Have you ever felt so sad, that it seemed like your heart gained an additional 100lbs and your stomach dropped to the bottom of the ocean, deep, deep down, unable to be saved? I received this kind of news the other day, heart-wrenchingly painful, and almost too much to stomach. But I realized that the point of hearing this news, was to help lighten the burden, so one person wouldn’t have to carry it all. After all, 10 people carrying one burden is so much easier than just one person carrying it all.
So, instead of running away from this news, I gave thanks for being surrounded by wonderful people in life and the chance to help make things right. Still, we can’t help but still feel sad and at some points, helpless. At times like these, I always find myself drawn back inside the kitchen, as if I could use the heat and warmth of the oven to ward away the bad news. Baking is an escape, yet at the same time, an activity that helps me think, process and reflect on the news that I have heard and figure out the best actions to take.
Today, it felt like the only person that I could turn to was Julia Child and her delicious banana bread (with just a couple modifications!). For me, banana bread has always been the perfect balance between elegant and homey. Bananas are not used as a typical baking ingredient, making them a little bit fancy, but a dash of vanilla and a handful (okay, maybe two or three handfuls) of chocolate turn it into one of the best comfort desserts in my opinion. There’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into fresh and fragrant banana bread, and discovering molten pockets of luscious chocolate. Today I made this, for Julia Child, for the people that I love, and for me. A small piece of comfort in an entirely shaky and unknown world.
MOLTEN CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD | modified from bon appetit
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large, I find mashing them with a fork on a plate is easiest)
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chunks (not chips!)
- Preheat oven to 350° and oil a 9x5x3″ loaf pan
- Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, add chocolate chunks and make sure individual chocolate pieces are coated in flour (this will ensure they don’t sink to the bottom of the loaf pan while baking)
- Whisk eggs, sugar, bananas, vanilla and oil in a large bowl until smooth
- Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combined
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top
- Bake for 60-70 min or until a toothpick/fork/skewer inserted into center of loaf comes out clean (be careful not to overbake, or bread will be dry!)
Let cool (if you can!)