There will never be enough banana recipes in the world, in fact Gingerbread Jenn posted one recently too, which I can’t wait to try. Before we talk about this recipe though, let’s talk about chocolate. It is quite frankly one of my favourite topics and when it comes to chocolate, I am all about the good stuff (except when Kinder eggs, Bueno and Ferrero Roche are mentioned), some would say I am a chocolate snob. I think it comes with being a foodie, chocolate addict and being super conscious of what ingredients are in the food that I eat. Hotel Chocolat is my chocolatier of choice, which is probably obvious because I mention them a lot (and hey, remember that time James and I designed a chocolate for them?!). I love the company, the business model, the story behind it, the products and knowing where it all came from; for good quality (and vaguely affordable as good chocolate goes), then look no further.
When they announced they were bringing out a new cook book, I pounced on the opportunity and the first recipe from it that I wanted to make was this banana bread recipe. It is Angus Thirlwell’s recipe (the co-founder of Hotel Chocolat) and it is a great one; from the flavour, to the texture, to the crust & crumb. I only tweaked it very slightly, I halved the amount of chocolate chunks (and subbed chunks for chips) but it is a fantastic recipe for anyone who can’t eat dairy. It was almost like this recipe was written for me, coconut oil, spelt flour, cocoa nibs, dark chocolate, banana, cinnamon…heaven! There are many an incredible recipe in the book that I can’t wait to try, but you can never go wrong with banana bread. It is in the breakfast section of the book, so we duly obliged one Sunday morning.
- 115 g of virgin coconut oil
- 115 g of wholemeal spelt flour
- 115 g of white spelt flour
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 0.25 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
- 0.5 tsp of salt
- 0.5 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 0.5 sp of grated nutmeg
- 40 g of roasted cocoa nibs (soaked in hot water for 20 minutes before using)
- 25 g of muscovado sugar
- 3 eggs
- 4 large or 6 small bananas, well mashed (I only had 3 large bananas)
- 0.5 tsp of grated lemon zest
- 20 g of chopped pecans (or any nuts you want)
- 75 g of dark (minimum 70%, if needed, ensure dairy free) chocolate chips (the original recipe suggests 150 g of roughly chopped dark chocolate)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 1 kg loaf tin.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil (this may be easier if melted slightly if it is a particularly cool day) and sugar until well combined.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Whisk the mixture into the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl and then fold in the mashed banana, followed by the lemon zest, chopped nuts and (drained) cocoa nibs (discard the water). Mix/fold well until it is all evenly distributed.
- Pour the mixture into the lined tin and leave it to stand for 20 minutes.
- Place in the preheated oven to bake for 45 – 50 minutes. When a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (unless you hit a lump of melted chocolate), then it is cooked.
- Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes or so before removing and placing on a cooling rack. Remove the baking paper and allow the cake to cool completely.
- Serve and enjoy this delicious treat.