I used to make a banana bread that my friend C. from Hamburg still talks about, but I lost the recipe somewhere along the way to Brooklyn, and I've been searching for a good replacement ever since.
I was attracted to this recipe from Smitten Kitchen because she starts off with a discussion on speckled bananas. This is the only way to make banana bread - with overripe, almost trash-bin-ready bananas. They're weet, mushy, fragrant and delicious, perfect when baked with some binding elements. I thought, "This woman sure knows her banana bread."
The recipe calls for melted salted butter, which I decided to brown for extra deliciousness. You'll also note a splash of bourbon, which can't hurt. Just make sure not to mash up the bananas too much - it's all the more appealing to see some caramel-y chunks of banana when you slice up the loaf.
Perfectly moist, chewy, not too sweet and easy to make... this one's a keeper. I packaged one up for a visit with my family over the weekend. I think my mom, who tends to be a closet boozer of sorts, will like it quite a bit.
3 to 4 overrripe bananas, smashed, leaving some small chunks
1/3 cup browned salted butter
¾ to 1 cup light brown sugar, depending on the level of sweetness you prefer
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional, but recommended)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cup of flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, 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 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on a rack.