This weeks TWD recipe was chosen by Ashlee of A Year In The Kitchen and she picked the Black and White Banana Loaf in Baking: From My Home to Yours. You can either visit Ashlee’s site or if you have the book flip to page 232 to find the recipe and get your baking on.
I noticed that a lot of the TWD bakers were having problems with this recipe and it not cooking all the way through. I decided that I would make some modifications to the recipe based on my favorite banana nut bread recipe that I always make. Because of my recent purchase of Dutch Proceessed Coca Powder from Penzey’s I decided to use cocoa powder instead of bittersweet chocolate. I ended up using the following conversion factor: 1 oz chocolate = 3 Tbsp cocoa + 1 Tbsp butter. I used 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder + 3 Tbsp melted butter for the 3 oz of chocolate called for in the recipe.
There was a huge debate on TWD message board on how much and what size of bananas to use. When I looked back at my go to recipe it uses 1 cup of bananas, so I stuck with that. I omitted the lemon zest because for some reason that creeped me out a little. Then I reduced the nutmeg to 1/8 tsp and added 1/4 tsp of Chinese Cassia Cinnamon (it is to die for, another Penzey’s purchase). I love nuts in my banana nut bread and I already had 1/3 cup of pecans already chopped so I added that too. I decided to up the baking temperature to 350°F since that is what my other recipe uses and remember, when it doubt leave it at 350 🙂
I found that the chocolate batter was very thick and the white batter was a little runny, but not too bad. I like to make small loaves and either freeze them or give them away to friends. So I cooked the banana bread in 4 small load pans for 1 hour at 350°F, not 325°F like Dorie’s recipe says. I followed Dorie’s directions with marbling and alternated scoops of batter in two rows. For example, first row: white, chocolate, white; second row: chocolate, white, chocolate. I then took a table knife and did tight zig zags down the length of the pan.
The loaves turned out awesome. All of them were cooked through and had an okay marbling affect. The taste was great and it was nice and moist in the inside. I am glad that I changed up the recipe a little. The nuts added a nice crunch and the hint of cinnamon in the background was just what the loaf needed. I would definitely recommend this loaf to anyone and would also make it again 🙂 .