Friday, May 6, 2011
Banana Walnut Bread with Chocolate Chips - healthy party treats for kids!
When I first started making banana bread with a hint of chocolate in the flour I had a firm admirer in my son and would be baking it every other week but he soon decided that he doesn't like bananas. So he gave up eating banana bread and used to tell me "Mom, that cake has bananas..."
Now, he's been in school one month and they're having a party. I wanted to make them a healthy yet delicious snack and nowadays children seem to be all about chocolate. All day I sound like, "Mr. No", because that's what I keep saying to him. No eating chocolate, No cuddling the rabbit, No racing towards a moving with your cycle... by the end of the day I'm thinking maybe I can't keep pace with 2.5 year old. So this, bread, which tastes more like cake is a "Yes, eat as much chocolate cake" as you like kinda bread. It's really soft and light and airy and ONE BOWL kinda cake bread.
NOTES, before you start baking
So, I got the recipe from www.epicurious.com and the recipe is so simple but I have adapted it to suit my needs. I read a lot of the comments and people spoke about how the chocolate chips were too much - so I reduced those and the walnuts because I had to send it to class party of 2 year olds. I also layered it in just two go's and not 3 times the way they have mentioned it and didn't use an electric beater for anything - just beat it all up in a bowl. There was also a comment about how it had overflowed so I reduced the baking soda in my bread and you will find the adapted recipe below. Regular sugar was subbed by brown sugar but you can use any sugar and increase it 2 cups if you want because the cake was made less sweet keeping sugar-high kids in mind. I made two loaves so half the recipe when you try it!
21/2 cups all purpose flour (I made it with 2 cups flour and 1 cup millet flour and the result was just as yum
but a bit denser)
1/2 cup Hershey's chocolate powder
1/2 canola oil and 1/2 cup butter
3 long bananas mashed
2 tsp vanilla essence
3 large eggs (for one loaf you can use 1 egg and if you seem to have less liquid in your bread, add a dash of milk)
1/4 cups toasted walnuts/ loaf cut into small pieces
1/4 cup small chocolate chips/loaf
2tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
2 X 3/4 cup brown sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 175C. Line and prepare two loaf tins.
Mash the bananas really well and add the vanilla essence to them. Add the softened butter and oil mixture to this and really beat well. Add the brown sugar and beat till dissolved. Add the eggs and beat till fluffy.
Now add the flour in 3 parts and mix so it just all comes together. Do not over mix or you have a pretty hard bread.
Now, into each of the two loaves put 1/4 of the batter each. Top with toasted walnuts and chocolate chips. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of batter each. Now mix together using a knife and then I leveled the batter a bit and decorated it with toasted almonds before baking. I also made a round cake out of the same batter for the home - the pictures of which came out better. I put the two loaves in a tray and covered with pretty paper to take to school and forgot to take a picture of them before... so bare with the grainy looking picture please. The bread was cake like and very light and melted into the mouth!
The bread took about 55 minutes to bake unlike the 1 hour and 5 minutes mentioned in the original recipe.I also loosely covered the loaves with foil in the last 10 minutes to make sure it didn't over brown or burn on the top since I had to send it to school.
Happy Baking - just in time for the summer vacation in India! Kids are perfect helpers. Just measure out everything and keep it in bowls... and let your little helpers mash the bananas and beat it all together - am sure the bread / cake would be tastier!