Vegan, Refined Sugar Free
Tomorrow is me and my boyfriend’s two year anniversary! Two years ago this week I’d been waiting for him to properly ask me out for four months, and he kept texting me but never actually asked! So finally I just thought this is ridiculous, and invited myself over to watch a movie. I got lost on the train and was an hour late to the station, but I made it! We watched the Hangover. His favourite line is when Alan says “that’s how I’ve managed to stay single this long”. He drove me home at 2 in the morning because the last train had left. We’ve been together ever since.
I made him a chocolate banana bread because he loves dark chocolate, and he loves banana bread. His ultimate dessert is probably brownies but I’ve made so many of those recently I don’t think I could face them again for a while. So this here is a rich, fudgy and very very chocolatey banana loaf. (Definitely more on the cake side of loaf).
I was inspired to make this after seeing Smitten Kitchen‘s amazing banana chocolate bread last week. I adapted my classic vegan banana bread to make a chocolate version, because I wanted the cake to be healthy too. (I’m that sick kind of person that thinks ‘whole-grains’ and ‘healthy fats’ in a cake make a better present than delicious sugar and butter…I know). So there is raw cacao powder as well as the rich dutch-processed kind, chia seeds, maple syrup and of course lots of banana 🙂
I wasn’t expecting this to come out so moist and chocolate flavoured. The espresso really brings out the chocolate flavour, so don’t leave it out even if you’re a coffee fan! When I was in year 9 I did a term project which involved baking a chocolate cake every single week using different rising agents. It got to the point where I didn’t need a recipe, I didn’t need a scale, I probably could have made it blind-folded. I don’t have that recipe anymore but I remember the strong smell of warm coffee that would come out of the oven as it baked. It was such a good chocolate cake! And not coffee flavoured at all despite using a whole entire cup.
This cake freezes really well (although I don’t think it will have to it’s so popular). Just cut into slices and wrap well with plastic wrap. You can eat it with ice cream and chocolate sauce if you want a crazy good dessert, or just slice it up with tea. It’s a very versatile cake. It only takes about an hour to make from start to finish too! So really, what are you waiting for???
Also, I’ve put chocolate chips as ‘optional’ in the recipe. That was a lie. There’s not really an option is there. Especially not if this cake is for someone you love!
One Year Ago: Plum Jam Swirl
Chocolate Banana Bread with Chocolate Chunks:
2 very ripe bananas, mashed well
80ml (1/3 cup) brewed coffee
110g (1/2 cup) sunflower oil or butter for non-vegan
100g (1/2 cup) brown sugar or 1/2 cup maple syrup
3 eggs, or 3 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 6 tbsp water to make gel
120g (1 cup) plain white flour
120g (1 cup) cocoa powder, half cacao powder optional
2 tsp baking powder
optional: 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp cinnamon
Method: Preheat oven to 180C (356F) and line a loaf pan with baking paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour and baking powder. In a large bowl whisk the oil and syrup or sugar until well combined. Add in the vanilla if using, and the chia or eggs. Whisk well until combined. Add in the espresso and mashed banana and mix the wet ingredients well. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Stir in the chocolate chunks. Pour into the tin and bake for about 30 minutes, checking five minutes beforehand to stop it overcooking. Lasts 4-5 days, serves about 8-10.