Spiced Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Pareve)

Spiced Banana Bread with Chocolate. © 2013 Miri Rotkovitz
    85 mins

I was thinking of the Caribbean flavors and the colonial spice trade when I developed this banana bread recipe. Spiced with warming cardamom, ginger, vanilla and nutmeg, and studded with rich dark chocolate, it's great with coffee, yet interesting enough to serve as dessert. If you're serving it after a dairy meal, try it topped with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. A pareve coconut milk-based ice cream would make a nice accompaniment after a meat meal.

I especially like the texture and flavor when made with coconut milk (the full-fat canned variety, not the thin dairy milk substitute that's available in cartons, though that would work as well).

Tip: As written, the spice blend in the recipe is balanced and the chocolate and banana flavors shine through. But if you're a die-hard cardamom fan, you can increase the amount to 1/2 teaspoon -- the cardamom flavor will predominate, but it's a tasty variation.

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) oil
  • 2 very ripe bananas (about 1 cup), peeled and mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk or soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (130 g) dark chocolate chips, or chopped dark chocolate

How to Make It

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and nutmeg. Add the crystallized ginger, and toss until it is well distributed.

3. In another large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, bananas, eggs, coconut or soy milk, and vanilla extract.

4. Make a well in the middle of  the flour mixture, then slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing constantly with a whisk or electric beaters just until well-combined.

Fold the chocolate into the batter until it is evenly distributed.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour, 5 minutes, or until the banana bread is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the bread in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and continue to cool completely on the rack. Well-wrapped in foil, the banana bread will keep for 2 days at room temperature, or for up to a month in the freezer. Enjoy!