Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger

August 11, 2009

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From the moment I read about this recipe in A Handmade Life, I could not stop thinking about it. I loved the idea of taking a tired banana bread recipe and adding chocolate and ginger. With the addition of these two stars, texture and variety is added to the loaf. Chocolate and banana were born to go together, but ginger is an unsuspected player providing a bit of heat and spice to the comforting quick bread. Serve a thick slice up for desert with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, or toast and butter a piece for an afternoon snack with tea. For breakfast, Tyler whipped some honey into the Greek yogurt and spread it atop the a warmed piece, enjoyed alongside Porter peaches and coffee! Mmmmm.

Molly also says that fully cooled, this bread freezes beautifully, and apparently tastes delicious cold, right from the freezer. To protect from frost, wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger

(adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg)

A few notes on ingredients: The original recipe called for semisweet chocolate chips, but I chopped up a bar of 71% Cacao Dove Dark Chocolate bar. This gives the finished loaf more of a rustic look with the irregular chunks spotted throughout the bread. Also, it took a bit more effort to find whole milk yogurt. I used greek yogurt (so delicious and thick!): Fage’s Total All Natural Greek Strained Yogurt.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached all-pupose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped chocolate
1/3 finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (from about 3 large ripe bananas)
1/4 cup whole milk yogurt (not low fat or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set a rack in the center of the over, and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a standard size loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.

Microwave butter in short spurts on medium power until just melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate and ginger and whisk well to combine.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs and a fork. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla, and stir to mix well. Pour banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scrapping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick and lumpy, but there should be no unincorperated flour. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top.

Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown, and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. (Mine took 1 hour and 10 minutes. If this is the case for your oven, and the loaf is browning more quickly than the loaf is baking, tent it with aluminum foil.)

Cool the loaf in the pan for 5 minutes before tipping it out onto a rack to cool completely.

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2 Responses to “Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger”

  1. Clarissa said

    Where did you buy crystallized ginger? Can you get it at a regular grocery store or do you look someplace like Whole Foods Market?

    A friend of mine recently made some delicious Chocolate Ripple Zucchini bread. It was so yummy….I wonder if you added ginger to it how that would be? I may have to find out!

  2. supportfutureartists said

    I found crystallized ginger in the produce section of my local grocery store, along with other dried fruits and nuts. I have also seen it at the Asian market. I am sure Whole Foods has it, but probably for twice as much! Hope you can find it – or I could send you some!

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