Monday, June 7, 2010

When Life Gives You Bananas...

Make banana bread!

I'm funny about bananas. I like to eat them when they're in their normal, banana-y state. But squish up a banana and turn it into bread or muffins, and I'm out the door. I hate banana flavored stuff, even if the banana "flavor" comes from the real deal.

My husband, on the other hand, loves bananas and banana flavored foods. Since I had more than a few overly ripe bananas lying around on my counter, I decided to be a nice little wifey-poo and whip up some banana bread for the Mister.

I borrowed Nigella's Banana Bread recipe from How to Be a Domestic Goddess...but I made a few changes. Here's what I did:

1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs4 overly-ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup chopped walnuts plus 2 Tablespoons
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir well to combine. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat together melted butter and sugar. Add eggs on at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add bananas and mix well.

Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts, the chocolate chips and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture and stir well to combine.

Pour batter into the loaf pan. Tap the pan on the counter to settle the mixture. Top with the remaining 2 Tablespoons walnuts.

Bake at 325 for 1 to 1 1/4 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Cool the bread in the loaf pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool. Slice as thick or as thin as you'd like.
  • Nigella recommends soaking 1/2 cup of golden raisins in 3 ounces of bourbon or dark rum in a small saucepan. Bring the alcohol and raisin mixture to a boil; remove from heat and cover. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour off heat, allowing the raisins to plump up and absorb the alcohol. Drain and then add to the banana mixture in place of the chocolate chips. I don't do this because my husband loathes raisins.
  • You could make muffins instead of a loaf. Just use a muffin tin and watch the cooking time.
  • For more fiber, use whole wheat flour.
  • Try some spices: cinnamon, cardamom, etc. would probably work.
  • Up the chocolate factor by replacing 2 Tablespoons of flour with 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder.

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