Monday, August 22, 2011
Banana bread seems to be one of those ubiquitous treats that everyone has baked at some time in their life. Yet, it's incredible how many variations one little recipe can have. Some add spices, others use sour cream, then there's the ones that make the banana bread extra special by putting in peanut butter, Nutella, chocolate chips, or even butterscotch chips. But, this time, I wanted a banana bread that was different from any other I had ever seen, and that's when I found this recipe for Banana Gingerbread on the blog, Vittles for the Voracious.
The recipe uses a multitude of spices and it even has a healthy helping of molasses. Seriously, how could I resist making this. The best part is that there are no eggs in it so you can taste the batter as you go and decide if you want to add a little something extra.
I increased the spices and added a tablespoon of grated ginger for extra oomph. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla, because vanilla just always seems to belong in a banana bread. Finally, I substituted melted butter for the oil to give a little more richness in flavor. Then, I tasted the batter, yes I did, and boy was it ever good. If the batter was that yummy, then the bread was sure to be a sweet success.
One thing to note is that a little patience will be required before you dig into it. I tried eating it right after it came out of the oven and found that it had a gummy texture. At that point, I thought the recipe was a flop, but after letting it cool completely, everything evened out and it had a delightfully dense crumb. You definitely will taste the banana and the molasses and it's one delicious combination. The only thing I'd do differently is to add another tablespoon of grated ginger to really make that flavor pop. Otherwise, this was a great change from the usual banana bread.
Banana Gingerbread (adapted from Vittles for the Voracious)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. molasses
1 c. banana, mashed
1/2 c. buttermilk (I used half milk and half yogurt and increased it to 3/4 c.)
4 Tbsp. oil (I used melted butter)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 tsp. ginger powder
1 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Grease three mini loaf pans or one 9x5 loaf pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
Combine the sugar, banana, molasses, milk, yogurt, and melted butter. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into the pans and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
Bake at 350F for 45 min. (9x5) or 40-50 min. (mini loaves) until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.