Crunchy Chocolate Banana Bread (Makes:16 Slices)

My quest for recipes that are nutritious and delicious at the same time is now ever-growing. Our recent relocation to New York has rendered me far busier and with no domestic help at hand, I increasingly recognize the importance of cooking/baking something that satiates both of us, and our 16 month old daughter.

The choice of cereals in the States is overwhelming! One could try a new variant, almost every morning of the year. I love banana flavour, so I picked up a cereal combination branded Post Banana Nut Crunch  on my last expedition to the super market. I happened to see this very interesting recipe of banana bread on the cereal carton, I tried it out this morning and since it turned out well, I thought of sharing it with you.

For my friends back home (India), you can substitute Post brand that I have used with any other (conveniently available) crunchy cereal and I am sure that your bread will turn out equally good!
Ingredients

  • 2- ½  cups cereals (Banana Nut Crunch, divided)
  • 1- ¼ cups flour
  • 2 squares (2 ounces/60 gms) unsweetened chocolate squares - if you do not like a strong chocolate flavor, use half the quantity 
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup oil + 1 tsp oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 fully ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)

Steps

  • Place the chocolate in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir and microwave for another minute or two, until the chocolate melts. Put it aside to cool.

  • In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt and whisk lightly (this will allow the flour to open up and get rid of  lumps)

  • Beat the eggs in a bowl, stir in the chocolate, brown sugar, buttermilk and  ½ cup oil and banana (keep stirring, as you introduce the ingredients one by one, into the beaten eggs)

  • Keep stirring as you pour the ingredients into the bowl containing flour (I use an egg beater). Don't worry, for the batter will be lumpy. Now fold in two cups of the cereal into the batter.

  • Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and spoon in the batter

  • In a small bowl, crush the remaining (½ cup) cereal, add 1 tsp oil to it and mix well. Sprinkle this over the better in the loaf pan

  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F; bake for 50-55 minutes or until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes and remove it from the pan. Cut the loaf into 16 slices.

P.S. If you do not have buttermilk, no worries, you could prepare your own sour milk in a jiffy!! Here's an easy alternative - add 1 tablespoon or half a lemon's juice to about ¾ cup milk and mix well, let it stand for about five minutes and the milk will curdle; if it does not, add more vinegar/lemon (your sour milk is ready)

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