“I need chocolate” were the first words that came out of my husband’s mouth this morning
Surprisingly he didn’t go and eat chocolate for breakfast (perhaps he thought the dietitian in me may object?) but that was all the excuse I needed to do some baking with a chocolate theme in mind
And this is what I made…
Don’t you just love the sliced banana on top? I do!
Okay, so I borrowed (ahem, copied) this idea from all the other people on the interwebby who are doing this to their banana bread. But don’t worry, I’m not about to start taking photos of smoothies in mason jars or start wrapping my cakes or muesli bars with brown paper and string!
Now don’t be shocked, but yes, there is coconut oil in this banana bread (that we all know is really a cake, right!).
I know I have had my bit to say about coconut oil, but what you will also note is that although I do suggest you make extra virgin olive oil your main oil to cook with, I am not against using coconut oil ever. In fact, it is a great butter substitute as due to its high saturated fat content, it behaves just like butter in cooking, providing the same soft texture, but with a hint of coconut as well (which you may or may not want depending on what you are cooking, but trust me, in this cake, it works)
Of course, you can substitute the coconut oil with macadamia oil or extra virgin olive oil if you like
And while we are on the topic of ingredients, you will see in the ingredients list I have suggested to use soft flour. Soft flour (also known as cake flour) is a wheat based flour that is naturally lower in gluten.
The alternative being ‘hard’ (bakers or bread) flour.
Gluten is the protein in wheat that when it gets wet is responsible for ‘gluing’ all the wheat particles together. This is a good thing as it stops your cake from just being a pile of crumbs.
If you mix the batter too much you can ‘work’ the gluten too much which can make your cake tough. And a tough cake ain’t a good thing, right?!
If you look closely at the photos you will notice that there are two different banana breads. I’m not quite up to the Women’s Weekly standard of triple testing recipes, but I do like to make recipes at least twice before I post them, so you know you can trust that they will work (you’re welcome!).
Plus the first banana bread didn’t last long, and I’m a compulsive cook and there were requests for more. That’s how utterly delicious it is!
1 cup mashed over-ripe bananas (approx 2-3 bananas) + 1 extra banana, optional
⅓ cup (50g) brown sugar (I used rapadura)
¼ cup (50g) coconut oil, melted
1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence
Heat oven to 170 degrees. Line a loaf tin with non-stick paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and cocoa powder into a large bowl.
In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk the eggs, add the mashed bananas. sugar, oil, honey and vanilla and whisk together.
Pour the banana mix into the flour mix and stir until JUST combined.
Pour the cake mixture in the prepared loaf pan.
Cut the extra banana in half lengthways and place on top of the cake batter.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.
To check if the cake is done, either press lightly on the surface, if it is done it should spring back. Or use a skewer and poke it into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean it is done.
Allow to cool for 10 mins before removing from the tin
Nutritional merits of bananas:
Bananas are one of my favourite fruit to recommend (and by the way, there is no way that a food that is this nutritious will help you put on weight!). In fact, I say a banana a day (just like an apple) keeps the doctor away!!
Why? Well they are low GI (slowly digested, so will keep you full for longer), high in fibre and brimming with nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, Vitamin B6 and folate, as well as anti-oxidants which slow down the ageing process and reduce your risk of age-related diseases. Plus they come in their own convenient (and bio-degradable) packaging.
And you know they must be fabulous when you see the top tennis players in the world snacking on them between sets!
Bananas are also amazing when it comes to baking. Due to their natural sweetness you will not need to add too much sugar or other sweeteners. And riper bananas will help your cake (I mean bread) rise more and make it lighter.
Plus you will be supporting our Aussie farmers (who work damn hard to bring you such healthy produce) when you buy them. So eat at least a banana a day!
170 degrees? Shouldn’t it be 350 degrees? Also what is ww soft flour-is this cake flour?
Hi Cindy. Sorry that should say 170 degrees C, which yes is the same as 350 degrees F. And yes, soft flour is cake flour (low gluten flour), but they call it soft here in Australia! Kind regards Caroline 🙂
I made this today- it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe.
Thanks so much for the feedback Aliyah. Sorry for the delay in replying but I hope you’ve tried some more of my recipes since 🙂