Triple Chocolate Banana Bread with Salted Pistachios and Chocolate Ganache

Triple Chocolate Banana Bread with Salted Pistachios and Chocolate Ganache

“OMG What do we have here?” Screamed out Jenn when she came by for coffee. “What is this creation? Do you make this all the time. It looks phenomenal.”

The truth is, I don’t make it all the time. In fact, I prefer my banana bread, well, classic, no chocolate. In addition, I love making my quick breads with whole wheat flour. Check out my two banana bread recipes here (original and latest banana bread recipe.)

My favourite thing about this bread is how it looks. Haha. It’s truly so beautiful that this may just be the biggest reason I make it again. The crumb structure is great, the taste is wonderful with bananas, chocolate (white and milk,) a hint of cinnamon. But again, I love classic banana bread so much more. That’s the thing about being a food blogger – I have to make everything, not only my all time favourite recipes. And this is a very nice loaf.

In this bread we will be using the reverse creaming method, which is typically a preferred method among pastry chefs when it comes to many cakes or loafs. Why are we doing it here. No particular reason. This is not my usual banana bread and is more of a cake in my opinion, so I decided to switch up the technique. This technique results in finer, more velvety crumb while making the loaf more visually appealing. With the reverse creaming method, we are able to better control the final shape of the loaf, as there will be less doming and the bread will be structurally more appealing. Each flour granule will be coated well, inhibiting gluten development, to make a very soft and moist loaf. If you don’t want to use this method, you don’t have to – just follow the instructions to my regular (or your regular) banana bread recipe.

In my Instagram post I promised some controversy. And here it goes! This is basically contradicts everything you will read on any big baking blog out there. Not all baking needs room temperature eggs. I have done relentless testing and am confident to say that things such as cheesecakes, brownies, cookies, quick breads, some cakes (fudgier ones) benefit from the use of cold eggs. Some, however, such as yeasted dough, chocolate mousse, sponge cakes, etc – absolutely require room temp eggs. I originally started thinking about this after making Alice Medrich brownies that call for cold eggs. But the science here is solid. Warm eggs whip and incorporate a lot of air in them, which is what you want in a sponge/yellow cake, for example. But you don’t want air incorporated in cheesecakes, brownies or cookies as that might contribute to doming and cracking in cheesecakes, brownies being too cakey, and cookies not being as dense and chewy. This bread, being a quick bread where I look for moisture and almost some density for a very satisfying bite, benefits from the use of cold straight from the fridge eggs.

UPDATE: I received a phone call from Jenn the next day. She went home with leftovers of this banana bread. She asked me to go and taste the bread. I did. And woah… It tasted so much better the next day after overnight refrigeration. The whole thing became so smooth, like butter and so flavourful; with melt-in-your mouth texture. It has now been rightfully added to the list of most popular recipes.

Sorry about this, but this bread is so beautiful, I could not stop snapping pictures, so here are the pictures! By the way – there’s not a single filter or adjustment in any of these pictures, so what you see is exactly what you will get with this recipe!

Let’s get cooking.

NOTE: I look at this bread as more of a cross between a quick-bread and cake. For this reason, I’m not making it too sweet. There can be some merit in increasing the brown sugar by 2 more TBSP to take this even more into the cake territory. Feel free to increase the amount of chocolate chips as well by another 2-3 TBSP, if desired, but I was happy with the amount as written in the recipe.

Mix of chocolate that goes into the batter makes a huge difference. Try to use some chocolate chips (they are so gooey,) some chopped semi-sweet chocolate and definitely some chopped white chocolate for another interesting flavour layer.

Yields8 Servings

 1 cup flour
 ¼ cup cocoa
 ½ cup light brown sugar
 1 tsp baking powder
 ½ tsp baking soda
 ¼ tsp kosher salt, heaping (half as much if using fine table salt)
 ½ tsp cinnamon
 ½ cup coconut oil or room temperature unsalted butter
 1 cup mashed bananas
 ¼ cup greek yogurt
 2 eggs, straight from the fridge
 ½ cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (recommend assortment of semi-sweet and white chocolate) SEE NOTE
 ¼ cup shelled toasted pistachios
For the ganache:
 2.50 tbsp heavy cream
 ¼ cup chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1

Adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven (not the lowest) and preheat the oven to 350.

Line your 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper with the sides of it overhanging, for easier removal.

2

Mash bananas with a fork, stir in yogurt, eggs and vanilla into it and whisk until well combined.

