These brownies contain banana, but please do not confuse them with health food.
Listen. When you think "banana", you probably think "health food". Or "monkey". One or the other.
What you probably don't think right away is "decadent chocolate dessert". But I am here to tell you that you should think of bananas in such a way moving forward, and here's why: BROWNIES MADE WITH BANANA.
If you think that last sentence made no sense, you are correct, but this is the way America's youth speaks now, so I am just trying to write in a way that is accessible and cool. Also, unrelated to just about everything, whenever I talk about bananas I think back to this custom piece of artwork I did once:
OK, so back to the brownies. The idea came to me to make these when my sweetheart bought bananas, never ate them, and they turned way too brown to be appetizing. I was totally bored by the idea of banana bread, so I decided I would try some brownies.
I started out with this recipe but departed quite a ways from it, so I would say it was more like a template.
The way I did it was easy: I basically mashed the bananas, added the wet ingredients, then incorporated a bunch of melted chocolate, the dry ingredients, and folded in some nuts to finish.
When the brownies were baked, they looked about like this. (I added some ganache and more nuts on top).
They were actually pretty crumbly at first, but after chillin' in the fridge for a while they set up fudge-like and dense.
If you taste these brownies expecting a normal brownie, you will be surprised, because they taste different.
The banana imparts an unusual flavor here: sweet and mellow and rich. The banana seems bright against the dark chocolate, but somehow it works.
I see the nuts as being key here. Walnuts or pecans are the perfect flavor to bridge the gap between chocolate and banana, acting as a rich complement to both and bringing together the brightness of the banana and the deepness of the chocolate.
Give these babies a try. Since I put in a bunch of butter, eggs, sugar, and chocolate, there's no way you could call these brownies healthy. But is that the point of a brownie? I think not. Have a treat that happens to contain banana!
Banana-filled brownies (not health food)
Makes one 9-inch pan of brownies - printable version here
- 3 ripe bananas (large)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 10 ounces good quality chocolate, melted
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup toasted nuts of your choosing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9-inch square pan, then insert a strip of parchment paper with "arms" reaching out the sides for easy removal later.
Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Try to get them nice and smooth.
Add the sugar, melted and cooled butter, eggs, and vanilla. Stir vigorously until combined. The mixture will be thick.
Add the chocolate, and stir vigorously again, until everything is combined.
Add the flour and salt, and mix GENTLY, only until moistened. Fold in the nuts.
Turn the mixture out into your prepared pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the brownies are mostly "set" with the slightest jiggle in the center. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. These brownies actually benefit from some fridge time before slicing for best texture.
I topped my brownies with a little chocolate ganache and some extra pecans. This is optional.