One of the easiest – and most rewarding – things to bake is Banana Bread. What’s better than the smell of banana and cake filling the kitchen or that first bite of warm cake just out of the oven?
There are countless recipe variations for Banana Bread and I personally found my favourite a few years ago: Banana Bread with Pecans and Dark Chocolate. Why change something that is already perfect, right? But, what to do when you find a recipe for Banana Bread with coffee?! I mean, it’s impossible for me to resist the temptation…
Edd Kimber – TheBoyWhoBakes – shared a recipe for Espresso and Cocoa Nib Banana Bread recently and the idea just got stuck into my head. I find new recipes every day, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this one. I had to make it!
The main thing to remember about banana bread is to buy the bananas a few days in advance and leave them outside of the fridge to ripe. It’s quite difficult to find ripe bananas from shops nowadays, especially from big chain supermarkets where you usually only get green and tasteless bananas. One trick is to ripen the bananas in the oven set to low heat.
I tweaked Edd’s recipe in several ways: by replacing sour cream with Greek yoghurt; cocoa nibs with chocolate chips; and ground coffee with a double espresso. I have also reduced the sugar and increased the amount of banana mash.
I have made this recipe twice already and the first time I used cocoa nibs and filtered coffee. The single origin filter coffee wasn’t strong enough for me, so I tried the recipe again with a double espresso and I think the coffee blend gave the cake nicer flavours. I love cocoa nibs and use them almost on a daily basis (sprinkled on yoghurt, ice-cream and fruit salads), but I prefer milk chocolate here as it pairs well with the coffee taste.
To make the banana bread, grease a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin and line with a strip of parchment paper (leave the paper to hang over the long sides of the tin to help with the removal of cake afterwards). Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
Prepare the coffee using an espresso machine or stove pot. I use the Sage Appliances Barista Express machine.
Place the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and combine.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. Add the yoghurt, double espresso, mashed bananas and melted butter. Mix together until smooth and well combined. Gently stir 2/3 of the chocolate chips.
Pour the dry mixture over the wet mixture and gently fold together, mixing until the flour is just combined (be careful to not over-mix). Pour the batter into the loaf tin and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top of the cake.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the banana bread to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring it onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.