I'm keeping it pretty simple this week after all the effort that went into this layered cake. This is a really fantastic and easy recipe for banana bread, with a small twist. It comes with a silky smooth dark chocolate spread. It's not like nutella, there's no nuts in it because of my allergies. But it's a gorgeous chocolate spread that is full of good quality bitter dark chocolate, and just a very thin layer of it on a slice of banana bread is perfection.
This particularly banana bread recipe has no yeast it in, so it's like most of the cake-like banana breads that you get here in Australia. The important part to getting a really tasty banana bread is to make sure your bananas are ridiculously overripe. Like black to the point where they are nearly (but not) rotten. I had a few bananas sitting on my kitchen counter for a good week and a half and they were completely blackened. It might seem gross when you're peeling them but all that strong smell and flavour will give you a great tasting banana bread.
The chocolate spread might seem like too much to go with something that is already as sweet as a banana bread, but trust me it works. I've put dark chocolate chips into my banana bread before and loved it, so this is essentially the same but you can control how much chocolate you want to use. Because I used a very dark chocolate, it's not very sweet at all. Even so, it's still quite a rich spread so you only need to use it sparingly. If you're not a fan of the bitterness of dark chocolate, feel free to use milk chocolate but skip on the golden syrup in both the banana bread and the spread recipes.
A giant lump of banana bread might not be the most appealing to photograph, but it was so good to eat. The smell of this banana bread baking in the oven was incredible. I made sure to increase the smount of spices in the recipe but you could increase it even more if you like your spices. Just make sure not to overbake it, there's nothing worse than dried out banana bread.
Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Spread
3 very overripe medium bananas, peeled
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 1/3 cups (about 300g) self-raising flour
1/3 cup (about 50g) plain flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
3/4 cup, firmly packed (about 150g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (about 185ml) milk
3 eggs, lightly whisked
75g (2/3 stick) butter, melted, cooled
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease the base and sides of a 21x11cm (base measurement) loaf tin. Line the base and 2 opposite sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang. If you have a smaller tin like me you can pour the extra batter into a lined muffin tin. In a medium bowl, mash banana together with the golden syrup. Stir in milk, eggs and melted butter until combined and then set aside.
Sift the combined flours, allspice and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre just comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into slices to serve.
For the dark chocolate spread:
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup, I used 70% cocoa)
140g (5 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
2-4 tbsp golden syrup, adjust to taste
In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Place the pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar and cocoa powder dissolve. Keep stirring until it just starts to simmer, then remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla extract, chopped chocolate, and cubed butter. Whisk until smooth. If you wish to make the spread any sweeter, whisk in golden syrup a tablespoon at a time, adjusting to taste. Pour into a jar or other container with a lid. Press a layer of plastic wrap on top of the chocolate to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate it until it thickens. If it is too cold to spread easily, let it sit at room temperature until it softens before serving. Store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.