Sasha's Favorite Banana Bread

From 6 Bittersweets
Loosely adapted from
Makes 16 to 20 servings (1 large bundt cake or 2 loaves)

XIAOLU'S NOTES: If your bananas aren’t quite ripe enough (should be nearly black and soft to the touch), peel and microwave them for 1 to 2 minutes before mashing and increase sugar by 2 tablespoons (50 g). You can omit the oats and cornmeal and just use 2 1/3 cups (10.4 oz./294 g) of all-purpose flour instead, but I enjoy the textural contrast provided by the other grains. If you don’t have applesauce, simply replace it with 1/3 cup buttermilk or thinned plain yogurt. Also try substituting 3/4 cup (3 oz./85 g) of white whole wheat flour in place of 3/4 cup (3.35 oz./95 g) of all-purpose flour.

1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp (7 g) all-purpose flour

3 large eggs, room temperature
Slightly over 2 cups (16.6 oz./471 g) very ripe mashed bananas (from 4 to 5 mostly black-brown bananas)
2/3 cup (1.9 oz./53 g) rolled oats
1/4 cup (1.1 oz./32 g) cornmeal
1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cups (8.9 to 9.4 oz./252 to 267 g) sugar 
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Large pinch of ground cloves
1 tsp instant coffee OR espresso powder, broken up by rubbing between your fingertips
1/3 cup canola OR vegetable oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt OR sour cream
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp unsulphured molasses
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp dark OR gold rum (optional)
1 3/4 cups (7.8 oz./221 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3 oz./85 g) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup (2.3 oz./66 g) pecans OR walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoons of melted butter with 2 1/2 teaspoons of flour into a uniform paste. Thoroughly brush the inside of a 10 to 12-cup bundt pan OR two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with a layer of this paste (it will help the cake come cleanly out of the pan after baking). 

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until whites and yolks are well combined. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for flour, chocolate, and nuts; whisk until well incorporated. Add the flour and immediately mix just until evenly combined (no more than 2 minutes and a few small lumps are fine). Gently stir in chopped chocolate and nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan, or divide evenly between loaf pans. If using the bundt pan, use a spatula to push the batter slightly up the outside walls of the pan; this will help the cake climb up the sides, giving you greater detail on the outside of the cake. Now slam the pan(s) evenly and firmly downward from 3 inches above the counter to force out any large air bubbles.

Bake until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs but NO wet batter, about 45 to 65 minutes. If not yet done at 45 minutes, gently tent a piece of aluminum foil across the top of the pan(s) to prevent over-browning. After removing from the oven, let cool for 15 minutes in pan(s) then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. If you don’t plan to eat the banana bread within a few days, cover with foil, slide into freezer bag(s), and freeze for up to several months.