Viva Nigel, Viva Me, Viva Chocolate Banana Bread, Gluten Free


In case, over the past few years, you have not noticed that I have a crush on Nigel Slater then let me say this….I do! I have even shared this with Wouter who just takes it in stride. It is not just Nigel looks (I know that is shallow of me), but his approach to gardening & cooking is very seductive. I mean who would not have a crush on a  man who has an entire mini orchard in his small backyard? A man who can give you at least two dozen ways to cook beets and you will like them all…who can whip up a loaf of chocolate banana bread without breaking a sweat?

(You can find another of my blog posts based on  a pumpkin recipe in “Tender volume I” here)

Nigel Slater Cookbook

My daughter, Whitney, gave me “Notes From The Larder” for a gift perhaps aware of my penchant for all things “Nigel”.

Discovering his recipe for “Chocolate Banana Bread” coincided with my return from a recent trip to Quintana Roo, Mexico. While on my trip I purchased some pure         Mexican Vanilla extract, a couple of bags of Muscovado Sugar which is a cane sugar that is very moist with a strong molasses flavor, as well as a few interesting bars of “Ki’ XOCOLATL” brand chocolate that is delicious for baking and nibbling on. For the chocolate banana bread I used a bar of their very dark chocolate with chipotle chile, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg & all-spice.

Chocolate, Bananas, Vanilla

When I travel one of the most important “tourist” stops for me is a local grocery store. I love perusing the aisles hunting for unusual, but useful, ingredients for cooking. Most of my gifts upon returning home come from these forays. Spices, chocolates, extracts that are typical of the region of the world I just visited.

This box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa gluten-free flour was languishing in the back of my pantry. Why not make Nigel’s recipe gluten-free? Quinoa, a grain originating in South America fit right in with the ingredients bought in Mexico.

Quinoa Flourbatter

A thick chunky chocolate & ripe banana batter (the sticker on my bananas told me they were also a producto de Mexico)……perfecto.

Chocolate banana bread batterDSC_6324

This loaf has a crusty outer layer with a very moist cake texture inside.  Delicious eaten warm as is, or toasted. A recipe inspiration from an English cook using ingredients from my recent trip to Mexico….Viva Chocolate Banana Bread!



Chocolate Banana Nut Bread



  • 2 cups Quinoa Flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 lb very ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp pure (Mexican) vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 4 ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9″ loaf pan with non stick vegetable spray. Line the pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper cut to overhang the edges of the pans.
  2. Sift together the Quinoa flour & baking powder.
  3. Using an electric mixer cream together the butter & muscovado sugar until light & fluffy.
  4. In another bowl using a fork mash the bananas leaving them somewhat lumpy. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Add eggs to the butter-sugar mixture and beat well.
  6. Into the eggs-butter-sugar mixture fold in the mashed bananas & the chopped chocolate until well blended.
  7. Gently fold in the flour mixture. When blended scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the center of the banana bread is set and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out moist, but clean.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Loosen sides of bread with a spatula and lift out with the parchment paper. Cool on a rack. Best served warm or toasted.

Recipe inspired by “Chocolate Banana Bread” from “Notes from the Larder” by Nigel Slater, Ten Speed Press