Black-and-White Banana Loaf

Bananas and chocolate in a dense, moist bread. You really can’t go wrong with that combination, and this bread did not disappoint. My friend Amber and I were looking for something to bake together and since she is now the proud owner of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours, we picked this recipe from her book. I have such fun baking along with others, as it’s a great time to talk my way through a recipe as it’s developing with someone else. I was excited about this recipe, as it’s been quite some time since I’ve made a banana bread, and I was also on the hunt for a chocolate fix. This bread satisfied both of my cravings, and I couldn’t stop taking little pieces as I walked in and out of the kitchen.

I would say that this loaf is a hybrid between a banana bread and pound cake. It is moist like a banana bread and dense like a pound cake. It also takes quite a bit of time to cook (an hour and a half), so be prepared to plan this one ahead! I didn’t really run into any problems in putting this together; it was my first time doing a marble effect, and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I left out the nutmeg and rum, and totally forgot the lemon, so the resulting flavor was a pretty pure chocolate and banana. If I weren’t allergic, I would have slathered this bread with peanut butter, so I would encourage anyone who makes it to try that and let me know how it tastes! :)

Black-and-White Banana Loaf

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1½ ripe bananas, peeled
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of ½ a lemon
1 tablespoon dark rum
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk

Directions:

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ inch loaf pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

3. In a small bowl, mash the bananas with the lemon juice and zest, then stir in the rum.

4. Melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the butter together in a microwave oven or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water.

5. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the remaining stick (8 tablespoons) of butter at medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes, until light and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. The batter will look curdled, and it will continue to look curdled as you add ingredients. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture, mixing only until it is just incorporated. With the mixer running, pour in the milk, and when it is blended, add the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl and mix in the mashed bananas. The batter will look even lumpier.

6. Pour a little less than half the batter into the bowl with the melted chocolate and stir to blend. Drop alternating spoonfuls of both batters into the prepared pan, then, using a table knife, swirl the batters together, taking care not to overdo it.

7. Bake for 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes and if the cake starts to brown too much, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for about 15 minutes before unmolding, then cool the cake to room temperature right side up on the rack.

Note #1: This cake is good cut thick or thin, served plain or with some ice cream. It's very good with coffee or tea and especially good with chocolate milk, hot or cold.

Note #2: Wrapped in plastic wrap, the cake will keep for 4 to 5 days at room temperature; wrapped airtight, it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.

Note #3: If you'd like to add a little more texture to the cake as well as another flavor, add 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans to either of the batters.

(Source: Dorie Greenspan Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours page 232)

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32 Responses to “Black-and-White Banana Loaf”

  1. Joelen on August 4, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Beautiful bread! Looks awesome and the addition of rum sounds great!

    Reply

  2. Erin on August 4, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I liked this bread too- I’ll be posting it tomorrow along with a couple hundred other people :) Marbling is fun to do- yours looks very pretty. I think that between banana bread and a pound cake is a good description. I thought it would be more like bread, but I liked that it was more like a pound cake.

    Reply

  3. Ally on August 4, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Chelley, I am totally going to make this. I love the look of the marbling. Totally yum girl! Dh would love the addition of the pb, good suggestion!

    Reply

  4. Annie on August 4, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Wow, it looks GORGEOUS and sounds delicious. I have got to try this one!

    Reply

  5. peabody on August 4, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    LOL-this is the TWD pick this week. :) Good choice, it was tasty.

    Reply

  6. ashley on August 4, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    this looks so good. i’ve been dying to try this since i got my copy of the cookbook. looks beautiful!

    Reply

  7. Jaime on August 4, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    beautiful swirl! i saw this on your blog and thought you were back in the swing w/TWD…

    Reply

  8. Tracey on August 5, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Looks great – just like Dorie’s!

    Reply

  9. Katie on August 5, 2008 at 6:34 am

    That looks so good! The marbling is so perfect! But I wouldn’t expect anything less from you, mrs.baker! :) :)

    Reply

  10. Amber on August 5, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Thanks for cyber-baking with me, it was great fun! Your swirls look fantastic.

