So last night I came home from a meeting and remembered I had to bake something before the New Moon was over. (Read about why, here.) I was feeling giddy about an exciting project in its early-manifestation stages and therefore wasn’t in the tidiest mood so I thought, I know, yeah, a blog post about how to bake, for messy people!
I know you’ve seen all those high-tech, gourmet food bloggers, I drool over their posts too. But I am not one of them. No one taught me how to bake, I just figure it out as I go along and this is one of the recipes that’s always been the most forgiving. I’ll include below what they told me to use, and what I actually used, adjust yours according to taste.
It’s always hard to eat all the bananas before they inevitably turn to mush. Next time that inevitably happens, don’t shed a tear, pop them in the freezer! I know the bananas look scary and black, but they taste SO good, trust me on this one, it’s worth the “ick” factor. Now you never need to be afraid to buy too many bananas. You’re welcome.
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Oh, how is it that you can’t mess this one up, you ask? Well you see, my terrible Spanish oven burned the living crap out of this loaf I made last night and all three of my roommates still wrote all over the refrigerator about how delicious it was – on the inside, because that’s where it counts, guys.
1 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Cinnamon [I used way more]
1/2 tsp Salt [A little more]
1 Cup + 2 tbsp Sugar [Half of it brown]
1/2 Cup Olive oil [Half coconut oil]
3 1/2 Mashed v. ripe bananas [Used 3]
2 tbsp Sour cream [Original recipe called for creme friache but I don’t know what that is. Greek yogurt works but I used flan, since I’m in Spain and that’s more common.]
1 tsp Vanilla [Twice that]
2/3 Cup Walnuts [Chocolate chunks]
1. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. If you can’t sift (which is actually really worth the extra dish to wash if you like fluffy baked goods) use a whisk or a fork even.
2. In your mixing bowl (if you’re a normal technologically advanced baker, unlike me) beat the sugar and eggs for ten minutes until they’re fluffy. If you’re stuck in the stone ages and you’ve got to do this by hand, don’t worry, totally worth it.
3. Drizzle in the oil and mix it up good.
4. Mush up the bananas with a fork first in another bowl. They’ll slide out of the skins really easily after they’ve been defrosted, don’t worry about touching them for long. I know, gross, but again, so worth it. Add the yogurt (or whatever) and vanilla.
5. Fold the banana mixture into the egg/sugar one. Then add the dry ingredients (remember, always add dry to wet for the best combination). Last, add the chocolate and or nuts.
6. Pour into a lined loaf pan, pop it in the oven at 350F and leave it for 45 minutes to an hour.
7. Time to clean up after yourself! Even if it is only to avoid eating the rest of the chocolate you have left over.
8. Check if it’s finished by sliding a toothpick or clean knife into the middle and when it comes out clean, the bread is done. My little guy was crispy after only 45 minutes in the new Spanish oven but sometimes I’ve needed more than an hour to get the center solidified.
Here’s a little before and after action:
So I went to bed only slightly devastated that my first baking experience in Spain had been such a massive failure but woke up to love notes and hugs from grateful roommates! I feel like this was a victory. I chose not to cry and be upset, I thought, well at least the process was creative and fun, who cares about the outcome. It would have been so easy to get down about wasting my time and being imperfect but I remembered we always have a choice.
How did your banana bread come out? Is it less burnt? I hope so.