Ok, ok I’m not forcing anyone to get into baking banana bread again, but this is a great alternative to that! Also the bananas and dark chocolate are great for reducing menstrual cramps and getting that sugar hit when you’re feeling low. This recipe is also egg free and if you replace the butter with margarine, you’ve got yourself a vegan bake!
Prep & cook time: 3 hours
Stage of cycle: Menstrual
For the filling:
- 55g hazelnuts
- 100g unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 100g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
- 40g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the dough:
- 325g plain flour
- 7g fast-action dried yeast
- 25g caster sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 50ml milk (of your choice)
- 80g butter, softened
For the syrup:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees fan and line a bread tin with baking paper.
- Place the hazelnuts onto a baking tray and roast for five minutes until golden. Leave to cool and then roughly chop.
- Over a bain marie, place the butter, sugar and chocolate in a bowl. Stir until melted and smooth. Take off the heat and add in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Leave to the side to cool and the mixture will thicken.
- It’s time to make the dough! Fit your mixer with the dough hook, pour in the flour, dried yeast, sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre and add in your mashed bananas and milk. Combine on the lowest setting for 3 mins.
- Increase the speed to a med-high setting, add in your butter slowly. Allowing each bit of butter to combine fully before adding more. Once all the butter has been added continue on this setting until you create a smooth dough ball.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out your dough into a large rectangle shape. The longest side should be closest to you.
- Spread the chocolate mix across your dough, leaving a slight gap around the edges. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over.
- With the longest edge facing you, roll away into a tight roll. It should look like a swiss roll!
- Turn the now rolled dough so that the rolled end is facing you (turn 90 degrees). Take a sharp knife/pizza cutter and slice down the centre of the dough. You’ll be left with two long pieces.
- Take the pieces of dough and plait them. With the cut side facing up lift the left piece over the right and then the right over the left. Repeat the process until it’s fully plaited.
- Lift the plaited dough into your lined bread tin – be careful it’s very delicate! Once in the bread tin cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for two hours, or until it’s doubled in size.
- Put your oven back onto 170 degrees fan fifteen minutes before the end of the two hours.
- Pop the babka into the oven for 15 mins. Don’t open the oven door, but lower the temperature to 150 degrees fan and cook for a further 25-30 mins until golden.
- Five minutes before the babka has finished baking, you can make the syrup. In a microwavable bowl, melt the butter for 30 seconds and then stir in the golden syrup.
- Your banana babka is done! Take out of the oven and place on a wire rack (still in the tin). Brush with your syrup to give the babka a lovely shine and leave to cool in the tin. Once the bread tin is cool enough to handle tip out onto the wire rack. Serve warm or leave to cool completely. It’s great washed down with a cuppa!