And it’s also National Banana Day

A nutmeg scented banana bread with a chocolate marble swirl for National Banana Day

As a child, some of the sweets my mother and I used to bake together were banana breads and marble cakes. The marble cake was so good that we would beg her to bake it for family occasions, which she did. It was full of chocolate and so swirly pretty to look at. The banana bread was made with very sweet and very ripe Dole bananas. Now to combine the two and it’s a Black and White Banana Loaf adapted from
Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 ½ ripe bananas, peeled
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon dark rum
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 stick plus 2 tablespoon room temperature butter
2/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk

INSTRUCTIONS
Center a rack in the oven and preheat 325 degrees. Butter an 8½-x-4½-x-2½ inch loaf pan on an insulated baking sheet.

1.In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In another small bowl, mash the bananas with lemon juice, zest, then stir in the rum.
2. Melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the butter together in a microwave :30 seconds at a time until almost melted and stir once or twice.
3. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for 2 to 3 more minutes, until light and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. The batter will look curdled, and it will continue to look curdled as you add ingredients. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture, mixing only until it is just incorporated. With the mixer running, pour in the milk and when it is blended add the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl and mix in the mashed bananas. The batter will look even lumpier.
4. To make the marble swirl, pour a little less than half the batter into the bowl with melted chocolate and stir to blend. Drop alternating spoonfuls of both batters into prepared pan. Then, using a knife, swirl the batters taking care not to overdo it. Bake for 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes, if the cake browns too much, cover loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Continue to cool on the rack.

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