Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Candied Ginger

After I had finished making chicken pho, cleaning the kitchen of all traces that I had ever made such a thing, I spied with my little eyes two bananas sitting on the counter. My mother makes lunch for my father every single blessed day, and the bananas were proof that, no matter how healthy they may be, he does not voluntarily eat them. He'll eat the banana that is packed into his lunch because he has to (or maybe he trades someone at work for an apple?), but doesn't just go about eating bananas at home.

Since it was the weekend and there would obviously be no eating of the bananas before they went bad, I decided that I was going to save the brown-skinned and neglected little fruits. I remembered hazily that I had read a recipe involving exactly two ripe medium bananas online, so I hunted down the recipe.

It was actually really easy- I had all the ingredients at hand except for chocolate chips, candied ginger, and walnuts. I ran off to Trader Joe's and returned with the supplies, then threw this bread (more like a cake) together and had the kitchen spotless once again before my parents got home from their dinner party.

Glenn's Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Candied Ginger
Adapted very slightly from Orangette

1 cup raw sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
2 ripe medium-sized bananas
3 tablespoons half-and-half
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream sugar, egg, and butter together. I did this by hand, because I couldn't find the electric beater (I have a sneaking suspicion that it is at my sister's house). The hand-mixing didn't hurt the final product, though it did hurt my entire right arm.

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas. Then mix in with the half-and-half. Easy, and supposed to be done by hand. Thank goodness.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Stirring by hand,

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture.

Then add 1/2 of the banana mixture into the butter mixture.

Then add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture.

Then add 1/2 of the banana mixture into the butter mixture.

Then add the last 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips, walnuts, and candied ginger (which has been chopped into bits).

Turn out the batter into the previously greased loaf pan and smooth the top with the back of a spoon (or with the spatula, in my case- I already had too many bowls to wash, I didn't want to add even another spoon).

Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (watch out for the melted chocolate, which will mess with this test). I rotated my bread once during baking just in case the oven had hot spots, but I'm a paranoid baker.

Allow the bread to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Slice and eat!

It's a lovely cake (cake, cake, CAKE, it's a cake!) that tastes like autumn and dessert and warmth.

I can imagine that it would be lovely with another banana added, as the ginger rather overpowers the two measly fruits, or with less ginger. I'm loathe to reduce the amount of ginger, though, because my family is full of spicy people that like spicy food.

Maybe a pinch of cinnamon and a tiny bit of nutmeg to make this even more autumnal, but it's pretty amazing just as it is.

One other quibble- I would use mini chocolate chips, as the regular-sized ones melted into big spots of oozy goo. I don't mind that in a cookie, but I want my cakes to stay together! I would also go for dark chocolate, but I couldn't find any and ended up with semi-sweet.

I'll try to stop posting about food now. But no promises.


Diana E. October 28, 2009 at 7:46 PM  

this looks amazing. it's a good thing i don't have an oven.

jeanny October 28, 2009 at 7:51 PM  

... Not even a toaster oven?? :(

Hope you're feeling better!