In my opinion the key to great banana bread is a massive amount of bananas. In this recipe I use a whopping 400 grams (about 4 ripe bananas). On top of adding amazing flavor the large quantity of banana has another purpose - keeping the loaf moist and flavorful for about 5 days. Using very ripe bananas is an absolute must. I usually wait until there's zero yellow on the banana before baking them into bread. Riper bananas have a significantly higher sugar content than unripe bananas.
In this recipe, I use melted brown butter. Brown butter is a low-effort way to improve the the rich flavors in banana bread. The brown butter adds a lovely nuttiness to the loaf and it compliments the rich dark chocolate. The dark chocolate I use in this recipe has a 70% cocoa content. I recommend that you use a chocolate bar with a similar cocoa content. Chocolove Strong Dark Chocolate is my absolute favorite brand to bake with. It’s excellent in both cookies and this banana bread.
Be cautious not to underbake this brown butter banana bread with chocolate chunks. Underbaked banana bread can be dense and the dome will sink. I baked my loaf for 70 minutes and the internal temperature was 203°F. I use a Lavatools instant read thermometer to check my bake as well an oven thermometer to ensure that my oven is properly heated. I also recommend that you weigh out your ingredients with a kitchen scale.
- 4 large ripe bananas, pureed (400 grams)
- 113 grams unsalted butter + a bit extra for greasing the pan
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) diamond kosher salt
- 140 grams light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon good quality vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs whisked together, room temperature
- 60 grams full fat sour cream, room temperature
- 210 grams all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 dark chocolate bar (3.2 ounces) roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan (see note below) with about 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter. Line the pan with parchment paper.
Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a small heat-proof bowl. Melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a small light-colored pot or skillet over low heat - when melted, increase the burner temp to medium. At this point, the butter should start to foam. Stir continuously until the butter reaches a beautiful golden brown color - this takes about 8 minutes. Once the butter is the proper color, immediately remove it from the burner and transfer it to the bowl with the spices.
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large bowl, mix the pureed bananas, whisked eggs, sour cream, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and brown butter spice mix - stir until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir together with a large wooden spoon. Be careful not to overmix - overmixing will cause the gluten to overdevelop, and that changes the texture and rise of the loaf.
Fold in the chopped chocolate and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and make sure the batter is distributed evenly. Bake for 45-70 minutes. Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then turn it out onto a rack to finish cooling for at least an additional 20 minutes. Enjoy banana bread slathered in salted butter and honey.
Note: Be sure to use a stainless steel pan - non stick or glass pans cook hotter and will dry out your banana bread.