Saturday, October 1, 2011

the spotty banana that could

i was having a day.

i had slept like crap, it was my final day of work with my daycare and my joy at closing the daycare and the stress of thinking, what now?, were all tangled up together.

i needed carbs, booze and something sweet. stat.


i rooted around in the kitchen to see what i had on hand and the spotty, ripe bananas, maple syrup and bourbon all seemed promising.

banana bread is one of those dependable and simple baked goods that, while definitely tasty, doesn't often hold many surprises, so my goal was to find a promising recipe and tweak it to up the flavor.

to give this comfort food a boost, first, i roasted the bananas in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes

when roasted, bananas turn a deep midnight shade and their flavor gets super concentrated and almost boozy. they also release some mighty fine banana juice. i poured off the banana juice into a little bowl and added it into the wet ingredients later.

that liquid holds some serious flavor. do not waste it.

i knew from past experience that bourbon and bananas play very nicely together, so that was a no brainer. i wanted to really taste the cinnamon, so i added 1 1/2 teaspoons. i've been trying my hand at using different sweeteners in my baking, so i thought i would give pure maple syrup a chance here.

i have to admit that this is my best loaf of banana bread yet, and i have made banana bread about 10 times! its that good.

give it a go.

roasted banana bread with bourbon n' maple

i used the jacked up banana bread recipe from smitten kitchen and just changed a couple things.

3 ripe bananas, roasted in skins @ 350 for 30 minutes. pour the banana juice that pools at the bottom of the pan into a small bowl to add to wet ingredients

1/3 cup melted salted butter
1/2 cup + 3T pure maple syrup
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cup of flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed roasted bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, banana juice, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered or parchment paper lined 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

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