Last night I got super hungry at 9:00 and the only two things that I could think about were bread and chocolate. There was absolutely no way that I was going to be able to ignore my late night craving - this was a battle that I knew wasn't going to end in my favor.
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.
I was not in the mood for banana bread, muffins or even cupcakes so I decided to try create a yeast bread. This was my first attempt at a banana yeast bread so I really wasn't sure how it was going to turn out BUT I did know that I was going to be eating bread and chocolate before I went to bed last night.
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.
Cinnamon Swirl Chocolate Banana Babka
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
Remove two thirds of the dough and add cocoa powder to remaining dough. Mix with dough hook until well combined.
Transfer both doughs to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour.
Cut braid in half and place each dough half in a greased bread tin. Let rise 30 minutes.
Bake babka 45 minutes at 375.
Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
This bread is best served hot - like slice it as soon as it's cool enough to hold and slice - HOT.
OR, if you're showing more self control than I did last night, wrap the loaf in plastic wrap until morning then slice it and pop it in the toasted for a few minutes to warm it.
This was THE BEST midnight snack AND breakfast this morning. Don't judge. LOL.
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