The Weekend Gourmet: Roasted Banana Bread with Bourbon-Soaked Currants and Almonds F

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Roasted Banana Bread with Bourbon-Soaked Currants and Almonds

So…what do you do when you have two VERY ripe bananas and half a can of leftover coconut milk in your kitchen? Well…if you’re a food blogger, you go online and search for a killer banana bread recipe to put these extra ingredients to good use! I found a fabulous recipe for banana bread with oven-roasted bananas, coconut milk, rum-soaked raisins, and pepitas. The interesting combination of textures and flavors immediately intrigued me. What's not to love about boozy fruit?!?! After a quick kitchen inventory, I realized I didn’t have raisins or pepitas in my pantry. Tragic! However, I DID have currants and sliced almonds. So…I made a few quick substitutions and was back in business!

We always seem to have a couple of gnarly-looking bananas hanging around our kitchen. We mean to eat them, but they always ripen so quickly. Rather than throw them out, I use them for smoothies…or banana bread. I usually add mashed bananas to a box mix, but I felt like baking from scratch this time…seemed like a good way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon! This recipe is from Dallas chef Stephan Pyles. I was intrigued with the idea of roasting the ripe bananas before adding them to the batter…I wondered how that step and the use of coconut milk would impact the flavor profile of banana bread. 

This loaf wasn’t super-sweet, but it was very moist and full of interesting flavors. I especially enjoyed the fruity currants and the crisp sugar-almond crust on top of the bread! The kitchen smelled fantastic as the bananas roasted…and as the bread baked. We had it for dessert the past few nights, but I think it would also make a wonderful on-the-go breakfast.

Roasted Banana Bread with Bourbon-Soaked Currants and Almonds
adapted from a recipe by Chef Stephan Pyles


Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup currants, 1/3 cup bourbon, and 1/3 cup hot water. Stir well and set aside for 30 minutes...let the currants soak in the boozy liquid and plump up. 

Step 2:  Place two ripe bananas on a sheet of foil or cookie sheet. Place them in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the skins are black and the bananas are starting to let go of some liquid. It'll look something like this:


Step 3:  Carefully squeeze the bananas out of the skin and into a small bowl...watch out...they're hot! Mash them with a fork. Place 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk in a glass measuring cup. Add the mashed bananas and 2 tsp. vanilla extract to the coconut milk. Stir well to combine.


Step 4:  Sift together 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream 6 tbs. softened butter and 2/3 cup sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes...until fluffy. Turn the machine to low and fully incorporate two large room-temperature eggs, one at a time.


Step 5:  Add half of the banana mixture and blend thoroughly on low speed. Then add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining banana mixture, blend thoroughly. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture. Don't go nuts...mix the batter just enough to blend the ingredients.


Step 6:  Drain the currants. Add 1 tbs. good-quality cinnamon and the currants to the batter. Fold them in very carefully so you don't break apart the currants.  


Pour batter into a lightly-greased 9x5 loaf pan. Sprinkle 1 tbs. sugar and sliced almonds on top.


Step 7:  Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn the pan in the oven every 20 minutes to ensure even baking and browning. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a baking rack. Slice with a serrated knife and serve warm.


This bread would also make great muffins if you don’t feel like making a loaf. I think that’s what I’ll do next time since it’s easy for on-the-go portioning. I also want to make a compound butter with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of maple extract next time. I think that would be a great addition to this bread…wish I’d have thought of it this time!

19 comments:

  1. Oooh, I love the idea of roasting the bananas. I'm sure this bread has such intense flavor. Yum!

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  2. This sounds sooo good! I love bourbon and bananas! I bet the roasting really gave it a deep flavor! Thanks for sharing :)!

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  3. I love roasted bananas and this bread looks do die for, no wonder you got so intrigued.
    Thanks for sharing this, next time I'll know what to to with my almost brown bananas

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  4. Banana bread is just one of those classics. You got me at the bourbon soaked currants. Outstanding. I can imagine the next day toasting a slice and a touch of butter with a fresh cup of coffee. Heaven. :)

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  5. I like your substitutions!!!! OMG I've been waiting for you to post this recipe. I am starving now. I WANT THAT!!!!! I have some light coconut milk at the commissary. Will give this a try next week as muffins for breakfast and try that compound butter hehe. I am imagining eating this already..nomnomnomnom.

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  6. Wow, what a wonderful twist on traditional banana bread. I love your substitutions too!

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  7. Thanks for the compliments...this is definitely not your ordinary banana bread. The original recipe called for raisins soaked in rum...and pepitas (pumpkin seeds). So use raisins if you have them and whatever nuts you have on hand! I want to use golden raisins next time.

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  8. Yummy looking banana bread. Keeper!

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  9. I always throw our older bananas in the freezer till the time comes for banana bread or muffins! Your bread here has so many interesting additions.. I would love to try it sometime.

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  10. The banana bread is definitely unique but sounds incredibly delicious!

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  11. Hi,
    First time here, you have a great blog. This recipe sounds perfect for me, I am turned off by overly sweet desserts so I love that this bread isn't. Great combination of ingredients, really sounds delicious. Can I ask did roasting the banana first give the bread a "roastie" kinda of taste or how do you think it changed the overall taste? Just curious, thanks.

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  12. Welcome to Susi and Spicie Foodie...good to see you here! This bread is different than most banana breads, for sure. It's not overly sweet b/c it only has the banana + 2/3 cup sugar. I'd say the roasting makes the bananas taste a bit sweeter. They are more of a puree than mashed. If you see the pic of the slice, there aren't the black "threads" you often see in banana bread. I found little pockets of banana here and there in the pieces I had. Hope that helps!

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. Hi,

    wow...amazing...:)

    Dr.Sameena@

    www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com

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  15. Surprise for you over on my blog!
    And this is one awesome cake, Wendy!

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  16. Oh Wendy you are killing me with this recipe and those photos! Yum! Roasting the bananas and adding coconut milk?! Wow!

    Best,
    Veronica

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  17. Mmmm. Boozy fruit banana bread. There can be no wrong with this!

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