Going bananas

I admit it. I’m addicted to Bon Appetit on YouTube. I can be in a foul mood, but when I turn on the Test Kitchen, everything else fades away. I can spend hours watching this channel.

So, when Food Director Carla Lalli Music did an episode on how to make banana bread, I was all in. She made it look so easy!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find her recipe on the ba website. I mean, I could have mimicked another show Carla does (Back-to-Back Chef) and baked it along with her – but I’m brutally aware of my skill level in the kitchen.

So I went with the next best thing: The Food Network.

That recipe called for nine ingredients, seven of which I already had in my pantry. I suddenly felt like a real baker.

Fall-off-the-bunch good

Stages of banana-ness

After waiting days for the bananas to over-ripen, I was ready. Carla told me via YouTube, the fruit needs to be very brown. Otherwise, my banana bread would lack banana-ness.

What she didn’t tell me is that when you pull the fruit off the bunch, it may actually fall off. And others may join it.

After picking up the three bananas from my table and peeling them, I compiled all the other ingredients quickly.

Leftover butter-sugar mixture

Mixing mess

As I’ve chronicled, I’ve learned how to avoid hard butter. But I still can’t figure out how to keep all my ingredients in the bowl once I turn on the mixer. Even though the butter adhered to the sugar, many granules flew out of the bowl into the egg mixture, onto the stovetop (no more sugar on the stovetop!) and on my feet – again.

After cleaning up that mess, the rest of the blending went without incident.


After an hour and five minutes (the recipe calls for a 55 minute bake-time, but that can vary oven by oven), I pulled a brown banana brick out of my oven. It looked good, but I’m always wary of my skills.

Baked brick of bananas

I let the loaf cool overnight. When I awoke the next morning, not only did my apartment still smell delightful from the banana baking, the bread reflected the pleasant smell. It was moist and nutty, but not too much of either.

It wasn’t as sweet as I’d liked, which meant the bananas weren’t quite over-ripe enough (how was that possible?).

Just add chocolate

Chocolate makes everything better.

Since I had three more bananas from my bunch, I decided to bake a second loaf the following day. Instead of walnuts, I decided to add chocolate chips leftover from my cookie experiment.

This loaf was marvelous. And I don’t write that lightly.

The chocolate chips added a gooey goodness to this recipe that I can’t adequately explain – only to say: I could have eaten that entire loaf by myself.


The chocolate -chip version was so simple, I’ve actually made it a number of times now. I’ve shared with friends, co-workers and strangers. To be honest, I would bake this and just stand on the street to share. This recipe brings me so much joy, I want to share it with everyone!

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