Three Sundays in a row with time to bake has made me very happy indeed! Today’s mission was something for two bananas that had decidedly turned to the cooking phase of colour. Bananas and I have a funny relationship. They seem to have some sort of magical healing abilities, along with Welch’s purple grape juice and a select other few grocery items, to bring me back to feeling myself when I seem to have a bit of a bug (and by magical, I mean more than the average happy fruit feeling, because I could quite happily live on fresh fruit and fruit juice, but please don’t tell my baking cupboard). But there is a very short window in which I actually like bananas. Too green and they have a horrible texture that seems to stay on your teeth for days; too yellow and the taste is just too strong for my liking. I actually prefer them when they are yellow with just a bit of green at the top, and once they have the slightest bit of brown, then they need to sit for a few days in limbo until they become prime baking material. The Boy will tell you I eat them before they are ripe and for this, I am slightly strange. I think he cringes as he watches me eat them green. But we all have our foibles, right?
Deb of Smitten Kitchen clearly has foibles of the other direction and would probably cringe more than The Boy at how I spot my perfect bunch of bananas at the store, since she is one of those people who I can’t fathom: she likes them with brown spots! My shoulders shrivel up at the thought. But anyway, the real reason I’ve brought her into this discussion is because I started with her recipe for this Banana Bread. And she called it Jacked-Up Banana Bread since she chopped and changed it from someone else who had borrowed it and chopped and changed it and so on down the line.
What did I do? I chopped and changed it.
Actually, I made the bread exactly to her recipe with the exception that I only used two bananas (partially because that’s what we had and partially because I actually like my banana bread to be a bit subtle, like I like my bananas). And my chopping and changing came in adding a crumble topping. A crumble topping which I didn’t measure, which makes it completely useless for keeping any real record of what I made, but essentially butter, flour, vanilla sugar, brown sugar and finely chopped salted nuts mixed until it was dry and crumbly. Spread over the batter in the pans and bake just like the Smitten Kitchen recipe. This was my happy medium because I really don’t like nuts in banana bread…but a tiny bit chopped very finely in the topping gives a bit of salt to balance out the sweetness of everything else. Or so I like to believe.
Best served as dessert with nice people who won’t debate that what I grew up calling banana bread is actually clearly a cake. That, and vanilla custard.
xlovesx19 April 2009