Black-and-White Banana Loaf

Black-and-White Banana Loaf

Dorie Greenspan

1-1/3 C all-purpose flour

1 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg

1-1/2 ripe bananas, peeled

squirt of fresh lemon juice

grated zest of 1/2 lemon

1 TB dark rum

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 stick plus 2 TB (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temp

2/3 C (packed) light brown sugar

1/3 C sugar

4 large eggs

1 t pure vanilla extract

1/2 C whole milk

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8-1/2x4-1/2x2-1/2" loaf pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with the lemon juice and zest, then stir in the rum.

Melt the chocolate and 2 TB of the butter together in a microwave oven or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the remaining stick (8 TB) of butter at medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for another 2-3 minutes, until light and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the 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.

Pour a little less than half the batter into the bowl with the melted chocolate and stir to blend. Drop alternating spoonfuls of both batters into the prepared pan, then, using a table knife, swirl the batters together, taking care not to overdo it.

Bake for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes and if the cake starts to brown too much, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for about 15 minutes before unfolding, then cool the cake to room temp right side up on the rack.

Storing: wrapped in plastic wrap, the cake will keep for 4-5 days at room temp; wrapped airtight, it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.