I discovered my love for the warm buttery goodness of banana bread following a trip to New York City. I was staying with my stepmom’s mother, Fania Stone, then in her eighties; still going to work everyday as a textile designer, with silver-white hair cut in a stylish pixie. She was a delight and quick as a whip on walks to the Farmers Market at Union Square. We used to walk there on the weekends from her apartment in Gramercy Park to get our fruits and vegetables.
Fania was an avid reader, an eloquent pianist and painter. Her foyer was filled with books. Amidst the novels and art books was a small little cook book. In it I found the recipe for Banana Nut Bread. I baked it for us weekly and we enjoyed it each night with a little butter on one slice coupled with a hot cup of tea over a highly competitive game of Scrabble. I learned so much from her about art, culture, music, literature and good wholesome food. My time with Fania will stay in my heart indelibly as a precious and momentous life experience.
Over the years I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit – adding a little hint of vanilla, lemon or some other variation of spice or fruit depending on the season, my mood or just what I had on hand in the kitchen that day.
Today’s recipe was made with a bit of chocolate and some rich vanilla and coconut. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Chocolate Banana Nut Bread
Pre-heat oven to 325
3 Ripe Bananas
1 Cup Sugar
4 Tablespoons Melted Butter (salted)
2 Tablespoons Virgin Coconut Oil
1 1/2 Cups Flower
3 Teaspoons of Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chunks
Mix all wet ingredients in larger bowl
Mix dry ingredients in smaller bowl
Fold dry into wet ingredients
Grease and flour large bread loaf pan or 2 small pans
Pour batter into pan(s)
Bake for 1 hour
Check with toothpick in the center to make sure it is cooked all the way through. Toothpick should come out clean.
What I did with the recipe today was divide it into two smaller loaf pans and checked them at 45 minutes and 55 minutes. I took them out as soon as the toothpicks came out clean (a little under an hour).