I found this recipe on the Orangette food blog. Having frozen a bunch of bananas, I realized I needed to do something with them sooner than later. I also had some shredded coconut on hand, left over from a recent soiree, so my task was readily at hand--I just had to make my bread. There was also a bag of trail mix with all sorts of nuts and dried fruit that I found in the kitchen so that went in too. The result? Inspired! Delicious! The sprinkling of demerara sugar definitely put it over the top. Do enjoy and take it away Orangette!
Adapted from HomeBaking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition around the World, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
I have one word for you: demerara. This bread is lovely in its own right, but it owes a good deal of its charm to this very special sugar. Demerara
has large, golden grains that sparkle in the light, and sprinkled on
top of this banana-moistened batter, it yields a crisp, sweetly craggy
crust that steals the show - and that stays crunchy on the second day,
even! You can buy demerara sugar online from any number of sources, or
look for it in your local gourmet store. I found mine at an upscale
market nearby, and I think Whole Foods also carries it. Either way, buy it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to sprinkle it all over the place.
About 3 large, overripe bananas
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 ½ Tbsp. dark rum
½ cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1 Tbsp. demerara or dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a standard-size loaf pan.
a blender or food processor, purée the bananas. Measure out 1 ½ cups
of purée. [If you have more than that, try stirring the excess into
some plain yogurt. It’s delicious.] Set the purée aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat together the butter
and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vinegar and rum, and beat to
mix well. Add the banana purée and the flour mixture alternately, about
1 cup at a time, beginning with the banana and beating to just
incorporate. Use a spatula to fold in any flour that has not been
absorbed, and stir in the coconut. Do not overmix.
batter – it will be thick – into the prepared pan. Smooth the top, and
sprinkle evenly with the demerara sugar. Bake for 50-65 minutes, or
until the top is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center
comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes; then
turn the loaf out of the pan and allow it to cool completely.
This loaf will keep, sealed airtight, for three to four days, although it is best, I think, on the second day.
You can use frozen bananas here too, and with beautiful results.
Whenever I have overripe bananas sitting on my counter, I throw them –
skin and all – into the freezer for safekeeping. When I want to bake
with them, I pull them out a few hours before, put them in a wide,
shallow bowl, and let them thaw. When they have softened fully, I tear
open the skin and let the soft, slippery flesh spill out. Be sure to
save any juices that come out with it; they’re very flavorful and can be
puréed along with the flesh.
After a career as a theatrical agent for Broadway, film, and television, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currenly the senior editor for Carnsmedia, was web editor for Interior Design and the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he wrote a weekly restaurant review column which also featured Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chefs and bartenders on the island. He has written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day, among others, and his recipe for Wicked Good Clam Chowdah from this blog was published by Andrews McMeel in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood's books are available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox