Chocolate ~ Macadamia nuts ~ Bananas.
Three things that belong together, forever, and ever....and ever.
This Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Banana Bread is packed with flavour. I'm talking about cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, not to mention dark chocolate and roasted macadamia nuts (heaven!). I don't think I need to embellish. You are smart people -- you can see that this combination is wildly delicious.
It's also made with some whole wheat flour.
Fruit & fiber. Done and done.
Before you go and make this loaf, which I know you will because it's absolutely incredible (and you need a quick breakfast to carry you over for this week, right?)... do you have buttermilk?
Maybe you do -- great!
Maybe you don't.
OK! (types "what is buttermilk" on Google)....A quick search tells you to combine the milk and lemon juice. You have milk, you have a lemon - DONE! Wait, not done...
Lemon milk is not the same as Buttermilk.
It is not a substitute for buttermilk.
What is buttermilk?
Buttermilk doesn't actually contain any butter - traditionally, it's a by-product of making butter. It was the whey that spins off the fat from cultured butter (most butter was cultured back then). Nowadays commercial buttermilk is purposely cultured low-fat milk, which means it's actually closer to low fat yogurt than any type of "milk + vinegar" combination.
Adding bacterial cultures to the milk, as in sour cream and yogurt, serves to thicken it. This is because certain bacteria, called lactic acid bacteria, feed on lactose (milk sugars) and produce acidic compounds as they metabolize these sugars. As the acid is slowly released, it denatures the proteins in the milk causing them to bind together in a network that forms a gel-like structure. This results in a creamy, slightly thickened sour milk.
Now, adding lemon juice to milk will make acidic milk, but it will not give you the same smooth and creamy texture that comes with slow bacterial fermentation. And if you follow the internet instructions that say to add lemon juice to milk and wait until it "thickens", you could be waiting forever. That instant addition of a strong acid to milk will simply make it curdle. So, don't be surprised if your milk starts to look a little chunky.
What is a substitute for buttermilk?
I completely understand if you don't have buttermilk on hand, because unless you are a very frequent baker, it is not a common ingredient.
The great news is that you can easily replace it with either plain low fat yogurt, OR a combination of half sour cream and half regular milk.
I like to use part whole wheat flour in this recipe because it adds more nutty flavour (and it also make it more nutritious!), but feel free to replace it with equal amounts of regular white all-purpose flour.
Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Banana Bread
- 1 cup (142g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (95g) whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large ripe bananas (about 1 cup mashed)
- ⅔ (145g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup (120ml) buttermilk or plain yogurt
- ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (85g) dark chocolate chips (I also love these bittersweet callets)
- ½ cup (60g) chopped roasted macadamia nuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x5-inch rectangular loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on opposite ends along the length and brush olive oil on exposed sides.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together mashed banana with brown sugar until well blended. Add egg, buttermilk or plain yogurt, vegetable oil and vanilla extract and beat until well combined and smooth. Gently mix in dry ingredients and then fold in the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts just before all of the flour is incorporated. Be careful not to over mix the batter - a few small lumps is OK.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45-55 minutes until evenly browned and slightly cracked at the surface. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.