Easy recipe for chocolate banana marble bread (like a French ‘cake’). Serve for breakfast or brunch, either topped with roasted banana. For a special treat, serve at teatime with a fudgy dark chocolate glaze and decorate with macaron shells.
How to Keep Banana Bread Moist
Lucie squealed when she saw this Chocolate Banana Marble Cake peeking out from the aluminium foil in the kitchen for breakfast. It’s not just to hide it but to keep it moist.
Conversely, I had squealed since that bottom layer wasn’t very marbled and the top was a bit too browned – but hey, nobody’s perfect. To see the marble effect, of course, someone had already cut a few slices before the ‘official opening’. By the opening, you’ll understand what I mean if you want to photograph a whole cake for a blog or book before it’s devoured by little tigers.
So keep this chocolate banana marble bread in aluminium foil or in a greaseproof bag to keep it moist.
How to Make a Marble or Swirl Effect on Cakes?
To create a marble or swirl effect like a tiger (hence its other name), divide up the batter in two just before transferring to the cake tin. Add the chocolate powder and chips to one of them.
Layer each of the batters in turn, then make zig-zags with a fork from one end to the other. Alternatively, swirl a couple of times in a figure 8 with a skewer. (Although, in this case, you could say it’s a chocolate banana cake that’s a bit ‘lost its marble!’)
When Best to Serve
Normally we enjoy this for breakfast with a typical large French bowl of coffee. However, this chocolate banana marble cake is also delicious coated in a fudgy dark chocolate glaze for teatime.
Easy Decorating Ideas for Chocolate Cake
Looking for easy decorating ideas? Then:
- First and foremost, make the fudgy dark chocolate glaze to top it first.
- Top French style with chocolate macaron shells (see recipes in my books, Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris), for a soft yet almond crunch for texture – or what about topping with this nougatine of caramelised toasted nuts?
- To create an instant holiday decor, sprinkle on some edible glitter (I use edible metallic lustre powder to brush on macarons from DecoRelief in Paris) for a quick golden effect.
- Plop on some fresh fruits such as figs or raspberries, nuts (toasted hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts), or dried fruits (apricots or candied ginger, orange peel or glacé cherries).
Chocolate Banana Marble Bread Recipe
Chocolate Banana Marble Bread
- 100 g (3.5oz) butter (unsalted) softened
- 75 g (2.75oz) cane sugar
- 3 eggs (organic) at room temperature
- 170 g (6oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 (approx.225g/8oz) very ripe bananas + 1 for decor (optional)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 100 g (3.5oz) dark chocolate chips good quality (bittersweet)
Teatime Chocolate Glaze (optional):
- 50 g (2oz) dark (bittersweet) cooking chocolate good quality (64-74% cacao)
- 50 g (2oz) icing (confectioner's) sugar sifted
- 50 g (2oz) butter (unsalted)
- 50 g (2oz) single or whipping cream at least 30% fat
- Grease and flour a loaf tin, otherwise if you’re using a silicone mould there’s no need. Preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F/Mark 4/160°C fan.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until soft, light and creamy (this is even easier if you beat together in a stand mixer). Gradually add the eggs, one by one until well mixed. Incorporate the flour and baking powder until the batter is smooth.
- In another bowl, mash the banana with a fork and transfer half of it to the other bowl. In one of them, add the chocolate powder and chocolate chips and mix well.
- Pour the chocolate mix into the bottom of the tin, then pour in the banana batter, then the chocolate again then banana.
- Marble the cake by making zig-zags with a fork from one end to the other - or swirl a couple of times in a figure 8 with a skewer. If making this without the teatime glaze, cut the extra banana horizontally (if using) and place on top of the batter. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. The cake is ready when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. If not, bake for another 5 minutes. Leave the cake to cool then remove from the mould to a wire rack to cool.
For the Teatime Glaze (optional):
- Melt the chocolate, icing sugar and butter in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water (bain-marie). When melted, stir in the cream until the glaze is well blended. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes then pour over the cake, evening the glaze with a knife and decorate whatever takes your fancy. I added some mini macaron shells and finally dusted it with gold food powder, just tapping it over with a couple of fingers.
For more banana bread, loaf or cake recipes, see this Moist Banana Nut Bread.