Sometimes, my life has days. Real days. Days that make me yearn for chocolate chunk banana bread in sizeable quantities.
Days such as the day six weeks ago, when I had agreed to drive a coworker in DC to and from a surgical procedure, even though I also had a meeting in Rockville all day. My coworker assured me that he could stick around the recovery room and wait for my meeting to finish up, so it appeared this would work. The meeting even wrapped up a few minutes early, and I was on my way to retrieve him from the recovery room after he’d already sat there for a few hours.
And then I found that my car had a flat tire.
Interestingly, I was wearing a skirt suit that cost more than I care to admit, and high-heeled slingbacks. For reference, this is not exactly “tire-changing” apparel. Despite this, I pulled out the jack, tire iron, and spare tire, and got to work.
Then, one fellow from my meeting, who was there all the way from Birmingham, saw me. He stopped, worked with me to get the spare on just so, and we were finished up in less than five minutes. Quite the team we made.
He ran back to Birmingham that night, so I wasn’t able to properly thank him with baked goods. Fortunately, we’ll be at the same meeting in Atlanta this week, so I’ll be able to stash this little thank-you gift in my luggage.
To make this chocolate chunk banana bread, I adapted a recipe from Nick Malgieri’s Bake!, as his was for a 9”x5” loaf pan, and my loaf pans are both 8”x4”. I also incorporated some cinnamon to add a bit of a kick, and replaced the walnuts in his recipe with chocolate chunks because…because…oh seriously, do you need to ask?
Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread Ingredients (as adapted from Nick Malgieri’s Bake!)
1 ¾ cup flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 eggs and 2 egg yolks
1 1/3 cup mashed banana
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (Callebaut semi-sweet 54.5% cocoa)
Start out by combining the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl; set this aside. Whisk the eggs, then the bananas, then the butter, and finally the vanilla, waiting until the previous addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Now before combining the wet and dry ingredients, you simply must treat your chocolate well.
To ensure that the chunks remain uniformly distributed throughout the final product, use a trick that I learned at the seminar with Nick Malgieri: take approximately two tablespoons of the dry ingredient mixture, and toss with the chocolate chunks.
This assists the chocolate in rising along with the batter as it bakes.
Now, yes now, you may pour the liquid mixture on top of the dry mixture.
Fold with a spatula until they are mostly incorporated.
Then mix in the prepared chocolate chunks, folding until just mixed. Pour the batter into an 8”x4” loaf pan, butter and bottom-lined with parchment paper.
Bake the loaf at 350° F for 50 minutes, and take note of just how well-distributed those chocolate chunks are near the top of the loaf.
Let it cool, and then wrap it and pack it in your carry-on for Atlanta. To express your gratitude for the speedy tire change.