Banananananana ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

07 December 2007


Our friend Carrie makes perhaps the best banana bread in the world. It is this thick soft highly-risen bright yellow concoction, and I haven't even gotten to the best part: chocolate. Yes. She puts not just chocolate chips but gigantic chunks of good chocolate into her banana bread. This is perhaps the best idea ever. So, since Carrie is about a thousand miles away, this time I made banana bread. We had lots of bitter and semisweet chocolate left over from the two sorbet excursions, so we had plenty to add.

Banana bread with lots of chocolate

1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (or whatever flour)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp butter
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
2 eggs
2 black mashed bananas
a couple big spoonfuls of yogurt
as much good chopped chocolate as you want

The recipe I was working from had you mix things specifically: cream the butter and eggs, add sifted dry ingredients, add bananas, mix, bake. I might have done this in order had our butter not been frozen, but it was frozen, so instead I just melted it, combined everything, and mixed it all up. Seriously. You may care a little more about attaining a particular crumb, but I didn't; this stuff turned out fine and delicious anyway.

So. Melt butter. We melted it in the loaf pan, which needed greasing. This is an excellent way to make sure the pan gets grease ALL over it. Also preheat the oven to 350F at this time.

Put everything in a bowl. Make sure you use really ripe bananas. This provides an excellent use for all the black bananas that you may have been otherwise throwing out; stick them in your freezer and you'll have adequate equipment for banana bread at any time. Just thaw the bananas, cut their tops off, and squish their insides out into the bowl with everything else.

For chocolate, use whatever good stuff you want. I had Ghirardelli, which is fine and good. We also had a serious darkest dark Ritter Sport bar, but I decided to save that for Secret Eating.

Mix it all up with an electric mixer of some type, or with a spoon and your arm if you really want to. Make sure you get a good, uniform consistency. Then dump it into the pan, put the pan into the oven, and bake for 45 minutes or so. Check occasionally to see how it's doing and rotate the pan if necessary. Then, when you think it looks done, test with a toothpick to the middle. As you know, sticky cakebreads of this type should not cling to the toothpick when done.

Let the bread rest upside down on a rack, still in the pan, for five or ten minutes. Then attempt to get it out of the pan. Mine came right out with only one tiny tear; it was great.

Then we ate several pieces in a row with the chocolate still warm and oozing everywhere.

The next day I took it to work. Everyone at work has been busy making food and bringing it in, since now it's apparently "the holiday season" and thus time for chocolate peppermint chip cookies and warm apple cider. I kind of got sucked in. So I brought it to work, stuck it on the kitchen table with a note, and went off to do work stuff in San Francisco. When we got back there were two pieces left. Clearly, people like banana bread.

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