Who doesn’t have a few ripe bananas floating around their house? I always have at least 8 in my freezer, and probably 2 or 3 more hanging from my banana tree. I think that I probably have more bananas hanging out at my house than most. I love, love, love bananas. I’m very particular about what ones I’ll eat though. They have to be yellow, but just barely. A little bit of green is the perfect banana. Not too green, because then they’re crunchy. Just turning fully yellow is the best banana. They also need to be on the smaller side. Bananas that are too big, just aren’t acceptable. Fully yellow is bad. Brown spots are aweful. I won’t eat bananas that are either of these – period. So…due to my neurotic banana selecting-eating habits, I end up with some spare bananas at the end of the week.
Freezing these spares helps, because then I’m not wasting every week, and can use them in recipes when I get the time. The problem with doing this though, is the unthawed bananas are even creepier than just a plain old ripe banana. I can’t handle the slithering, slimy banana mush that comes out of these unthawed bananas! I usually have to plug my nose and look away to get this task done.
I’ve made many recipes with these spare bananas. I made a really good Banana Chocolate Cake with Ganache Icing for my boyfriends mom once. I’ve also made Banana Nut Biscotti. I’ve also experimented with the classic banana bread or banana muffins too. I never seem to have much luck with banana bread though. The texture isn’t right, or the flavour is off, or it doesn’t cook properly and the bread is raw. I’ve spent a lot of time and spare bananas trying to perfect banana bread, usually with no avail – until now. Just recently, I’ve become slightly addicted to Pinterest. I love having a bulletin board to keep snapshots of things that inspire me. On the Food & Drink board, Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread recipes were trending. I’m assuming this was because of Halloween and leftover candy. I decided that I should try it out. I had spare bananas, so why not?
I researched banana bread recipes, and settled on the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe on Rachel Ray’s website. I also made my own lactose-free peanut butter cups to add to the banana bread recipe. Instead of taking the time to make individual cups for this recipe, I just made one large patty on a silicon baking sheet (I did make a few cups though, just so I could feel like I got some Halloween candy this year). For peanut butter cups that are lactose-free, make sure you’re using high quality chocolate that doesn’t contain milk. This also extends to the chocolate chips. The darker the chocolate the better – usually at least 70% or darker is safer. You’re looking for the ingredients to not list milk, milk products, modified milk ingredients, lactose, whey, whey powder or casein. All of these are milk products and at least for me, will be enough to wreck my day.
I made the banana recipe according to the directions. Instead of just mashing the bananas though, I used my immersion blender on the liquids before adding them to the dry ingredients (just like my weird obsession with the perfect banana, I have an adversion to cooked fruit and chunks of things). I then added the recommended about of chocolate chips and the peanut butter cups I’d made.
I’m pretty sure this turned out to be the perfect texture and bread to chocolate ratio – in my opinion. I loved this recipe so much that I didn’t even share my baking with family, friends or staff!
Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cooking Time: 60 – 80 minutes
4 oz dark, dairy-free chocolate
1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 bananas, mashed (1 cup mashed banana)
1 cup chocolate chips
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F .
2. Grease and flour a 8 1/2-inch x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
3. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. When melted, spoon half of the chocolate onto a plate covered in wax paper or a baking pan with a silicon baking sheet. Spread this chocolate thin, and put in the fridge until cooled and firm.
4. While the first layer of chocolate is cooling, prepare the peanut butter filling but mixing the peanut butter and icing sugar.
5. Once the chocolate has cooled, spoon the peanut butter filling on top and spread out. Cover this with the remaining melted chocolate. Chill in the fridge again until firm.
6. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and salt.
7. In a separate bowl, mix in the oil, bananas and eggs.If you desire a smoother bread texture, try using an immersion blender on this mixture.
8. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, and mix slowly with the paddle attachemnt in your stand mixer. Be careful not to overmix.
9. Stir in the chocolate chips and the cooled peanut butter cup broken into small pieces (do not overmix!), and pour into the prepared pan.
10. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60-80 minutes. It took about 65 minutes for my loaf to be done. I started checking for doneness after 60 minutes. How long it takes to fully bake for you will depend on your altitude. Just watch it closly and take it out once the toothpick test is complete. You don’t want overcooked banana bread!
11. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely, right side up.
(Recipe adapted from: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from http://www.rachaelray.com/recipe.php?recipe_id=2760)