The Kitchen Prep: Brunch Week: Dark Chocolate-Orange & Walnut Banana Bread

Friday, May 10, 2013

Brunch Week: Dark Chocolate-Orange & Walnut Banana Bread

I can hardly believe that Brunch Week is already coming to a close. Since we'll be wrapping up the brunch recipes tomorrow {and announcing giveaway winners... yay!} I'm posting in honor of one of the "brunchiest" celebrations I can think of: Mother's Day!

There are lots of things you can inherit from your mother: Physical characteristics, personality traits, and habits. In my case, my mom passed down her love of organization and order... her strong work ethic... her unfailing resolve {ahem... hard-headedness}... and most of all, her sweet tooth.

My mom has always LOVED chocolate. It's kind of her thing. As a child, my broad understanding of her as a person was that she was fun and caring, that she loved books and reading, and that you didn't mess with her chocolate. {Or ice cream, for that matter.}

She shared her appreciation for Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and gourmet hot chocolate with my sisters and me, and inadvertently turned me into the baker I am today.

You can blame her for the abundance of sweet treats I feel the need to share on this blog.

Anyway, some mom's feel honored when they're given a trip to the spa on their special day. Some feel like a queen when they're showered in jewelry or bouquets of pretty flowers.

But my mom? The way to show my mom you love her is in the form of chocolatey goodness.

That's when you really see her eyes light up.

So, when choosing a Brunch Week recipe to say, "I love you, Mom", it became clear that Eggs Benedict and French Toast wasn't going to cut it.

But this Dark Chocolate-Orange & Walnut Banana Bread just might.

One of my mom's favorite flavor combos is chocolate and orange... another thing she happened to pass down to me. Adding a complex twist to plain banana bread, this recipe combines the two flavors in a rich, orange-scented delight. California Walnuts studded throughout the bread give a it little crunch, and chocolate chips create pockets of melty sweetness throughout. This easy to make quick bread comes together quickly in a brunch treat that's almost more dessert than brunch.

And that's just the way Mom likes it.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you, and especially to the woman who honed my palate when it comes to sweet treats... my Mom!

Looking for more brunch recipes to shower your mama with love on her special day? These lovely bloggers have got just what you need to complete your Mother's Day menu:

Brunch Drink Recipes

Mango Lime Bellinis by Cook the Story
Strawberry Sangrias by Kokocooks

Breads, Grains, Cereals and Pancake-type Yums

Souffle Pancakes with Bacon Flowers by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Mini Breakfast Pizzas by Sweet Remedy
Turkey, Brie and Raspberry Waffle Bites by Vanilla Lemonade
Glazed Doughnut Pancakes by The Domestic Mama & The Village Cook
Whole Wheat Blueberry and Sour Cream Pancakes by Sarcastic Cooking

Meat, Poultry, Fish and Legume Brunch Recipes

Thai Orchid Salmon Salad by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Egg Recipes

Crouque Monsieur Strata by White Lights on Wednesday
American Girl Chip and Ham Scramble by The Vintage Cook
Sausage, Egg, & Veggie Casserole by Katie’s Cucina

Potato Recipes

Poutine Hash by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Brunch Dessert Recipes

Vanilla Bean Cookie Bars by Rachel Cooks
Candied Bacon Brownies by {i love} my disorganized life
Turtles French Toast by Cravings of a Lunatic
Chocolate Chiffon Cakee by Love and Confections
Dark Chocolate-Orange & Walnut Banana Bread by The Kitchen Prep

If you haven't already entered to win all of the wonderful prizes being given away {Hello there, KitchenAid Stand Mixer!}, make sure you do so below! Winners will be chosen tomorrow during our culminating Brunch Week event, a PinChatLive {live pinning event} at 2pm EST over on our Brunch Week board, so make sure you're following!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dark Chocolate-Orange & Walnut Banana Bread
Inspired by Better Homes & Gardens

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup +1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder {I use Hershey's Special Dark}
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 {heaping} cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup ripe banana, mashed {approximately 2 large ripe bananas}
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extact {optional}

 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan {or glass baking dish} by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, dark cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in chopped walnuts and chocolate chips, and toss to coat.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together mashed banana, eggs, sugar, oil, Greek yogurt, orange zest, vanilla extract, and orange extract if using. Stir until smooth.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. {It's ok if there are a few lumps in there.}

5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. {There will probably be some moist crumbs, which is ok. You just want to make sure it's not wet batter in the center.}

6. Cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes, then remove from pan.

Chocolate Glaze

3 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high, 30-45 seconds, stopping and stirring half way through cooking time.

2. Stir until completely melted and smooth, then drizzle over bread.


Jane Craske said...

Great idea and any excuse for chocolate in the morning is perfect for me.

Suzanne said...

My mom loves dark chocolate - she's the one who convinced me to switch from milk chocolate. Beautiful looking bread!

Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) said...

This looks amazing-- I love that you packed all of those flavors in there. It's like grown-up banana bread.

Rachel Willis said...

Dark chocolate and orange were totally meant to be together. TOTALLY. Already pinned. Now if I can only get the kids to make it for me on Sunday ;)

Tara said...

How wonderful does that banana bread look, like nothing I have had before. Nicely done!!!

Shaina Wizov said...

I have never put chocolate and orange together but your pictures looks so good I might just have to give it a try!

Alissa Dragun said...

I must try this!!! Looks delicious and beautiful! And I LOVE chocolate!!!

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