3

Combine the first 8 ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer (flour, butter and everything in between.) Mix on low for just a minute or two until coarse crumbs (similar to the process of making a pie dough.) Gently scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl with a rubber spatula.

4

Add your banana mixture and mix on low for as little as possible, until all of the flour is incorporated (just around a minute.) Be sure to stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

5

Fold in chocolate chips gently with a rubber spatula at this time.

6

Pour your batter into 9x5 parchment lined loaf pan. Run a wet butter knife across the wet batter in the middle of the loaf for better more professional presentation. Sprinkle pistachios over the top of the loaf.

Bake in preheated oven for 55-65 minutes until the internal temperature (tested in at least two central spots of the loaf to avoid errors) registers between 200-206. The loaf in the picture was around 202-203 and was perfect. Alternatively, test with a toothpick, which should come out mostly clean, except of course, the melted chocolate.

7

Let cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on racks. Enjoy.

8

For the ganache, heat cream on medium heat until hot and bubbles form on the edges. Add chocolate and allow to sit for a minute. Then stir with a rubber spatula into creamy ganache. Drizzle over cooled bread (or still slightly warm bread.)

9

The texture of this bread becomes so smooth and melt-in-your-mouth after overnight refrigeration. Refrigeration is needed here because of the ganache, but also happens to make the loaf moister and denser. Consider allowing your loaf come to room temperature for 10 minutes or so prior to serving.

NOTE:
10

Chocolate chips are great in this recipe as they are so gooey. But using some chopped chocolate will really do wonders, as all of those little bits will melt into the batter taking it to the whole new level. Do your absolutely best to use some chocolate chips, some semi-sweet chopped chocolate and some chopped white chocolate. If you want to increase the amount of chocolate by 2-3 TBSP - go ahead!!!

Ingredients

 1 cup flour
 ¼ cup cocoa
 ½ cup light brown sugar
 1 tsp baking powder
 ½ tsp baking soda
 ¼ tsp kosher salt, heaping (half as much if using fine table salt)
 ½ tsp cinnamon
 ½ cup coconut oil or room temperature unsalted butter
 1 cup mashed bananas
 ¼ cup greek yogurt
 2 eggs, straight from the fridge
 ½ cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (recommend assortment of semi-sweet and white chocolate) SEE NOTE
 ¼ cup shelled toasted pistachios
For the ganache:
 2.50 tbsp heavy cream
 ¼ cup chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

1

Adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven (not the lowest) and preheat the oven to 350.

Line your 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper with the sides of it overhanging, for easier removal.

2

Mash bananas with a fork, stir in yogurt, eggs and vanilla into it and whisk until well combined.

3

Combine the first 8 ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer (flour, butter and everything in between.) Mix on low for just a minute or two until coarse crumbs (similar to the process of making a pie dough.) Gently scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl with a rubber spatula.

4

Add your banana mixture and mix on low for as little as possible, until all of the flour is incorporated (just around a minute.) Be sure to stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

5

Fold in chocolate chips gently with a rubber spatula at this time.

6

Pour your batter into 9x5 parchment lined loaf pan. Run a wet butter knife across the wet batter in the middle of the loaf for better more professional presentation. Sprinkle pistachios over the top of the loaf.

Bake in preheated oven for 55-65 minutes until the internal temperature (tested in at least two central spots of the loaf to avoid errors) registers between 200-206. The loaf in the picture was around 202-203 and was perfect. Alternatively, test with a toothpick, which should come out mostly clean, except of course, the melted chocolate.

7

Let cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on racks. Enjoy.

8

For the ganache, heat cream on medium heat until hot and bubbles form on the edges. Add chocolate and allow to sit for a minute. Then stir with a rubber spatula into creamy ganache. Drizzle over cooled bread (or still slightly warm bread.)

9

The texture of this bread becomes so smooth and melt-in-your-mouth after overnight refrigeration. Refrigeration is needed here because of the ganache, but also happens to make the loaf moister and denser. Consider allowing your loaf come to room temperature for 10 minutes or so prior to serving.

NOTE:
10

Chocolate chips are great in this recipe as they are so gooey. But using some chopped chocolate will really do wonders, as all of those little bits will melt into the batter taking it to the whole new level. Do your absolutely best to use some chocolate chips, some semi-sweet chopped chocolate and some chopped white chocolate. If you want to increase the amount of chocolate by 2-3 TBSP - go ahead!!!

Chocolate Banana Bread
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