Banana Bread with Chocolate Chip Streusel

If you look here, here, and here, you could easily conclude that I am a lover of all things banana bread. And you would be right. I do love this humble loaf and am always up for trying yet another banana bread recipe. I cannot resist the perfume-y moistness the bananas give the cake. It’s also a fantastic way to use bananas that have been sitting on the dining room table, fast moving past their prime. If you are part of a small household, and bananas come in big bunches, you will know what I mean. With a new member on board though, perhaps I can look forward to the day when we won’t always end up with a few rotten bananas. Which is not to say that I will ever stop letting some go “bad” for my bread :)

Now, you may not be up for reading yet another banana bread recipe over here but the fact of the matter is, and I might as well admit it now and get it out of the way, I will most likely continue trying all manners of banana bread recipes, and posting them in this space (unless of course it was totally heinous then you can be sure nobody would hear of it). I hope you don’t mind :)

This recipe is from Tessa Kiros’ book Apples for Jam, one of my very favorite cookbooks just because it is such a beautiful book written in such a lovely way. It’s a book I tucked into bed with me many times when I was pregnant. More than any pregnancy or baby book, Apples for Jam, with Tessa’s lyrical snippets from her childhood and that of her two (adorable!) daughters, would keep my pre-delivery jitters at bay much more than any account of “what to expect”. I still look over its pages and dream of the good things I want to make for (and with!) Little C someday.

This banana bread is one of them.

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chip Streusel
(Banana bread from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros, streusel adapted from Ramblings From a Gypsy Soul)

For the banana bread:
  • 125 grams butter
  • 180 grams dark brown sugar
  • 350 grams ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk

For the chocolate chip streusel:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cold
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

- Make your streusel: Mix sugar and flour together. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or rub with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Set aside in a cool place where the butter will not melt while you get on with your batter (I stick mine in the fridge).
- Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to the mixture and stir until everything is mixed well. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until just incorporated and smooth.
- Mix baking soda into the warm milk and mix this into the batter.
- Scrape the batter into a loaf tin that’s been buttered and bake for about 50 minutes in an 180C oven, or until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

Tessa’s recipe is for just the cake. I added the same streusel topping I used here, adding chocolate chips to the mix just because I had them around…although who really needs a reason to add chocolate to cake? I certainly don’t :)