Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

The problem with buying bananas in NYC is that you either end up with 3-4 bananas, or you end up with an entire bagful of 6-7 bananas.  I have a specific range in which I consider bananas edible - when they are too green and unripe I hate how they stick to your teeth, but then once they start turning brown and mushy I don't like them either.  Basically, I will eat bananas anytime from yellow, to yellow with some brown spots.  The second they turn the corner to too brown for me, I start thinking about banana bread.  This banana bread recipe from Savory Sweet Life is one that I have been looking forward to baking for some time now, but it seems that every time I have enough overripe bananas, I am missing at least one of the other key ingredients (usually sour cream).  Somehow this time I have everything I need!  Score.

I have been wanting to make this recipe since the end of January, so I've had some time to build it up in my head, while wondering how sour cream would work with banana bread.  Luckily, the bread lived up to my expectations and more.  Granted, banana isn't the dominant flavor - instead I tasted chocolate more than anything else, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  After all, I do love chocolate far more than I love bananas.  Who doesn't?  And that's not to say that you don't taste the banana at all, the bananas are definitely present - they just aren't dominant.  Most importantly, the banana bread is wonderfully moist - with a very fluffy crumb.  Some banana breads can be a little dense and dry, as can all quick breads, but the sour cream worked wonders to keep the bread light and moist - more cake-like than bread-like in some ways.  I'm not sure if this will be the only banana bread recipe I will cook from now on, but I will certainly add it to the rotation!  In some ways I miss the flavor of the spices (particularly the cardamom) and the prevalent banana flavor from Granny Foster's Banana Bread, but in others I love the gooey chocolatey goodness of this recipe.  Decisions, decisions!

Recipe after the jump!

Alice’s Sour Cream Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Adapted from Savory Sweet Life
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 large overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9×5x3 loaf pan, or 2 mini pans with non-stick spray.  Using a stand mixer (or a hand-held electric mixer), cream butter and sugar together.  Add egg, mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla and mix until well blended.  Add flour, baking soda, cocoa, and salt.  Mix everything just until well incorporated.  Don't overmix.  Fold in chocolate chips and nuts (if desired).  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan(s) and bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes – 1 hour.

Remove from heat and allow bread to rest in the loaf pan for 10 minutes. Invert the loaf pan(s) onto a cooling rack. 

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