Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Banana Bread with Coconut and Chocolate Chips

Even though I am fairly certain that I have come up with the ultimate banana bread recipe with my Green Curry Coconut Banana Bread, I am always on the hunt for new recipes.  You never know when you might stumble upon something new and delicious.  Also, I was out of creme fraiche and green curry paste, so I couldn't make my favorite banana bread anyway.  Oh well.  This banana bread was good, but it just can't compete with the green curry banana bread.  It had a nice crisp exterior and a moist crumb.  Because I used bittersweet chocolate chips the banana bread wasn't nearly as sweet as I thought it would be.  I was a little nervous about using an entire cup of sugar, and if I used semisweet chocolate chips instead of bittersweet, I would probably cut back to 3/4 cup sugar.  Unfortunately the Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips I used are about twice the size of regular chocolate chips and they sank to the bottom of the banana bread.  I have heard that if you toss the chocolate chips with a little flour before adding them to the batter it solves this problem, so I will give that a shot next time.  I love the texture and taste of the coconut flakes in the banana bread, something that is also true of my Green Curry Coconut Banana Bread (which is where the idea came from).  I was hoping that you would taste the ground cardamom a little more, but you only get a tiny hint of it.  And if you didn't know to look for it, you probably wouldn't notice it at all.  That isn't necessarily a bad thing mind you - the flavor of cardamom can be a bit overwhelming at times.  All things considered, I would probably give this banana bread a solid B, which isn't bad for an hour's work.

Recipe after the jump!

Banana Bread with Coconut and Chocolate Chips

3 ripe medium bananas 
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter and flour 9x5x2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan.

Coarsely mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork.   Set aside.  Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, and salt) in another bowl.  Set aside.  Cream together butter and sugar with a stand mixer or hand-held mixer.  Add the eggs, mix well, and then add the vanilla extract and mashed bananas.  Beat lightly over low speed.  Add dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, and salt) and mix until just combined.  Fold chocolate chips and coconut.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake until a toothpick stuck into the bread comes out clean, about 65 minutes.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto wire cooling rack.  Slice and serve.

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