Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Over-the-Top Banana Bread

I’m in banana bread heaven. This is not your grandmother's or even your mama’s banana bread. When I was thinking about how to describe this bread, over the top was the first thing that came to my mind.

This bread is featured in the October 2012 Issue of Cooking Light Magazine, and according to the article, this is no ordinary banana bread. It is lighter and the flavor is over the top. I totally agree.



It is over the top in terms of texture and taste, but not tricky at all to make. It’s a new twist on a old theme. It is made with medium-ripe bananas sautéed in butter and brown sugar.  Once it’s baked, you drizzle a browned butter glaze over the top. The flavor is superb!  The Ultimate Banana Bread I made the other day is so good, but this one is pure deliciousness!  Now I have two outstanding banana bread recipes to enjoy.

Thinking about over-the-top flavor reminded me of a dance move I learned when I was taking tap lessons. It’s called, you guessed it, “Over the Top.” You may have seen Gene Kelly perform this step. It’s a tricky move, but he made it look so easy (as with everything else he did). If I remember correctly, to perform this move, you hold one leg out in front of you, then you cross the other leg over the top and twist and jump to land on the other foot.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to know how to tap dance to make this bread. You don’t even need to have really ripe bananas on hand for this one. I think that’s the best part. No waiting for the bananas to ripen then forgetting about them.


Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze

Yield: 1 Loaf

Recipe from: Cooking Light Magazine October 2012 Edition

Refer to the list of ingredients on the Cooking Light web site.

I followed the recipe except I substituted almond milk for the half and half in the glaze and olive oil for the canola oil in the batter.

Note: The recipe calls for softened butter. I’m not sure why because you melt it in the pan for the batter and for the glaze. So if you are pressed for time, you don’t have to wait for the butter to soften. At least not in my opinion. This would’ve saved me some time for sure.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Start with medium-ripe bananas.  Here are the bananas I used.



2) Sauté the bananas and dark brown sugar in melted butter until the bananas are soft.  It smells so good and tastes divine.  You’ll want to taste test this part.



3) Transfer the banana mixture to a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth.



4) Mix the dry ingredients together and the wet ingredients together and add them alternately to the banana mixture.



5) Spread the batter in a loaf pan. They used a 9 x 5-inch nonstick loaf pan sprayed with baking spray with flour; I used an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch glass pan sprayed with real olive oil, not spray oil. My loaf didn’t burn at all nor did it stick to the pan.



6) Bake the loaf in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven on the middle rack for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. 


7) Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.



8) Remove the bread from the pan, and cool on the wire rack.



9) Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter begins to brown, then add the powdered sugar and milk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Drizzle over the bread.



10) Let the bread stand until the glaze sets if you can. This is what it looks like after the glaze has set.



11) Slice and enjoy! 



This bread tastes really good, I mean really good. I almost omitted the glaze. I’m glad I didn’t because the glaze is what sends the taste over the top. This is definitely a keeper!  




Happy Baking!


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