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Author Notes: This is a perfect recipe for when you want to whip something up that is equally impressive and stress-free. The flavors mellow into a richer experience as if your banana bread suddenly put on her LBD and some red lipstick. The beauty of this recipe is that banana bread is so easily adaptable for when you want to jazz things up or just make substitutions with what you have at hand. Don't be afraid to switch things up if you don't have all the ingredients in your pantry. (You can use all-purpose flour if you don't have bread flour. I would highly recommend stocking up on bread flour for the future! It's a gamechanger for quick breads and cookies!) —Jee Young Han
Serves 1 loaf
- 1 1/3 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe banana (about 3)
- 1/4 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons fig-infused bourbon (or vanilla extract)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. (Avoid the grease & flour method. You'll want to avoid tipping the loaf upside down so it all stays pretty. The parchment paper made it easy to lift without having to resort to baking equipment yoga.)
- Heat up a small skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the chopped walnuts for about 3-4 minutes until you get that nutty fragrance while stirring often.
- Add 1 cup of the toasted walnuts into a large bowl, and set aside the other 1/3 into a smaller bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the large bowl (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt).
- In a medium bowl, add all the wet ingredients. Mashed bananas, sour cream (or yogurt), butter, and fig-infused bourbon (or vanilla extract). I know that most people don't just happen to have fig-infused bourbon lying around. Try splashing in some regular bourbon in there with the vanilla extract. Or, you could even make a browned butter which will give it a slight toffee-like flavor.
- Fold in the wet mix with your dry mix. Add all but 1 tbsp. of the chocolate chunks to the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Sprinkle the last bit of walnuts and chocolate chips atop. Try to keep them closer to the center to avoid burnt chocolate, and to generally make the loaf look pretty.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes. The toothpick test is tough here, because the melted chocolate is going to give you a bad reading. 50 minutes was great for me. 55 is to be safe. Please take it out before 60 unless your oven is generally just colder- but you should probably get that checked. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then lift it out with the help of the parchment paper, and cool on a wire rack.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with a Smarty Pants Trick or Technique