Today, Dave, Chris and I drove back to Toronto from Kingston – we’d been celebrating Jer & Steph’s wedding, but also the completion of their PhDs and upcoming internships at Harvard and Memorial, and the end of Andrew’s PhD and the start of his med school in Vancouver. These friends certainly know how to keep busy, and so does the city of Kingston. Hellos, goodbyes, beautiful sunny evenings and chilly rainy mornings, brunches and barbeques, drinking games and dancing, chats with new acquaintances and catch-ups with old friends – our 20 hours in Kingston had them all. It’s always been a generous city to me, and now I’m full of six years of fond memories. Remember that apartment with the blue kitchen we painted in the crazy summer heat? That municipal planter Marion fell asleep in? The look of that bridge when we rowed under it in the mornings? And the epic desserts we’d make or buy to share over good times, bad times, and a Tuesday afternoon just because?
While we didn’t eat chocolate coconut banana loaf in Kingston – I only stumbled across the recipe on Pinterest earlier this year – it’s exactly the kind of treat we would have snacked on through movie nights or all-night writing sessions*. It’s pretty, feels decadent, is simple to eat and inexpensive to put together. And it shares like a dream. Fond memories are a guarantee.
*Note: I should clarify that there’s no way my Kingston cooking self would have cooked with coconut oil – it’s a very recent addition to my pantry. But I would have subbed in margarine, and you could, too. Turbinado sugar was also something that I wouldn’t have splurged on, and while I love it in this recipe for the crunch it gives, you could opt out of it and the melted chocolate for a more calorie-conscious and budget-friendly treat.
Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread
3 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
4 bananas, mashed (about 1.5 cups)
3/4 cups + 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1 tbsp Turbinado sugar
1. Place chopped chocolate in a bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Set aside.
2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs until combined. Beat in yogurt, melted coconut oil, and bananas. Half a cup at a time, stir in flour mixture. Add 3/4 cup coconut; stir.
4. Spoon batter into a greased loaf pan. Spread melted chocolate over top, using a knife or spoon to drag it through the batter and distribute it throughout. Sprinkle with Turbinado sugar and remaining 3 tbsp coconut.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes, or until a knife put through the centre comes out cleanly.