If all goes as planned, this time next week, I'll be scaling the earthen terraces of Machu Picchu in Peru.
In my absence, I urge you to make this cocoa banana bread. If you slice and stack it just so, and squint your eyes a bit, you'll have your own miniature Machu Picchu—with far less effort.
Cocoa Banana Bread
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 small ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup milk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper, then set it aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sifted cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a second bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft. Add the sugars and beat for 2 more minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the mashed banana.
Add half the dry ingredients and mix. Add the milk and mix. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes. Cover the loaf loosely with foil, and return to the oven for an additional 40-45 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean).
Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before unmoulding the loaf and cooling it completely.
Source: Adapted from Joy the Baker.