Daniel Catalaa

Banana Nut Bread

This recipe is based on one I saw on the TV show America's Test Kitchen and then adapted to my own taste. For example, recently I decreased the brown sugar from the original ¾ cup to ½ cup because the large number of bananas contributed enough sweetness. To compensate for the decrease of sugar, the flour was increased from 1 ¾ cups to 2 cups, in order to maintain the same level of moisture percentage in the batter.

Ingredients

Ingredient For one cake
(8 slices)
For two cakes
(16 slices total)
Baking soda 1 tsp 2 tsp
Bananas, very ripe,
with black spots (for garnish)
x1 x2
Bananas, very ripe,
with black spots, (for batter)
450 gr = 1 cup
≈ 5 medium bananas
900 gr = 2 cups
≈ 10 medium bananas
Butter 1 stick = ½ cup
= 4 oz = 113 gr
2 sticks = 1 cup
= 8 oz = 226 gr
Eggs x2 x4
Flour, all purpose 2 cups = 250 gr 4 cups = 500 gr
Salt ½ tsp 1 tsp
Sugar, brown (for batter) ½ cup = 105 gr 1 cup = 210 gr
Sugar, brown (for garnish) 2 tsp 4 tsp
Vanilla extract 1 tsp 2 tsp
Walnuts 1 cup = 117 gr 2 cups = 234 gr

Directions

  1. Stew bananas: Mash the bananas but remember to save one for garnish. Place the mash into a large frying pan on medium low heat with the overhead fan on high. Cook during 25 minutes in order to evaporate some of the exuding liquid. Turn the banana compote every so often so that it does not stick or char.
  2. Butter pan(s): Butter the surface of a pound cake-size rectangular mold (3 x 5 x 9 inches). Butter two molds if you are following the doubled recipe. Sprinkle with flour and shake out the excess flour
  3. Toast walnuts: Turn oven on to 350 Fahrenheit. While it is preheating place walnuts on a baking sheet into the oven and toast them for 10 minutes.
  4. Prepare dry ingredients: Whisk together dry ingredients (baking soda, flour, and salt).
  5. Beat eggs and vanilla: Whisk together the eggs and the vanilla essence.
  6. Mix wet ingredients: As soon as the bananas are done stewing, remove from heat and within the same skillet mix in the butter cut into pieces along with the brown sugar and toasted walnuts. Keep stirring until all the butter is melted.
  7. Add eggs and vanilla: Once the ingredients in the skillet are at room temperature (i.e. bananas, butter, vanilla extract, sugar, and nuts), mix in the eggs and vanilla mixture.
  8. Fold in dry into wet: Mix the dry ingredients (flour+salt+baking soda) into the wet by stirring and folding over with a spatula just enough until no more white flour specs are visible
  9. Pour and decorate: Slice the last banana into ¼ inch slices then pour the batter into the mold. Lay the banana slices on top in two rows then sprinkle the 2 tsp of sugar across the top.
  10. Bake in oven: Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for approximately 1 hour. Poke in the middle with a knife to test for doneness. The knife's blade should come out somewhat clean, but not completely; a little batter residue should still cling to the blade. If the knife comes out completely clean, the bread was overcooked. If, however, the knife comes out with too much gooey batter stuck to it, bake longer and test again every 5 minutes.