Friday, October 1, 2010

Cocoa Banana Loaf

1 Oct 2010

The moment I saw this Double Brilliant post on my bloglist by The Kitchen Sink Recipes, I knew it would be a winner. Well, I can't resist any bakes that combines chocolate and bananas together.

And I immediately brought out my SCS butter from the fridge to soften it to room temp. I knew that I was going to bake it today since I have some over-ripen bananas hanging in my kitchen.

One thing though, I don't have any Dutch-processes Cocoa Powder. So what did I do? I substituted it with Hershey's Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.
  • Substituting Unsweetened Cocoa for Dutch-Process Cocoa - 3 tablespoons (18 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder plus a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) baking soda.
  • Substituting Dutch-Process Cocoa for Unsweetened Cocoa - Leave out any baking soda called for in the recipe.
Although there is this substitution table (above), I did not follow it. I just simply chucked in the equal amount of unsweetened cocoa powder. I know, Dutch's is supposed to have a more superior taste, but well, I am lazy. Maybe next time. *wink

And as I don't have sour cream, I subbed it with Nestle's natural yogurt.

What I like about this loaf is that while baking in the oven, you can see that the batter rose surpass the brim of my loaf pan. Wow, not often do I see this. It rose real high and real nice!
Even while cooling on the wire rack, it did not disappoint me, it kept its height and was still standing tall.

I dusted some icing sugar on the loaf, liking that the powdered white sugar gave a nice colour contrast to the dark loaf.

When cut, the insides revealed a very moist and soft loaf. Yes, the loaf is so soft thanks to the yogurt I think.
And it has a nice slight bitter chocolate taste, I think due to the unsweetened cocoa powder used, instead of Dutch's. So for those who don't quite fancy bitter chocolate, I think you have to stick to Dutch's or reduce the amount of unsweetened cocoa.

For me and my family is alright. We like chocolate and we love bitter chocolate taste. ;)

Recipe: Cocoa Banana Loaf (copied directly from The Kitchen Sink Recipes)
Adapted Slightly from Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker

Yield: 1 9- or 10-inch loaf

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
2/3 cup alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa powder, sifted after measuring - (I used Hershey's Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium, very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork to make 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup sour cream - (I used Nestle's Natural Yogurt)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) (170g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs

Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- or 10-inch loaf pan.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir well to mix. In a separate bowl, stir together the mashed bananas and sour cream; set aside.

Combine the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and place on mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for about a minute, or until well mixed and a little lightened in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating smooth after each addition.

Decrease the mixer speed to low and beat in half the flour mixture. Stop the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl and beater. On low speed, beat in the banana mixture. After the batter has absorbed the banana mixture, beat in the remaining flour mixture. Stop and scrape down the bowl and beater again. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to give a final mixing to the batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the loaf is well-risen and firm to the touch. Test the loaf with a toothpick or the point if a thin-bladed knife – it should emerge with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack.

Once the loaf is cool, turn it out onto a board or serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

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