First I tried and talk myself into eating some fruit instead of chocolate and I spotted 3 overripe bananas on the counter. I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone - use up my overripe bananas AND somehow combine it with my overwhelming NEED for chocolate and bread.
Fast forward to midnight and I there I was - pulling my first loaf of piping hot cinnamon swirl chocolate banana babka out of the oven. I sliced off one end as soon as it was cool enough to touch and ate it warm.
It was amazing. The sweetness from the bananas and the ribbon of cinnamon sugar just put this delicious loaf of banana yeast bread over the top. I'm pretty sure that's what gave me such sweet dreams last night.
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons yeast
3 overripe bananas, mashed well
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 - 4 cups flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Combine 1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon syrup in bowl of standing mixer. Sprinkle yeast over mixture and let sit 15 minutes - or until foamy.
Combine mashed bananas, milk, syrup, salt and vanilla.
Add 1 cup flour and beat with flat beater until combined.
Switch to dough hook and beat in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Transfer dough to counter and flatten slightly with hands.
Combine butter, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Spread cinnamon mixture over dough.
Cut dough into 3 equal pieces. Fold each third in half covering cinnamon mixture.