Chocolate Swirl Banana Loaf
Often I end up having to freeze all of the overripe bananas that get left in the bottom of the fruit bowl, which is really handy for emergency banana-bread-making.
I started working on this recipe a few months ago. I tested and tweaked, but I was never 100% satisfied with it, but as my frozen banana collection continued to grow, I decided it was time to revisit it.
When I started testing the recipe, I was using cocoa powder for the chocolate swirl, but it wasn’t packing the rich chocolate punch I was looking for. Over the course of testing I tried various combinations, with different ratios of cocoa powder and coffee, dark chocolate with cocoa powder and, finally settled on dark chocolate with a small amount of rich coffee to help emphasise the chocolate flavour. I used whole bean coffee, which I ground and brewed in a cafetiere (but you only need 15ml so you can use instant coffee too if it's easier).
If, like me, you're using up an abundance of frozen bananas, just pop them in the oven whilst it's preheating until the skin has blackened. Remove them from the oven, then carefully peel and mash, ready to add into your batter.
What I love about this bread is that every bake is somewhat unique - as you end up with different swirl and marble effects throughout. I made sure to leave enough ‘plain’ batter to cover the top of the loaf before baking and then sprinkled with chocolate chunks - it makes for an even better reveal when you cut into it!
The loaf is great to enjoy just how it is, but even better slightly toasted with a dollop of Nutella for extra indulgence.