Banana / Chocolate Chip Bread

2-BananaChoco-100

Banana / Chocolate Chip Bread

An easy, truly awesome Banana Bread!  Made with both butter and mascarpone cheese.  And of course, lots of banana, with chocolate chips and chopped pecans mixed in.  Note — I use mini-chocolate chips.  Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe.

Ingredients / Prep:

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (packed) brown sugar (preferably dark)
1/3 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
4 large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (optional)
1/4  or 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Instructions / Assembly:

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 8 ½x4 ½” loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl – Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, mascarpone, and then brown sugar, in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition and scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate and/or pecans, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake bread 60 – 65 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let bread cool in pan 1 hour. Turn out bread and let cool completely before slicing.

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