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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chocolate Banana Bread and Banana Bites

Hey everyone... a double recipe today! Chocolate Banana Bread and Banana Bites.

Fig. 1 Chocolate Banana Bread

Fig. 2. Banana Bites

I love eating lots of bananas. Bananas contain potassium. When I started running, my legs would be sore all the time. At some point I decided to look up what I could do to reduce the soreness. A little reading showed me that potassium intake is good to keep soreness at bay. And eating bananas is a good way to get potassium in my daily diet (I don't particularly fancy eating potatoes every day). So a banana a day keeps my soreness away! 

But my banana consumption, weather conditions and grocery frequency are three data points that do not always lie on one line. I hear people freeze bananas or keep them in the refrigerator. Please let me know if you do that and it works ok for you to make something later. 

Anyway.. as is obvious.. almost every alternate weekend, sometimes even on week days, I am left with 1 or 2 bananas that are threatening to self-destruct. And even if desserts are not the best way to get one's potassium, they are a good way to not-waste over-ripe bananas.

Chocolate Banana Bread:
This recipe is from the blog Delish, which I found via One Hot Stove. Both their breads looked so yummy I knew I couldn't keep away from it for too long! Here I have almost followed the whole recipe from Delish, except for changing her pecans to walnuts and reducing the sugar a little which is what Nupur has suggested and I liked. I have made this bread in the past also. It is really good as a grab-and-go snack.It is fine un-refrigerated for 2 days or so. Then I usually pop it in the fridge.

Walnuts (or pecans in the original recipe) - 1/2 cup, roughly chopped
All purpose flour - 1 and 3/4 cup
Cocoa powder - 3 tablespoons
Baking powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - a pinch
Eggs - 2 large, well mixed
Bananas - 3 large, ripe, chopped or pureed
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon
Butter - 1/4 cup, melted or soft
Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup

1) Toast the chopped walnuts in the oven for 5-8 minutes.
2) Mix the dry ingredients - flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.
3) Mix the wet stuff - eggs, bananas, sugar, vanilla essence, butter.
4) Now slowly add the dry mixture in the wet mixture bowl. (Actually Ash at Delish adds the wet into the dry. Not sure what is ideal. I always gradually fold in my dry into the wet. Hopefully it's all the same.)
5) Add walnuts and chocolate chips. Mix lightly.
6) Pour into greased pan. Originally they used a loaf pan, but I just use my good old flat round pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Since my pan is wider than a loaf-pan it did not take a whole hour as suggested in the original recipe. Test with a toothpick to see if it is done.

Banana Bites:
This is a highly experimental one.. a big adaptation from a recipe I found at two blogs. 1) Indira's old Mahanandi/Nandyala blog. For some reason I am unable to access her new blog from my computer. But her old one is a wealth of recipes. And I often browse through just for ideas. Her recipe was originally for deep-fried banana biscuits. I did not want to deep fry. So I combined it with some ideas for baking from 2) Sunita Bhuyan's recipe for banana chocolate-chip cookies. Sunita's blog is another beauty! Just a browse through and you will never leave her space ( please go there after you read this post!) ;)

I have combined both their recipes and baked my so-called Banana Bites. They are not crunchy like cookies. But they are not as spongy as cake either. More like slightly dense muffin-tops, with the taste of sheera. I could add one egg in future to make it even softer maybe. I just didn't want to add vanilla and ruin the nice cardamom fragrance there. But I wasn't sure it would be strong enough to mask the smell of egg. So I stuck with eggless for now.

Ripe bananas - 2
Sugar - 5 teaspoons
Salt - a pinch
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cardamom powder - freshly ground from about 5 pods
All purpose flour (maida) ~ 1.5 cups, more if you feel the need for it.

1) Mash the bananas roughly. Add sugar. Mix well. With the addition of sugar the bananas just melt into a puree.
2) Add oil, salt, cardamom powder, baking powder and mix well.
3) Now add the flour spoon by spoon slowly, folding it in gradually. Add only as much as is needed to get a doughy mixture. I didn't stir too much.
4) Cover the mixture bowl with some tightly sealed plastic and keep it in the refrigerator for half an hour or 1 hour.
5) Grease a baking sheet or spread some parchment paper on a baking sheet. Drop spoonfuls of the above mixture onto the sheet. Lightly flatten with your finger tips.
6) Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes. Test done-status with a toothpick.

This used up 2 ripe bananas real quick and made about 12 pieces. That's not too much to consume quickly as breakfast or snack with chai. I kept these in the fridge, quickly microwaved for 30 sec or so before eating the next day. We finished these in about 2 days.

This long-long-long post goes to Blog Bites at One Hot Stove, where Nupur is testing if we are Iron Chefs and can make two things with one ingredient! But if I had to Geeta pey haath rakhkar kasam khaao-fy then I will have to admit that I did not bake both of these dishes on a single day! ;) Single post? Yes!

Check out her round-up on 26th September!

Cheers and happy baking!


Nupur said...

Love both your banana recipes! Thanks so much for participating. And yes, I routinely freeze over-ripe bananas to be used later in baked goods. I peel them and then store them in the freezer in an air-tight container.

And no, there was no need to make both dishes on the same day or anything, just to post them together :)

Sushma Mallya said...

i love banana bread but never tried with chocolate, seems like a heavenly combo and looks too good to resist...banana bites too looks yum

SS blogs here said...

Hey Nupur.. its a pleasure to participate in your event! And thanks for that tip. I will try freezing some your way next time.

Hey Sushma.. thanks for the compliments! :)

Pavithra Srihari said...

wow , that was perfect ... Loved both the recipes out here

aipi said...

Banana bread with chocolate is my ultimate fav..chocolate makes everything awesome..doesn't it !
Banana bites look perfect n delish too!

US Masala

Anonymous said...

Wow SS...banana bites are really new thing to me!loved it.Bananas and cardamom is a my fav combo! I also make banana bread with chocolate & add some coconut becomes a tropical bread!

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, Pavithra! :)

Thanks, Aipi! Yes.. chocolate makes everything delicious! :)

Hey Tanvi.. ooh I like your idea of adding coconut and making it all "tropical"! :) Thanks!

Priya said...

Banaba bites sounds very interesting and yummy..beautiful looking chocolate banana bread..

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, Priya! :)

SpicyTasty said...

Looks so good and tempting.

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, Shriya!

Niloufer Riyaz said...

loved both these delicios bread n bites!!

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, Niloufer! :)

Aparna S Mallya said...

Biting into the banana bites must have been sheer pleasure!

SS blogs here said...

Hey Aparna! They sure were delicious! :)

Cham said...

I can't stand the ripe banana smell. But it eat banana when they are still firm, weird huh?
U have did a great work with one ingredient.
Tip: once the banana is ripen wrap it and store in in frezer bag. When u want to bake, thaw in fridge or counter top and the gooey stuff is ready!

SS blogs here said...

Hey Cham, ripe bananas smell quite different from unripe ones. I'm sure the flies know all about the difference too! Thanks for the tip! I am going to try some freezing next time! Cheers!

Panchpakwan said...

Both looks so delicious and yummy..

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, Jyothi! :)