I'm pretty sure I cried when I first made this loaf and nibbled at a still warm piece, greedily licking melty chocolate off my fingers. You see, I had all but given up hope of finding a sweet baked treat I'd be able to eat and so this was, dare I say, slightly life changing. Finally I had something I could tuck into the freezer for days when there was birthday cake at work that I couldn't have, and THIS was definitely not those passable but not-so-wonderful substitutes, but instead a delicious oh-my-I'd-rather-eat-THIS one.
Studded with chocolate, dark and slightly nutty but not too sweet, this loaf is the perfect little snack with a cup of coffee or afternoon tea. The original recipe contained no sugar aside from the bananas and applesauce, but John and I found it to be a bit too bitter for our liking so I've added a little. You can play around with that if you feel it needs less (or none at all!) . Another change I made was born out of necessity; since I couldn't find corn free vanilla, I began substituting Kahlua in any baking with chocolate, and I was really pleased with the tasty results. It's not boozy by any means, but adds some flavour that vanilla wouldn't. This loaf may be one free of a lot of things, but it's certainly not free of flavour!
You will find the original recipe over at Eat, Live, Travel, Write. I adapted it with very little changes, because it's so darn delicious. Mardi is a fantastic writer, and has a cookbook coming out soon! Check her out!
I have made this loaf many times since December and always keep it on hand in the freezer for when I have a late night chocolate craving. Another option is to slightly warm a fat slice and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a more decadent dessert. Want to go whole hog? Drizzle the ice cream with some chocolate sauce, add a few fresh berries, and finish it off with a dollop of whipping cream.
Now THAT is a treat.
Free of: wheat, corn, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy
(*the degree of "free of" depends on the ingredients you use and may contains, manufacturing lines, etc of the ingredients. Always read your labels.)
- 1 cup of buckwheat flour (I use Anita's buckwheat)
- 1 tsp baking powder (I use corn/wheat free baking powder from the health food store, which requires you to use 1 1/2 tsp for every tsp in a recipe)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil)
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract OR Kahlua
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 spotty bananas, mashed (I have also used bananas that had been frozen. Just thaw, peel, and mash them)
- 150 grams chocolate, finely chopped (or 3/4 cup chocolate chips) Plus a bit to sprinkle on top. For soy free chocolate I use Western Family Swiss Dark Chocolate 72% cocoa, which is a may contain for soy.
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Lightly butter/oil a loaf pan, and then line it with a piece of parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, banana, applesauce and vanilla.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips/chunks.
5. Scrape the mixture into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the extra bits of chocolate on top.
6. Bake at 375 F for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the top comes out clean-ish. There might be melted chocolate on it.
7. Cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing completely from the pan and allowing to cool to room temperature. Slice that baby up and enjoy! I store the loaf in the freezer sealed up in a freezer bag.