Chocolate Banana Marble Bread Recipe | Sur La Table

By The Art & Soul of Baking: Reprinted with permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing, recipes by Cindy Mushet, photography by Maren Caruso
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Chocolate Banana Marble Bread Recipe | Sur La Table
Serves
Makes 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 2 large or 3 medium very ripe bananas, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (7 ounces) sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) unsifted unsweetened
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons (1½ ounces) boiling water, plus more if needed
  • 1½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened (65° to 68°F)
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten


Procedure
Here’s a banana bread that's soft, tender, and bursting with bananas,yet not overly sweet as so many versions are. The key is an intensely bittercocoa-powder paste added to half of the batter, resulting in a deep, rich chocolateflavor that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the bananas. The two battersare marbled together, producing a beautiful pattern and adding a sophisticatednote to this all-American favorite. Because of the moisture that the bananas add,the loaf keeps well for at least 4 to 5 days at room temperature, and it freezes sowell that you can put a couple of them away for unexpected visitors. Be sure thebananas are ripe and soft, with plenty of black spots speckling their skins, or youwon’t have the burst of banana flavor you want. Whirl them in the food processorfor an ultra-smooth purée, or mash thoroughly with a fork if you prefer.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat theloaf pan with melted butter or high-heat canola oil spray and line it with a piece ofparchment paper that extends 1 inch beyond the long edge of both sides of the pan. Peelthe bananas and place them in the bowl of the food processor. Process to a smooth purée.(Alternately, mash them in a bowl using a fork.) Measure out 1 cup of the purée andtransfer it to a medium bowl, discarding the rest of the purée or saving it for another use.Add the buttermilk and vanilla and whisk just until blended. Set aside.

Use a fine-mesh strainer to sift the cake flour, baking soda, and baking powdertogether into a medium bowl. Whisk to blend well. Set aside. Place the cocoa powderin the small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cocoa and stir until it forms a smoothpaste-it should run thickly off the spoon. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of boilingwater and stir again. Set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speeduntil the butter is very light, almost white in color, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape down thebowl with a spatula. Turn the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs, 1 tablespoon at atime, completely blending in each addition before adding the next. About halfway throughthe eggs, turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with the spatula, then continueadding the rest of the eggs. Scrape down the bowl again.

With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add one-third of the flour mixture. Justas it is barely blended and you can still see a few patches of flour, add half the bananamixture. Repeat with the remaining flour and banana mixtures ending with the flour. Scrapedown the bowl and finish blending the batter by hand.

Transfer half of the batter to the second medium bowl. Add the cocoa paste and,using the rubber spatula, gently but thoroughly blend it into the batter.

Drop alternating spoonfuls of dark and light batters into the prepared pan, thenmarbleize by using a spoon to gently turn the batter over in 3 places down the lengthof the pan.

Bake the banana bread for 55 to 65 minutes, until firm to the touch and a toothpickinserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to coolcompletely. When cool, remove from the pan, peel off the parchment paper, and cut slicesby sawing gently with a serrated knife.

Chocolate Banana Marble Bread Recipe | Sur La Table

By The Art & Soul of Baking: Reprinted with permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing, recipes by Cindy Mushet, photography by Maren Caruso
Serves
Makes 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 2 large or 3 medium very ripe bananas, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (7 ounces) sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) unsifted unsweetened
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons (1½ ounces) boiling water, plus more if needed
  • 1½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened (65° to 68°F)
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten


Procedure
Here’s a banana bread that's soft, tender, and bursting with bananas,yet not overly sweet as so many versions are. The key is an intensely bittercocoa-powder paste added to half of the batter, resulting in a deep, rich chocolateflavor that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the bananas. The two battersare marbled together, producing a beautiful pattern and adding a sophisticatednote to this all-American favorite. Because of the moisture that the bananas add,the loaf keeps well for at least 4 to 5 days at room temperature, and it freezes sowell that you can put a couple of them away for unexpected visitors. Be sure thebananas are ripe and soft, with plenty of black spots speckling their skins, or youwon’t have the burst of banana flavor you want. Whirl them in the food processorfor an ultra-smooth purée, or mash thoroughly with a fork if you prefer.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat theloaf pan with melted butter or high-heat canola oil spray and line it with a piece ofparchment paper that extends 1 inch beyond the long edge of both sides of the pan. Peelthe bananas and place them in the bowl of the food processor. Process to a smooth purée.(Alternately, mash them in a bowl using a fork.) Measure out 1 cup of the purée andtransfer it to a medium bowl, discarding the rest of the purée or saving it for another use.Add the buttermilk and vanilla and whisk just until blended. Set aside.

Use a fine-mesh strainer to sift the cake flour, baking soda, and baking powdertogether into a medium bowl. Whisk to blend well. Set aside. Place the cocoa powderin the small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cocoa and stir until it forms a smoothpaste-it should run thickly off the spoon. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of boilingwater and stir again. Set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speeduntil the butter is very light, almost white in color, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape down thebowl with a spatula. Turn the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs, 1 tablespoon at atime, completely blending in each addition before adding the next. About halfway throughthe eggs, turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with the spatula, then continueadding the rest of the eggs. Scrape down the bowl again.

With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add one-third of the flour mixture. Justas it is barely blended and you can still see a few patches of flour, add half the bananamixture. Repeat with the remaining flour and banana mixtures ending with the flour. Scrapedown the bowl and finish blending the batter by hand.

Transfer half of the batter to the second medium bowl. Add the cocoa paste and,using the rubber spatula, gently but thoroughly blend it into the batter.

Drop alternating spoonfuls of dark and light batters into the prepared pan, thenmarbleize by using a spoon to gently turn the batter over in 3 places down the lengthof the pan.

Bake the banana bread for 55 to 65 minutes, until firm to the touch and a toothpickinserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to coolcompletely. When cool, remove from the pan, peel off the parchment paper, and cut slicesby sawing gently with a serrated knife.