26.5.14

Chocolate Banana Bars



Ever since those addictive Chocolate Walnut Bars got over, I had been looking for an excuse to bake a fresh batch of chocolate bars. It was just happenstance that there were two terribly over-ripe bananas lying on the counter-top on the day I bumped into Mario Batali's Chocolate Banana Bars

Almost immediately I knew I had to bake them. I however wasn't quite ready to go on another guilt trip. Hence I substituted half of the refined flour with whole wheat flour and the egg and half of the butter with applesauce. And just so that the deliciousness wasn't totally compromised, I  browned the butter that went into the batter. The result was fantastic. These bars turned out to be one of the best bars I have ever made. The fact that they were a tad healthier, instantly made them our favorites.


We had them with tea and with coffee and sometimes just by themselves. While they lasted, which wasn't for too long, I did not bother about breakfast or teatime snack. With such lovely chocolate bars in the house, husband and son wouldn't anyway care for anything else.

Chocolate Banana Bars 

Prep time: 20 minutes                                                                              Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 15 squares

Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup all purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • heaped ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsps instant coffee powder (optional)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter*
  • 3 tbsps granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cups light brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 mashed over-ripe bananas, about ⅔ cup mashed banana
  • ½ cup applesauce*
  • 1⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chip
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 ° F.
  2. Line a 9×13 inch baking tray with parchment paper, grease it and keep aside.
  3. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon and instant coffee powder(if using) into a medium sized bowl and keep aside.
  4. Brown the butter. For this, cut the butter into pieces and add it in a small sauce pan. Bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat. Once the butter boils keep a close eye on it. The period between the time when the butter begins to take on the golden brown color and the point when it burns is very little. There is a nice fragrance at the point when the butter browns.   I usually switch off the heat and keep the pan aside at that point. (I like the aroma and richness of browned butter and therefore boiled the butter. You can always chose to skip this step and like the original recipe, use softened butter instead.) 
  5. Put the mashed bananas, applesauce, sugar, light brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl, and beat and medium speed until a smooth batter is formed.
  6. Whisk the browned butter into the batter.
  7. Now, using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients into the batter, then stir in the chocochips.
  8. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared tray and turning once after 25 minutes, bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and springs back when pressed gently. *
  9. Cool completely before slicing into squares.
*Update 3/5/2016 :

  • Today I baked these using  ¼ cup olive oil instead of unsalted butter and ½ cup plain yogurt instead of applesauce. The resulting bars were as delicious. In fact I liked the bar better with the substitutions as the yogurt helped get rid of the lingering smell of baking soda that used to bother me before. 
  • Also as opposed to the big conventional oven that we had in US I baked the bar in my Morphy Richard OTG. Since the OTG is much smaller in size I reduced the baking time to 30 minutes, turning the baking tray once after 20 minutes. I maintained the baking temperature at 375 ° F and at the end the bar looked perfectly baked....

9 comments:

  1. chocolate banana bars are tempting.

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  2. I love the healthful substitutions you made to the bars - the addition of applesauce is a great idea and I'm sure it keeps them moist and tasty. And I always enjoy the combination of banana and chocolate...

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  3. Your Chocolate Banana Bars look absolutely delicious! I like how you have made them healthier too. This is a perfect recipe for the Hearth and Soul Hop - thank you for sharing it :-)

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  4. Perfect for my family. Banana and chocolate cover our favors. pinned. so glad you brought these bars to foodie friday.

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  5. This look and sound very moreish. I can image they smell inviting and the taste of them leaves you with a taste for more. This has been featured as one of my favourites over at Sweet and Savoury Sunday. Stop by, grab a button and link up again with us this week. Have a great day!

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  6. I made the recipe with the ingredients exactly as listed. Took it out at 20 minutes at 375. Just letting you know so others who try don't end up with charcoal. Can 40 minutes baking time be right?

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    Replies
    1. I am sorry that your banana bars got burnt. To made them following the recipe that I have documented above. However I have noticed that the timing and baking temperatures need considerable adjustments when I bake things in my mother's oven which is much smaller in size and volume. I guess depending upon the size of your oven you too might have to adjust the timing/temperature.

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  7. Made these tonight! Added some semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter because I’ve been the biggest chocolate fiend lately! SO GOOD! another great recipe

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    Replies
    1. I can imagine how good your bars must have been with the extra chocolate-chips. Glad you enjoyed it !

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Thanks for stopping by. It was nice having you here. Have a good day.

Take care and come back soon.
Best, Tanusree

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