It was Day Two of Hurricane Harvey, and as I sat at the kitchen table eating a steaming hot bowl of my mother's pho, I could not ignore dark brown cluster of ripe bananas in front of me. I pushed aside the need to immediately lie down and take a nap and instead, whipped up a large batch of banana bread.
One of my earliest posts was a great banana muffin recipe (which you can find here) - but this time I wanted to incorporate some of the extra ingredients I had around the kitchen. One of my all time culinary heroes is Nigella Lawson. I absolutely loves how she describes food, and I adore her philosophy on cooking. I remember watching episode after episode of her just improvising and using what she could find around the kitchen. Now, I'm fully aware that this isn't a new idea. I think the point is to just have fun and be creative with the ingredients that you do have. My treasure hunt yielded a bag of toasted shredded coconut, cocoa powder, an orange, and butterscotch syrup.
I used Nigella's recipe for chocolate banana muffins as a base and went from there. Since I had a lot of bananas, I decided to double the recipe. I zested the orange straight into the batter, and added a touch of vanilla before folding in half of the toasted coconut. After dividing the batter into paper liners, I sprinkled a bit more coconut on top, as well as some vanilla turbinado sugar, for a little extra crunch and flavor. As a final touch, I drizzled butterscotch syrup over banana bread, right out of the oven.
After the banana bread cooled, I wrapped them up in parchment paper and twine. I'm hoping that the rain lets up soon. I for one would like to get out of the house and give these delicious treats to friends and family. The bread can be enjoyed as a part of breakfast, with your coffee and tea, or spread with nutella, butter, or jam. For dessert, I would recommend warming it up in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds, and topping it with vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate & Coconut Banana Bread
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Banana muffin's recipe-
Makes approximately 24 muffins
- 6 overripe bananas
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of light brown sugar
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 1/2 cups of toasted shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of vanilla turbinado sugar
- Butterscotch syrup or honey
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a muffin pan or loaf pan with paper cups/parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas until there are no large chunks left. Add the oil, sugar, and eggs, and mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix gently until combined.
- Zest orange into the batter and add 1 cup of the toasted coconut. Add the vanilla and fold until the coconut is incorporated into the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and sprinkle remaining coconut and vanilla sugar on top.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. As they are cooling, drizzle butterscotch or honey over the muffins.