The world’s best banana bread, plus extra chocolate?! That puts me straight in my happy place. Banana bread is great training food, too! Bananas are loaded with glucose. Turning it in to bread form is just extra carbs and glucose, which is just what our bodies need during exercise or right after to help recover!
When I get a craving for this banana bread, it sets in hard. My friend Sarah asked me for my classic recipe (without extra chocolate) a few weeks ago, and after seeing her photos she sent me the craving started. Then I saw a food blogger post about double chocolate banana bread, and that set me on my own adventure to modify my banana bread recipe in to a double chocolate version, aka midnight banana bread. Apparently it’s a bakery in New York City that started this “midnight” trend! I love my recipe because it’s moist (sorry, had to say the word! If you can think of a better synonym that sums it all up, let me know!), extra chocolatey, with a bit of roasted nut flavour. Banana bread in general is just a classic, and so easy to make.
My friends and I brought thick slices of this on our backcountry ski day yesterday in ziplock bags! I brought the rest in a Tupperware container to snack on during the drive home. Such great adventure fuel! Ryan and I eat a lot of bananas while training. During the summer, it’s pretty common to see Ryan out on a bike ride with a banana sticking out of his jersey pocket. Bananas themselves are the perfect form of training fuel. During my skyraces in Europe this past summer, they would sometimes have them at aid stations, and it would be so awesome to have something besides gels during a 4+ hour race! Even better to put those bananas in to a form of extra chocolatey goodness (and get rid of some brown ones we had at home that got too old for eating!).
Here's how to make it
I start by mixing all my wet ingredients. In one bowl, cream together your butter and sugars. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, I mash the bananas and fold in the sour cream. Then in a third bowl, I mix my dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Toast the walnuts, then stir them in to this flour mixture along with your chocolate chips. Mixing them in the flour like this will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of your loaf during baking!
Pour your dry ingredients in to your wet ingredients, and fold this together until almost combined. Finally, add the mashed banana and sour cream mixture, and gently fold that all together just until you don't see clumps of flour anymore. Yum! Pour the batter in to a greased loaf pan, and bake it in the oven at 350°F for 60-70 minutes! This recipe make a big loaf, so a long cooking time is necessary. When it's ready to come out of the oven, the center of your loaf should be a bit puffed up, with cracks running down the surface of the loaf, and a toothpick inserted in to the center should come out clean.
Midnight Banana Bread
Servings: 12 thick slices
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 60-70 minutes
Total time: ~1h20 minutes
·113g / ½ cup butter, softened (that’s 1 stick)
100g / ½ cup brown sugar
100g / ½ cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
159g / 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
43g / ½ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
170g / 1 cup chocolate chips
½ tsp salt
120g / ½ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
¾ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
450g / 1 ½ cups or about 3 large very brown bananas
Set your oven to 350°F (175°C) to preheat. Butter or grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and set it aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and both kinds of sugar. Add the eggs, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix well.
Either in your preheating oven or in a pan on the stove over medium heat, toast your chopped walnuts. Don’t skip this step, I promise it adds so much flavour! If you do these in the oven, set a timer so you don’t forget about them. Stir every minute or so, until you can see them start to brown and they’re giving off a delicious nutty aroma. Remove them from the heat and set them aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, and salt. Stir in your chocolate chips and walnuts until they’re coated in flour. This will help them float in the banana bread, and not sink to the bottom!
In another bowl, remove your bananas from the skins and mash them with a fork or potato masher. Stir in the sour cream.
Pour your flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture until just combined. Finally, fold in the sour cream and bananas mixture. Spread it evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60-70 minutes. This makes a big loaf, so takes a surprisingly long time to cook! I had mine in the oven for 65 minutes until the center was puffed up and a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely, or slice it up and devour while warm!