and all the ways in which you can use CHOCOLATE to make it sing.
Since I love almond extract (it’s pungent and astringent all at once) and feel it’s a perfect complement to the creamy bananas, I paired the two, yielding a decidedly more fragrant loaf. I’m in the office now and I invited one of my colleagues to “test taste” the goods. He remarked that he loved the cacophony of flavor (my phrase; he said, “lots of different flavors that work well together”) and felt the almond extract was pretty pronounced, but he didn’t he care for he LOVES almonds. So if you want to go easy, I’d say use a 1/2 tbsp of extract and you’ll have a more subtle loaf.
Since I swapped almond milk for buttermilk and reduced the flour intake, the loaf cooks rather quickly, which shocked me. Typically banana bread takes an hour to make as you have so much liquid (including the bananas) in the recipe. The chocolate, nutella, almond milk allowed the loaf to come together pretty quickly, so you’ll get this puppy going in 45 minutes, flat.
So if you’re looking to wow the crowd with not a lot of effort (this loaf is a CINCH to make), I suggest stockpiling on chocolate and crank up the oven!
2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup safflower oil
1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1 tbsp pure almond extract
1 1/2 cups ripe mashed banana (about 3 medium)
2 tbsp nutella
1/2 cups almond milk
Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9×5 inch loaf pans with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil on medium-low speed until combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Add the almond oil, banana, almond milk and nutella, and beat just to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and let cool completely. Bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.