Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TWD: Black-and-White Banana Loaf

I discovered recently one nice community Tuesday with Dorie, where people bake recipes from book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I gave it a thought and ordered myself also a copy of this book from Amazon. It takes time to arrive though but I decided to try recipes ahead, after all, we all love Internet :)

I had some bananas at home which were almost ready to go bad, so perfect to put inside some cake. I checked my pantry and result, Black-and-White Banana Loaf!

Black-and-White Banana Loaf

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 ½ ripe bananas, peeled
squirt of fresh lemon juice
grated zest of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 stick plus 2 tablespoon room temperature butter
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8 ½ x4 ½ x 2 ½ inch loaf pan on an insulated baking sheet.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

3. In another small bowl, mash the bananas with lemon juice, zest, then stir in the rum.

4. Melt the chocolate and 2 tbsp. butter together in a microwave or saucepan over simmering water.

5. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for 2-3 more minutes, until light and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. The batter will look curdled, and it will continue to look curdled as you add ingredients.

6. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture, mixing only until it is just incorporated. With the mixer running, pour in the milk and when it is blended add the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl and mix in the mashed bananas. The batter will look even lumpier.

7. Pour a little less than half the batter into the bowl with melted chocolate and stir to blend. Drop alternating spoonfuls of both batters into prepared pan (or follow any of the marbling techniques on page. 229). Then, using a knife, swirl the batters taking care not to overdo it.

8. Bake for 1 hour and 20 – 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes, if the cake browns too much, cover loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Continue to cool on the rack.

My version: I didn't have any light brown sugar so I replaced it with dark brown sugar and I only used half the milk which was given in recipe; otherwise I think I would have ended up with cocktail :-)! I used mixer only to beat butter and blend eggs into batter. I can't say my batter was lumpy though. I baked the loaf in 175 degree oven (Celsius!), so hotter then recipe says but it got done within an hour.

Valuation: Tastes better as cold, when eat warm, nutmeg taste is too intensive. Not sure if I'll bake this loaf again, probably not. It's not bad, inside is pleasantly juicy, great with tea as breakfast but nothing spectacular.

Recipe adapted from: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan