Few things are as comforting as a warm, freshly baked slice of banana bread, a buttery, banana-y, toasty pecan loaf of goodness! Banana bread is a quick bread, which basically means it doesn't require any fermentation (rise) like a yeasted bread. We're adding a chocolate swirl to this traditional quick bread because . . . chocolate! Be sure to use overripe bananas, the darker the skin the better, to ensure maximum sweetness.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter the sides of a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-12.5-centimeter) loaf pan and set it aside.
Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Roast them in the oven for 10 minutes, until fragrant and lightly toasted. Allow the pecans to cool, then chop them and set them aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder. cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well combined.
Place the bananas in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix for about a minute to smash the bananas thoroughly, then add the melted butter and mix until incorporated.
Add the sugar and mix until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
Finally, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix the batter, which can make the crumb tough and result in large "worm" holes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the pecans and sour cream until just incorporated.
Melt the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water or a double boiler. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup (235 milliliters) of the batter with the chocolate until well combined.
Pour one-third of the banana batter into the prepared loaf pan. Drop two large spoonfuls of the chocolate batter side by side in the center of the batter. Cover this with another third of the banana batter followed by the remaining chocolate batter. Cover this with the last third of the banana batter. Using a knife, swirl the two batters through the loaf pan a few times, without overmixing.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean (okay, there may be a crumb. Or two). Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling, and you're done! Boom. Banana chocolate deliciousness.
This recipe uses the muffin method: mixing the wet ingredients together, the dry ingredients together, then combining both the wet and the dry ingredients, finished by folding in the sour cream and pecans.
Reprinted with permission from "101 Epic Dishes" by Jet Tila and Ali Tila, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo by Ken Goodman.