Benjamin’s Rum, Date and Chocolate Banana Bread

A couple of weeks back, Benjamin delighted us with his take on a classic banana bread. In typical gallic fashion, rum is added to the mix. If you are questioning my judgement here, the French seem to add it to everything. Crepes, flans… Why? I asked. He shrugs and says ‘eet gives eet a bit of taste’. I plan to fact-check this with his mother next time but I’m guessing there is an argument out there that it adds elasticity or texture. Apparently beer does the same thing. But for this recipe, the rum is there for its rich flavour – it’s a natural partner for the banana, oh-so Caribbean (which we love) and dates replace raisins because they taste better than raisins. And don’t forget the chocolate – I find the squares of 70% dark chocolate is best with just the right amount of sweetness.


  • 200gm flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 60gm butter (left outside to come to room temperature before adding to the mixture)
  • 40gm brown sugar
  • 150gm dates
  • 2 very ripe bananas, brown ones are best (if the bananas are not extermely mushy, I would suggest you add 1/4 cup of water to the mixture too)
  • 2 x eggs
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 8 squares of dark chocolate


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius. Grease and line a regular loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.

Remove the seed from the dates and slice into small pieces.

Mash the bananas.

Heat the rum in a small saucepan nearly to boiling point and mix in the bananas.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, dates, bananas and rum mixture. Beat it all together. Mix the eggs in a seperate bowl and add to everything. If you have used bananas that are not extremely mushy, you might find the mix a little dry. If this is the case, add the 1/4 cup of water now.

To assemble the banana bread, pour half the mix into the loaf tin. Dot the squares of chocolate along the top of the mixture. Pour the remaining mix in and pop it in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and you can slide a knife in and it comes out clean.

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