It sure looks like the quarantine has turned me into some kind of maven in the kitchen (if I may say so myself; indulge me, please).
With a little bit of extra time that working from home afforded to me, as well as the greater availability of ingredients from online sellers, I found myself getting bitten again by the baking bug.
I decided to try my hand on an old favorite: the Banana Loaf. It’s a simple enough recipe and the ingredients are easily accessible.
It’s also great as a mid-afternoon snack or an after-meal dessert.
Here’s the twist, though: my kiddos and I have varying preferences when it comes to the Banana Loaf. I love it with nuts (for the contrast in texture), while my daughter #ExhibitA prefers it without; my son #ExhibitB, a sweet-tooth just like his mom, would go bonkers for it if it has chocolate.
What’s a budding baker mom to do?
Well, why not have it three ways? I made a plain Banana Loaf, two loaves with nuts, and a loaf with nuts and chocolate. This way, everybody’s happy (especially me, because I get two loaves, hehehe!).
Here’s the recipe:
3 ripe mashed bananas
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk substitute (made by combining 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar with enough fresh milk to make 1 1/2 cups of the mixture)
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 135 deg C (275 deg F). Line four 8″x 3″ loaf pans with wax paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides.
In a small bowl, combine the mashed bananas with the lemon juice. In another bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Set both bowls aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, white and brown sugar in a large bowl for three minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla.
Mix in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk substitute until evenly combined. Stir in the mashed banana mixture.
Scoop enough of the batter to the first loaf pan to fill it two-thirds of the way. This will be the plain Banana Loaf.
Fold in the chopped walnuts in to the batter until evenly distributed then scoop enough of the mixture to fill two-thirds of the next two loaf pans. These will be the Banana Loaf with Walnuts.
Fold in the dark chocolate chips into the remaining batter then scoop it into the last loaf pan. This will be the Chocolate Walnut Banana Loaf.
Place the loaf pans into the pre-heated oven and bake for sixty to eighty-five minutes (depending on your oven) or until a toothpick you insert into the middle of the loaves comes out clean.
As soon as fully baked, remove the loaf pans from the oven and place them directly into the freezer for forty-five minutes. Doing this will add to the moist texture of the loaves. (I’m not familiar with the exact science behind this but I can’t argue with the results).
Serve and enjoy!
The loaves turned out to have just the right amount of moistness and are not overly sweet.
As it turns out, even #ExhibitA likes the loaf with the chocolate chips. Hmmm…
If you want to add some more sweetness to the loaves, you can top them with some cream cheese frosting, similar to the one used for my Carrot Cupcakes.
You may also adjust the amount of walnuts or chocolate chips you add into the banana loaf batter for the second loaf pan and so on, or the sequence of adding the tweak ingredients, depending on your family’s preferences (and whose preference reigns supreme!).
Try this recipe out and let me know how it goes!
Looking for other easy-to-cook dishes to try out while in quarantine? Check out my other kitchen adventures:
- Sausage Pasta with Creamy Sundried Tomatoes
- Homemade Avocado Ice Cream Cake
- Slow Cooker Pork Roast
- Easy Shepherd’s Pie
- Homemade Mango Ice Cream
- Baked Salmon
- Thai Peanut Sauce
- Oatmeal Peanut Butter Breakfast Balls
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Five-Minute Lava Cake
- Carrot Cupcakes
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Mini-Blueberry Cheesecakes
- Frozen Mocha Cheesecake
- Chocolate Chip Cookies