Smartie Speckled Banana Bread

 This past weekend, while visiting the lovely man, I spotted a few very black and spotted bananas lying in the vegetable basket. There is only one solution for this, and after a quick poll of the household, it turned out everyone was a banana bread fan.
So off I went, scouting around the cupboards to see what I could find to turn it into a loaf - most of the recipes I found required oats and / or buttermilk, and as I had neither available (and was honestly too lazy to go to the shop) it required a little more searching.
Eventually I stumbled across this recipe which seemed perfect - a simple stir together method, no need for electric beaters, I could get it in the oven in 10 minutes. It called for nuts or dried fruit - and again, I went to the cupboard - and, nothing. However, I did see a box of Smarties staring back at me - bananas and chocolate? Why, yes. I'm normally average on the scale of banana loaf love or hate - but the addition of chocolate has me wolfing it down.
You could chop up milk chocolate (perhaps one with hazelnuts would work particularly well) but, as we are heading up to Easter, I feel the added candy colours of Smarties are appropriate.

Choc Chip Banana Bread
Recipe adapted from here

Makes one loaf

5 tbsp butter, softened
2 eggs
2 or 3 very ripe bananas
2/3 cup sugar 

1 1/3 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1/2 cup chocolate chips / Smarties / nuts etc

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. In one bowl, combine the butter, eggs, bananas and sugar - use a potato masher or fork to soften and break up the banana and mix the ingredients together. I prefer for there to be hardly any banana chunks left, but you can keep 1cm pieces whole if you prefer.

In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and powder and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until evenly combined.

Add half a cup of chocolate chips and stir until combined (or Smarties!) - but you can also add nuts or dried fruit if you prefer.

Pour the mixture into a greased loaf tin and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for around 50 minutes - but check it at 40 minutes - you don't want it dry.
Allow to cool in the loaf tin for around 10 minutes - slice, and enjoy warm - while the chocolate is still warm and melted. 


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