Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread

Banana bread is delicious. It’s also a great way to use up bananas that are getting a little too ripe. Today, however, I wanted to put a fun spin on an old favorite. It’s probably because I’m in super contest mode, if there is such a thing. This week alone, I have entered 6 different entries into recipe contests. In order to do that and actually win anything, you really have to think outside of the box.

For instance, the Food Network has a Chopped at Home Challenge that is modeled after their television show, Chopped. They tell you four ingredients that you have to use and you have to come up with a recipe. In the last round, you had to use a can of whole kernel corn, basil, lemon, and feta cheese. You can add any other ingredients that you like but you have to use those four. If you win, you will get $5,000. My recipe was for an adobe pie that had pulled pork and boracho beans with an avocado lime sauce. It’s like a tamale but in a cute little dome shape. I really liked my idea and the taste was great but the winner was a strawberry basil cheesecake. They put the corn in the crust. See what I mean? They were really outside the box on that one. But, now they have $5,000 more dollars than when they started. Well done!!

I may not have gone that far out of the box with this recipe but it is very tasty with the double chocolate and the cherries and bananas. Best of all, it was super easy to make the batter with the stand mixer. I did before taking the kids to school in ten minutes flat. I think that’s a new record for me. Ha ha!

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened powdered cocoa

2-3 medium ripe bananas (I used 3)

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup sweetened dried cherries

1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels divided

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a stand mixer, add flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Mix on low until the dry ingredients are combined.

3. Add in bananas, milk, and eggs. Mix on low until combined.

4. Stir in cherries and 1/2 cup chocolate.

5. Spray a 9 x 5 inch bread loaf pan with baking nonstick spray. Pour in batter. Top with remaining chocolate.

6. Bake for 55-60 minutes.

Yield: 1 loaf

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