Coconut and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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A delightfully greedy treat to have for a weekend breakfast, or elevensies.

I was going to make a Coconut and Cherry Banana Bread the other day, and I discovered half a bar of dark chocolate leftover in the pantry that needed to be used up. So in a rare moment of inspiration, I decided to use the chocolate instead of the cherries.

This decision was partly inspired by a chocolate muscovado banana cake from The Kitchen Diaries vol. 2 by Nigel Slater. The coconut was kept in because I like the combo of it with chocolate. As does one of my old school friends, every break time we’d purchase a small coffee, a banana and a dark chocolate Bounty bar eqch, and slowly and leisurely consume them in a corner of the playground whilst we read crime stories. So this is for her, really.

Coconut and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe

175g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each bicarbonate of soda and salt
125g unsalted butter
Enough bananas to weigh 500g, weigh them in their skins
100g dark chocolate, or milk
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
100g dessicated coconut

Preheat the oven to 170c/fan160c/gas 3. Line a 2lb loaf tin with a paper liner. Combine the flour, raising agents and salt in a bowl, set aside. In a small pan, gently melt the butter on a low heat. Remove from heat when melted, and leave to cool a little. Meanwhile, peel the bananas and mash them in another bowl,and set aside. Finely chop the chocolate, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the melted butter and sugar until combined. To this add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, now add the mashed banana. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Gradually add the flour to this, folding in as you go, then fold in the coconut and chocolate.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour in the oven, covering with paper after 30 minutes if it’s browning too much. It is ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in its tin on a wire rack.

Serve in thick slices with coffee. And banter with friends.

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