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Makes 1 loaf - you will need a 1lb loaf tin.
If your bananas aren’t really ripe then do hold off making this until they are; the sweetness of a ripe/verging-on-over-ripe banana is key to good banana bread. Also, if you have a lot of bananas getting over-ripe when you’re not in the mood for making banana bread, do peel them and freeze the flesh in a sandwich bag for making this at a later date. I constantly find myself with too many bananas (my kids want nothing but bananas when I don’t have any, and couldn’t be less interested in them when I have plenty!) and as a result I always have a bag of peeled bananas in the freezer, which are perfect for this.
115g unsalted butter50g natural yoghurt 2-3 very ripe bananas (2 if large, or 3 if small/medium)150g soft dark brown sugar 1 large egg1 tsp bicarbonate of soda Pinch salt 125g plain flour 65g unsweetened cocoa powder 115g dark chocolate, finely chopped 2 tbsp cocoa nibs, optional
Heat the oven to 160’c fan/180’c conventional. Grease and line a loaf tin with non-stick baking parchment.
Put the butter into a heat-proof mixing bowl, and melt it in the microwave. Add the bananas to the butter and use a fork to mash them. Whisk in the yoghurt and egg, followed by the sugar (make sure the sugar is lump free). Whisk in the flour, bicarb, cocoa and salt, then add the dark chocolate and whisk to combine. Turn the batter into the lined loaf tin, then level the top with a spatula/spoon. Sprinkle the cocoa nibs evenly over the top, then bake on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven for 60-70 minutes. After 45 minutes, cover it with a piece of foil to stop it from over-browning. When a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 30 minutes before carefully de-moulding, and leaving it to cool on a wire rack.
Serve with a glass of cold milk - trust me.
NB: This is quite a grown-up cake in that the cocoa flavour is intense, and it’s not overly sweet - if you aren’t a big fan of dark chocolate, perhaps use milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate to stir through the batter at the end, as this will sweeten the whole thing.
Buy a copy of The Vegetarian Kitchen by Prue Leith and Peta Leith on Amazon
Recipe courtesy of Peta Leith www.petaleith.com @peta_leith
I decided on a chocolate cherry flavour, because I love cherries and they are in season, which means I could use British produce, which I prefer to do.