“Yes. This is THE banana bread. The bread that launched a million tweets and a hundred thousand Instagram tags,” says Chrissy Teigen, author, mother, wife of singer John Legend and one of the most popular cooks on the planet right now if her 30 million social media followers are a marker. They answered in their thousands when she put out a Twitter plea for brown bananas, having run out in the middle of recipe testing for her second cookbook. “If u have 6 BROWN bananas in the LA area lmk" she appealed.
“[That tweet] had people all along the California coast offering to trade their brownest bananas for a makeup palette, a pair of John’s used underwear (it was clean; I’m not an animal) and the chance to meet my trusty assistant/mom, @PepperThai2, ” writes Chrissy in Cravings: Hungry For More, where the recipe for ‘Twitter’s (and Uncle Mike’s) Banana Bread’ makes its print debut this week. True to her word, she picked a winner from the deluge of banana photos that followed and Twitter user @bymeg was the lucky recipient of a Becca palette, a signed copy of Chrissy’s first cookbook Cravings and a pair of her husband’s freshly washed Calvin’s – hand delivered by Chrissy’s mum .
“Perfecting this single recipe took me nearly a year,” explains Chrissy. “That’s why I needed so many damn bananas. It was a fine, yummy banana bread. But something wasn’t SPECIAL about it. I tried a million different things.” She tested it with banana pudding mix (too "fake”) coconut on top (“a little too coconutty”), nuts (“too controversial among my friends”) and milk chocolate (it “blended in too much”).
“But it turned out that putting the coconut inside left it with a subtle hint of sweet coconut goodness, vanilla pudding gave it a fluffy, moist texture I could never have imagined, and dark chocolate gave it a… I dunno, do I need to explain why putting in chocolate is a good thing? Can you toss nuts in this? Sure. Can you use a different chocolate? Why not. But I’m telling you – I did this every way humanly possible so you wouldn’t have to. And the hundreds of banana bread pictures I’m tagged in (daily!) prove this.”
And in case you’re wondering who the Uncle Mike is in the title of this recipe, “He’s a guy who simply loves this bread. That was enough for me.”
Twitter’s (and Uncle Mike’s) Banana Bread
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
6 mashed very ripe bananas *
170ml rapeseed oil, plus a little more to grease the pan
250g plain flour, plus a little more for dusting the pan
1 (96g) box vanilla instant pudding mix **
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
60g unsweetened shredded coconut
1 (96g) bar dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
Salted butter, for serving
*/Get six brown bananas. Not four. Not five. Six. You will think you only need five because it looks like enough, but it will not be enough. You will get five, you will mash them, you will be about half an inch short and that makes a difference and you cannot get around it. Trust me.
**/I won’t tell you what brand to use, but the right brand rhymes with smello. There’s no exact equivalent in the UK, but it can be easily found online. Don’t use banana-flavoured pudding mix. I tried it. It is gross.
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F/160˚C.
2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs and oil. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine well BUT GENTLY. I swear this came out differently when I used an aggressive electric mixer. Fold in the coconut and chocolate chunks.
3. Grease and flour a Bundt pan (that means wipe a little grease all over the inside of the pan, dust it with flour, and tip it upside down to shake out any extra flour). Pour the batter into the pan. (This can also make two 20 x 10-cm loaves, but it’s so much more moist in on Bundt pan!)
4. Bake until the cake springs when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. (Test it with a toothpick at around 50 minutes.) Let it cool slightly in the pan, then use a butter knife to gently release the cake from the sides of the pan and around the inner circle, then flip it on to a plate.
5. Let it cool and cut it into slices. Rewarm them and serve them with salty butter!!
Recipe extracted from Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen published by Michael Joseph, £16.99 Buy it now .