Goodwill is a great place to find used cookbooks at cheap prices, and when I found a cookbook published in the 80’s by the Ghirardelli Company for 75 cents, I grabbed it. As you probably know, food companies spend big bucks on the development of recipes using their products, so when a recipe is published that uses specific brand-name products, it will generally be easy to make so that it will turn out good for the most inexperienced cook, and also be very tasty, since companies want you to purchase their products over and over. A recipe for Chocolate Banana Bread was in this cookbook, and after a little tweaking of the ingredients and adaptation of the directions for modern cooks, it is a perfect loaf that doesn’t sink in the middle and has become a favorite with the official Hancock tasters (even Mr. Picky, who recently consumed almost an entire loaf).
This recipe is very easy and can be made into two large loaves or about 12 small individual loaves. In fact, it also makes 24 cupcakes, which are absolutely decadent soaked in a little chocolate or banana liqueur (or flavored non-alcoholic coffee syrup) and frosted with chocolate cream cheese frosting. If the bananas are getting overripe at your house, this is the bread to make. Yum!
Makes 2 standard loaves, 12-18 individual loaves depending on pan size, or about 24 cupcakes
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups ground chocolate, (I use Ghirardelli brand) (Note: this is not unsweetened baking cocoa; it is sweetened chocolate and can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas
3 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray two 9 x 5" loaf pans liberally with non-stick spray (or 12 individual loaf pans or 24 muffin cups).
- Cream the butter and sugar; beat in the eggs and mix until fluffy.
- Add the chocolate, vanilla extract, and bananas and continue beating until light and fluffy.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a fine strainer; shake the ingredients through the strainer into the chocolate mixture.
- Turn the mixer to low and mix just until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Stir in the nuts and transfer the mixture to the prepared pans.
- Bake 55-60 minutes (individual loaves 20-25 minutes, cupcakes 12-15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Run a knife around the outside of the pans and invert onto a cooling rack; turn the loaves upright and let cool before slicing each into 12 slices.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 228 Calories from Fat 114
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 50% Protein 7% Carb. 43%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 65 mg
Sodium 298 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 16 g
Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 7% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 3%