This Chocolate Banana Bread is absolutely luscious. Dense and full flavored, this bread works equally well as a breakfast food and a dessert. The trick is to use very ripe bananas. If the skins aren’t black, wait another day or two. Any green on the skin? Don’t even think about it – even a speck of green means that your bananas aren’t ripe at all, let alone ripe enough for this recipe. Patience, friends. Patience.
Ingredients (Makes 2 loaves, approximately 12 slices per loaf)
4 very ripe bananas (skins should be black)
1/2 cup cooking oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 small (3.9 oz) packages instant chocolate pudding
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1/4 cup milk
Step 1) Grease and flour two loaf pans. Set aside.
Step 2) Use a pastry cutter or two forks to thoroughly mash bananas in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, oil, sugar, and almond extract. Mix well.
Step 3) Stir in chocolate pudding mix, baking powder, salt, and flour. Mixture will be very stiff.
Step 4) Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until chocolate banana bread mixture spreads easily with your mixing spoon (more like brownie batter, less like cookie dough). I added a total of 4 tablespoons, or 1/4 cup of milk. You may need a bit more or less, depending upon the size and ripeness of the bananas you used.
Step 5) Spread chocolate banana bread batter into loaf pans. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Step 6) Cool loaves on a wire rack and enjoy!
Fun Variation: Feeling creative? Try experimenting with pudding mix in other flavors. You might try vanilla pudding mix with vanilla extract instead of the almond extract. Or, you might try pistachio pudding with a few coarsely chopped pistachio nuts sprinkled onto the top of each loaf just before baking. If you try a variation on this Chocolate Banana Bread recipe, I’d love to hear about it!