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Yin and Yang: Black-Bottomed Banana Bread

We eat bananas in fits and spurts it feels like. Sometimes they’re gone, consumed and eaten by small, hungry mouths before we even get to Hump Day. Other weeks, though, they sit and turn a lovely yellow, specked with brown dots.

I often turn to smoothies in times like this, changing the banana from a fruit into a refreshing drink, but as the weather grows cold, the banana bread comes out again. I offer it up with gingeror mini chocolate chips and in mini loaves or as muffins. This time I went for a streusel-topped, black-bottomed, chocolate lovers delight that brought me back to the first time I made it in my parents’ kitchen in high school when I liked to dump and mix and pour things into whatever it was I was baking.


I remember seeing a recipe for this somewhere, but I just reworked my chocolate chip banana bread and added in a bit of cocoa, topped it off with some delicious streusel and called it a day. You could dress this up by adding mini chocolate chips to the bottom or chopped nuts to the streusel or even to the batter. I dare tell you it was gone in a day, gobbled up by little mouths and big mouths alike for breakfast and snacks during the day.

Black-Bottomed Banana Bread

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
3 medium-sized ripe (or overripe) bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder

Topping:
1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour bottoms an 9″ loaf pan. If using an 8″ pan, just bake the leftover batter in a ramekin or two. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add sour cream, eggs and bananas and mix until incorporated. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into the wet ingredients. Split the batter in half. Sift the cocoa powder into half the batter and mix. Pour chocolate batter into the prepared loaf pan and top with the regular banana bread batter.

Place all the topping ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until crumbly. Spread evenly over the top of the loaf pan.

Bake on center rack at 350º for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool at least 20 minutes before removing from pan to avoid tearing on the bottom.

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