I’m not much of a banana bread girl. Banana cake, on the other hand, is a whole different story. Banana bread is breakfast, while banana cake is dessert. I’d much rather have dessert than breakfast, unless of course, I’m having dessert for breakfast. And while this Choco-Rum Buttermilk Banana Bread is technically not a cake, it masquerades as one with its moist, fluffy crumb, rich flicks of chocolate and delicate, buttery banana flavor. That it’s called a bread is, to me, just a matter of semantics. This is a recipe that I’d actually go out and buy bananas for, instead of making by default because of a few sad, speckled ones sitting all by their lonesome on my kitchen counter.
One of the things that makes this cake bread special is, of course, the tiny bits of chocolate running all through it. As we all know, pretty much everything is better with chocolate. What also helps give this banana cake bread its total droolworthiness is, in my opinion, the buttermilk and brown sugar. Buttermilk adds a tangy richness to the cake bread, as well as incredible moistness. Brown sugar used in place of granulated sugar gives it a tinge of caramel-like flavor. Another thing we all know is how well chocolate, bananas and caramel play together. And, I happen to think that dark rum is also totally simpatico with these ingredients. So, I threw in a shot of that too.
Whether you enjoy a slice of this Choco-Rum Buttermilk Banana Cake Bread for breakfast, dessert or any other time, one thing is certain – you will enjoy it. And if you’re like me, you might even make a double batch and hide one loaf in the freezer for later. You know, for those times when you’re all alone with the remote and the boxed set of seasons one and two of Downton Abbey.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, plus a little extra for the pan
- 3 medium bananas, very ripe
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees if you’re using a glass pan). Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a standard-sized loaf pan.
- Peel bananas, place in a bowl and mash with a fork. Slowly whisk in the buttermilk until completely blended. Set aside.
- Cream the the brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and rum, and continue to beat for another minute or two, until everything is well combined.
- Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in another bowl. Add about half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stirring it in with a wooden spoon. Then stir in about half of the banana/buttermilk mixture. Repeat with the remaining dry mixture, followed by the remaining banana-buttermilk mixture, stirring from the bottom of the bowl after each addition, just enough to thoroughly blend without overmixing. Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted all the way into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before removing it. (The best way to do this is to rap the pan sharply on the counter a few times to loosen the bread, and then let it slide out onto a cooling rack.) To avoid crumbling, wait at least 20 minutes longer to slice and serve.
Makes 8 servings.