Chocolate Almond Banana Bread

Chocolate Almond Banana Bread
There is absolutely no wrong time of day for banana bread. I can’t even count the number of recipes that I’ve tried with the stash of overripe bananas that I always keep tucked in my freezer. The latest loaves I baked skewed more toward dessert. With chopped bittersweet chocolate folded into the batter, chocolate almond banana bread was sweet without being overly rich.

What I loved about this banana bread was the balance of flavors. I got a little banana, almond and chocolate in each bite. The nuttiness was thanks to the addition of almond paste. Before putting the pans in the oven, I topped them with halved bananas. Not only are they good for decoration, but I love having a chunk or two of roasted banana in every slice.

Chocolate Almond Banana Bread
Adapted from Food52

Makes 2 loaves or 1 bundt cake

Non-stick cooking spray
1-2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
7 ounces almond paste
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
1-1/2 cups ripe mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas, halved lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pans or 1 bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in the bittersweet chocolate.

In the bowl of a food processor, mix the sugar and almond paste until it is a sandy, crumbly consistency. Add the oil, eggs, bananas and vanilla extract and process until smooth. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Divide the batter into the prepared loaf pans. Topped with halved bananas.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until the loaves are pulling away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a couple crumbs. Cool the loaves in the pans for 15 minutes before removing them. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container.

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