Thursday, August 8, 2013

FOOD: Banana Bread (Cake)

There's one thing I hate about cookery books is the general lack of order of operations.  Yes yes, they do have a method, but the ingredient listings are almost NEVER in the order you'll need them.  So it makes it often difficult to remember if you've added this or forgotten that.  Additionally, there is some degree of knowledge and experience that cookery books require being able to adjust proportions according to deal with the inevitable variability of such things like fruits.

So here we go...  My mom's banana bread.

Ingredients: (in order of addition)

1/2c sugar
1/2c softened butter
1 large (or extra large) egg
1 tsp of vanilla extract
4-5 largish bananas.  (4 if they are huge and 5 if they are not)
1 tsp of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1.5c AP (all purpose) flour  (Pastry/Cake flour works too it just comes out a little heavier)
3/4c chocolate chips (optional)

Tools required:
A stand mixer is great, but it's optional.  So if you don't have one of those then you need a pastry knife (or a fork) a big mixing bowl, a medium sized loaf pan, and of course an oven, and cooling rack.  (And for you idiots, oven-mitts)

Pre-heat your oven to 325F

Add sugar and butter to your mixer (or mixing bowl) and beat (or mix with your fork or pastry knife) until it's much like the consistency of cake icing.

Add your egg and vanilla and continue to beat or mix until it's all well blended together

Toss in your bananas and continue beating.  (It's helpful to pre-mash the bananas in a separate bowl if you're doing this by hand)  Add in the baking powder and salt, and you guessed it... keep mixing.

Once the flour is in, don't over-mix.

Lastly, add the optional chocolate chips and stir ever so gently.  (Stand mixers will pulverize many of the chips so it's best to do this part by hand)

Pour into your cake pan, shove it in the oven and bake for 50 minutes (or as long as 75 minutes depending on the size/shape of your loaf pan.)

You can check to see if it's done by stabbing your loaf with a wooden toothpick.  If it comes out clean or with the ever so slightest crumb, then you're done.

Remove from the oven and let it sit in the pan for a few minutes (5 or so) until it releases itself from the pan.  Turn it out onto a cooling rack and let it cook for 20 minutes or so.  If you try and cut it too soon, it will break apart into a crumbly mess.

Additionally that can also be topped with cream-cheese icing or chocolate icing.

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