    Reply

  11. Sarah on August 5, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Your marbling is wonderful!

    Reply

  12. Mary Ann on August 5, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Your marbling looks perfect! It really looks beautiful- great job

    Reply

  13. dorie on August 5, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Peanut butter! Now why didn’t I think of that? I bet it would be great on the cake. Love your marbling.

    Reply

  14. Lauren on August 5, 2008 at 9:10 am

    MMmm it looks so good. It reminds me of when gram used to make banana bread and we’d smother it with peanut butter or just plain butter. I can’t wait to try some. Good thing you are keeping some in the freezer for mom and I :)

    Reply

  15. Kate on August 5, 2008 at 11:15 am

    This totally reminds me of my mom. The dessert she’s most known for is her 20 lb cake, a mix of chocolate and vanilla pound cake. And then there’s always her chocolate chip banana bread. This is a combo of both!

    Reply

  16. Kelly (me&mb) on August 5, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    wow, it’s beautiful. You did a wonderful job with the marbling.

    Reply

  17. Tammy on August 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Your marbling is just perfect!

    Reply

  18. HoneyB on August 6, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    That first photo is AWESOME!

    Reply

  19. Margaret on August 11, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Your loaf is beautiful. Great Marbling!! I am sure it was as tasty as sit looks.

    Reply

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  22. Cherissa on January 11, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Maybe marbling just isn’t my thing? I made this cake today- flavor & texture were amazing, but oh what a sad job of marbling I have done. Turned out more like a black and white checkerboard…sooooo, I guess I’ll be FORCED to make this again, you know to perfect my marbling technique. ;)

    Truth be told, I could skip the marbling and the chocolate all together! *gasp* I thought that just as a banana pound cake this would be to die for! It’s definitely got a different consistency than you standard banana nut bread.

    My man sampler approved. He approved it warm right out of the oven. He approved it as a dessert. He also approved it as breakfast, smothered in P.B. It was a hit!

    Reply

  23. BLad on May 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I’m going to try this one tonight!!!
    Can you use skim milk instead of whole milk?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 10th, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      Yes, definitely. Enjoy the bread!

      Reply

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  25. Amy on December 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I made this tonight and it turned out great, except I didn’t love the flavor of the lemon in there. I was very hesitant to put the zest and juice in to begin with, but I like to stick with the recipe the first time I make something. Next time I would substitute the lemon juice and zest with a couple tablespoons of buttermilk, to get the moisture and tang without the lemon flavor!

    Reply

  26. Jenny on February 25, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I made this recipe today. Very easy, moist and delicious!!! Good for any time of the day…..

    Reply

  27. Crystal on March 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Could I make this into marbled muffins? I just moved and I’m not sure that I can find my bread pans, but I know where my muffin tins are. My ripe bananas may not make it until I get to the box with the rest of my pans…
    If I were to try and make it into muffins, what temp/time would you recommend?

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Crystal, Definitely! Use the same temperature, but reduce the time. I would start checking around 18 minutes or so to be sure you don’t overbake.

      Reply

      • Crystal on April 1st, 2013 at 5:49 pm

        Thanks for getting back to me! I know this recipe’s been up for a while.

        It yields 18 regular size muffins (as opposed to the tiny or giant ones) and took about 45 minutes to bake at 325 degrees. I also left out the rum, lemon juice and zest. I didn’t have any chocolate, so I substituted 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon butter for EACH of the THREE ounces of chocolate called for.

        Came out delicious!

        Reply

  28. nicole on October 11, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Dying to try this one (since ALL of your recipes are incredible!). Can I omit the rum? I don’t have any extract or run around right now and would like to make today!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 11th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Nicole, Yes, you can omit the rum.

      Reply

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