banana bread revisited: chocolate & orange

Sorry I’m having a hard time keeping up lately! Now that my dad’s party is all over with, I thought life might return to normal. But no. We’re having a huge “2nd Best” sale at church, so I’ve been trying to help out with that…both as a volunteer, and as a shopper. I’ll have to show you my new serving ware and a couple super cute cookbooks I bought. But I have still been cooking and baking and dining out and taking pictures. So, on to the food!

A few days ago, I was pleasantly surprised when fellow food blogger Erika of Good Clean Food posted a lovely picture of banana bread…and wrote that she used *my* recipe to make it! It made me feel famous. Plus it turns out we are Mitten Sisters!!
Well, I had a couple VERY brown bananas and I was feeling inspired after reading Erika’s post, so I decided to make another loaf of banana bread – with a twist!

As you can see, this time I used margarine as the original recipe calls for (last time I had to use oil). I also added a couple heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder. You could add more, but I didn’t want it to overwhelm the banana taste.

I don’t always think ahead. I had a partial carton of almond milk and another of coconut milk, and I slammed them both while the oven was preheating…whoops. I was also out of canned coconut milk. So, I added about 1 Tbsp extra margarine to make up for the lack of fat in this de-licious orange juice. Don’t you agree chocolate and orange are fabulous together? You could also sub a little extra orange juice for the vanilla.

I found this vintage bread pan, the “Silver Beauty”. It was kind of huge, but a beauty.

I was afraid I might end up with a ridiculously flat, wide loaf.

P.S. I sprinkled the top of the loaf with quick cooking oatmeal and some very course sugar crystals. Next time I will pat it down into the batter a little, and maybe spray it with oil after it’s baked part way.

It actually rose very well, and I think it looks pretty – aside from the oatmeal not browning. The topping didn’t stick very well, but enough stayed on that you got an extra pop of sweetness and semi-healthiness with every bite of the top crust. There was a nice hint of orange, not too intense. Next time maybe I’ll try it with peanut butter.

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