Remember those days when you’ve got a little bit of this and a little bit of that ingredient left over and a whole lot of zeal to somehow bring them all together into culinary cohesion? I found myself in exactly the same spot on one such occasion. Amped up on endorphins following a rigorous workout, I descended on my store cupboard and zeroed in on a half empty jar of peanut butter, a packet of fast disappearing chocolate chips, an almost empty carton of cocoa and a couple of bananas well into their prime. The mission on hand – chocolate, chocolate, peanut butter banana bread. I could just as easily say double chocolate, but where’s the fun and anticipation in that?
As an added bonus, whole wheat flour substitutes the omniscient all-purpose variety. For just as much as this is a waste-not… enterprise, it is also an exercise in healthy eating. I’m not entirely convinced of the whole low fat, fat free diet fads as an accurate calorie denominator, but on the idea of wholesome, healthy eating I am completely sold.
Since everyone knows that in cakes there is little or no leverage for any dietary driven juggling of ingredients, I allow myself considerable latitude to accommodate a little harmless nutrition anywhere else I can. So, whole wheat flour, applesauce, vegetable oil, nut flour and the rest of the clean and lean clan are some of my go-tos… yeah, a big fan of the whole foods culture. Sadly, though, the effort hasn’t always produced desirable or even edible results. Until now. And here’s why. Whole wheat flour is built tough with a very permeable personality. Which is to say that it is more porous than all-purpose flour and, therefore, needs a tad more moisture to coax it into coordinating with the other ingredients. According to baking experts it works even better with butter and the moisture released from other dairy fats. But we just busted our butts in a merciless squat routine remember, and endorphins or not let’s not get too carried away.
Aright, before I (unintentionally) turn this into a boring baking dos and don’ts spiel, let’s turn all attention and awe to where it should be – the star of this piece. Just look at how voluptuously yet softly domed it is… and that central furrow running through… almost as if it’s urging you sink your teeth into velvety richness. I am happy. I don’t think I can do any better. For something created from store cupboard scraps, it is baking perfection with every mouthful. Yeah, that may sound like a rather large claim to make. But it fits the description of my banana bread fantasies – toothsomely yielding with a moist crumb, and, in this case, dangerously bordering on decadent; in my book that’s perfection.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup low fat yogurt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup soft brown sugar
2 large bananas mashed
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Sift dry ingredients in a large bowl; add chips
- In a separate bowl mash together the bananas with the sugar and stir in the yogurt; beat vigorously with a fork.
- In a jar (I just used my almost empty jar of PB), stir together the peanut butter, oil and egg till well blended.
- Add the contents of the jar to the banana mixture and stir with a fork to blend or till thoroughly incorporated.
- Now just add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and fold lightly till no white streaks remain. Pour batter into a loaf pan and bake in a 180 degrees Celsius oven for 40 minutes.