Saturday morning I was having a good old time whipping up this chocolate banana marble bread that is really more like cake than a quick bread. I made a banana puree in my food processor instead of the usual mashing of the bananas that go into a banana bread. I used cake flour instead of all purpose. I used a high quality dutch process cocoa powder from King Arthurs Flour to make a fragrant paste for the chocolate part of my bread. I was taking my time, reading and rereading my recipe, gathering my ingredients, carefully measuring them out.
Everything was going along so smoothly that as I was finishing up my recipe by running my Kitchen Aid mixer on the lowest speed and alternately adding the banana mixture with the flour mixture I thought the horrible noise I heard was coming from outside. What are the neighbors doing in their yard now??
But, alas my not so old Kitchen Aid mixer was making the horrible grinding sound, so I turned it off because I though smoke might start pouring out of it and the noise was horrible. So much for stress free weekend baking. The last thing in the world anybody wants to replace in their home is an appliance, what a boring thing to spend money on. Maybe replacing the furnace or the roof is worse, that’s so expensive and you don’t even see it. But, all the new mixers come in the coolest colors now. Wow, who could resist a black, green, orange, pink, blue or fire engine red standing mixer!! In defense of Kitchen Aid mixers I still have my 5 quart size, it’s white-boring, but it runs great after 20 plus years. I had a gut feeling when I bought and started using the new bigger 6 quart size that I shouldn’t have bought it, why do I ignore those feelings? It just felt like a lemon from the start, I never liked the way the bowl snapped into the mixer or the sound of the motor even before it made the horrible grinding sound. I’m going to get it repaired because it is only a few years old, not very old in the life span of a mixer. Oh well, maybe this is a good time to go on a diet or maybe even a better time to set up my old mixer and just keep mixing and baking to my heart’s content. Thank goodness that diet idea passed quickly.
Directions and Ingredients for Chocolate Banana Marble Bread
3 medium size very ripe bananas
1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
3-4 tablespoons boiling water, more if needed
1&1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350
Lightly butter a 9×5 inch metal loaf pan and line it with parchment paper that extends 1 inch from the edges.
Peel the bananas and place them in a food processor. Process them to a silky smooth puree. Remove 1 cup of the puree and place in a medium size bowl. Add the buttermilk and the vanilla, set aside. Save the left over banana puree to use in a smoothie.
In another medium bowl sift together the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, whisk well and set aside. Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl and stir in the boiling water. Stir and keep adding water until it forms a smooth paste, looks like a thick icing.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium high for 4-5 minutes until lightens in color, almost white. Scrape down the bowl a few times. Add the eggs, about one tablespoon at a time, blending in before adding the next tablespoon. About half way through scrape down the bowl.
Running the mixer on the lowest speed add one third of the flour mixture. Just as it is barely blended in, add half of the banana mixture. Repeat with the remaining flour and banana mixture ending with the flour. Scrape down the bowl and finish blending by hand.
Place half of the batter in the second medium bowl and mix in the cocoa paste.
Alternate spoonfuls of the chocolate and light batters in the pan. Then the fun part, marbleize the batters with a spoon by turning the batter over in three places the length of the pan. I always get carried away with this part, it’s hard to only do three times.
Bake the bread for 50-60 minutes. It will be firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool. Remove from the pan and peel off the paper. Cut the bread carefully with a serrated knife.
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