If you have a blog, I’m sure you’ve experienced this: You make something. You love it and can’t wait to share it with everyone. But as you go to write, you stop. Your fingers hover over the keys, unsure. You click away to Facebook or NPR; you get up to do a chore, get a snack, cuddle the cat.
You want to sell your treat, tell everyone how awesome it is, but you don’t want to sound like you’re bragging. It’s only a minor struggle to be sure, but also….when you’re trying to find your blogging voice,you don’t want to turn people off by sounding like a total cocky butthead.
So I’m going to apologize in advance for being a total cocky butthead: this bread is pretty dang awesome. Let me count the ways (um, sorry for the lack of iambic pentameter):
- there’s only a handful of ingredients, and they’re all minimally processed
- vegan, gluten-free, flourless, paleo…check check check check
- so tasty
- easy to make
- I don’t feel like this actually needs mentioning, but nonetheless….chocolate.almond butter. swirl.
- I’m not schooled on calculating glycemic indexes, but common sense tells me that this has a much lower GI (heehee lower GI) than, say, a glazed lemon loaf. Don’t get me wrong, I love those sugary melt-in-your-mouth bakery treats. I’m actually working on something like that for a future post. But this baby won’t leave you in a sugar coma all afternoon.Also, those breads leave you feeling hungry again a half hour later. This one sticks with ya.
Now that I’ve told you all the reasons this bread is fab (quick poll: love the word ‘fab’ or hate it?), let me tell you about the bread itself.
It’s not a delicate bread. It’s not going to dissolve the moment it hits your tongue. It’s husky and hearty and rustic. Despite its wondrous swirls of chocolate and almond butter, it is not overly sweet. The sweetness is dark and deep instead of being fleeting and gritty. The flavors bow and curve, from the subtle plantain base to the rich almond butter to the opaque, muddy chocolate.
No two bites of this bread are alike, you get something a little different each time.
And in a world of unpleasant surprises, the happy ones are always welcome.
When choosing plantains, choose the yellowest ones you can find. This will help the batter come out smoother, the bread be sweeter, and make the texture far more pleasant.
- 3/4 cup of dates (about 16 dates)
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 2 lbs yellowing riper plantains
- 4 flax eggs
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Roughly chop the dates. Place in a microwave safe bowl and cover them with 1 cup of water. Microwave for 4 minutes. The dates will soften and absorb most of the water.
- Puree the dates along with the cocoa powder and any unabsorbed water. You should end up with a medium-thickness fudge sauce. Set aside.
- Puree the plantains with the flax eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Manually stir the baking powder and baking soda into the plaintain batter.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 8 x 4 loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Melt the almond butter to a pourable consistency.
- Pour a layer of the plantain batter in the pan. Spoon a little fudge and a little almond butter on top. The fudge and almond butter will not cover the whole layer.This will make sure that the almond butter and fudge will last for the whole loaf.
- Continue layering batter, fudge, and almond butter. End with a big swirl of fudge on top.
- Sprinkle with some sesame seeds and cacao nibs, if you want. Or whatever you have on hand, or nothing at all.
- Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. Due to the fudge, a tester will NOT come out clean. Do not overbake waiting for the tester to come out clean. You'll end up with a very dry loaf.
- Allow to cool before slicing. Serve with coffee or tea, with a spoonful of coconut whipped cream if you want.