Chocolate Banana Bread


1/2 cup Toasted Walnuts or Pecan nuts – coarsely chopped
1+3/4 cups Plain Flour
1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Dutch processed or regular)
1 cup Granulated White Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup white, dark, or Milk Chocolate Chips
2 large Eggs – lightly beaten
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter – melted and cooled
3 very ripe bananas – the riper, the sweeter, especially brown spotted – (approx.1+1/2 cups) – mashed
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and place oven rack to middle position.
Butter and flour (or spray and flour) the bottom and sides of a 23 x 13 x 8 cm (9 x 5 x 3”) loaf pan.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Let cool and then chop coarsely.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients
until just combined and batter is thick and chunky.
Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and sprinkle the top of the bread with coarse brown sugar (optional).
(If you have some Turbinado or Demerara sugar in the house, sprinkle a little over the batter before you pop it in the oven.
This gives the crust a nice sugary crunch with a touch of sparkle.)
Bake until bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes.
Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Can be covered and stored for a few days, or frozen for longer storage.