I think I may have mentioned once on this site that I adore banana bread. I think I also may have mentioned that I adore baking out of season. Well this recipe came about because I had yet another 50 pounds of frozen bananas in my freezer and I was tired of just plain old banana bread. I was headed on a trip to Vermont for the weekend with The BF and his roommate and thought I would at least attempt to make something that he would eat, and like.
Maybe I should mention this as well, since I don’t think I have. The BF hates sweets. Yeah, I know. Don’t worry, I already checked and he’s not actually an alien, and he had a really good childhood. In fact, his mother is an excellent baker. So this distaste for sweets is a biological thing. His tongue is broken. Or his brain is mis-wired, I don’t know. But that’s okay because I sure as hell eat enough sweets for the both of us.
So in my never-ending quest to find a dessert that he’ll actually eat I stumbled upon this recipe for chocolate-chip banana gingerbread. I sat and stared at it, making sure (like some of the commenters) that those were actually chocolate chips and not raisins in the bread, before reading the recipe. Despite the fact that it was the middle of summer, this sounded delicious. I tested the theory on my co-worker, which was mistake number one, because she was repulsed by the idea. So I filed away the recipe and pondered it some more.
But throughout the day I found myself coming back to it again and again. I knew The BF liked soft ginger-molasses cookies (a recipe I’m still trying to perfect for him) so I thought this might be a good idea. I immediately ruled out using the chocolate chips because I was fairly certain that any dessert with more than two types of flavors in it would blow his head clean off his shoulders. That, and it was almost guaranteed that the chocolate would be “too sweet” for him. So I adjusted the recipe a little, added a few more spices and a butt-load more bananas (remember the 50 pounds frozen in the freezer? Yeah, those.) and dumped it in the oven.
Here are my thoughts: It was heavenly, if out of season for summer, but given that it’s now fall this is the perfect recipe. The house smelled amazing and I had an awesome new banana bread.
Here were The BFs thoughts: Yeah, it’s pretty good [non-committal voice].
Whatever, his thoughts don’t count, his tongue is broken. But I couldn’t help but notice that half the loaf was missing after his downhill mountain biking trip, so I guess “pretty good” was “pretty damn good and delicious” after all.
Adapted slightly from How Sweet Eats
1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter, room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup molasses
3 1/2 medium bananas, mashed
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmegs
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
turbinado (raw) sugar (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 375°F, grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan, or four mini loaf pans
Whisk together the flour, spices and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine thoroughly. Add the molasses and banana mixing until just combined.
Working in three portions, alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix between additions just until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in chocolate chips if using.
Pour into the prepared loaf pan(s) and sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar if using.
Bake for 40-45 minutes for the large pan, 20-30 minutes for smaller pans, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When removed from the oven, immediately run a knife around the edge to loosen the bread. Let cool in pans for about 10-15 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, or about 10 days in the fridge. Can be frozen for upto three months.