I'm kind of picky about bananas. They are probably the one fruit I am most particular about. I prefer them on the unripe/slightly green side because once they start to ripen, the flavor is too banana-y. So luckily, I found a recipe for all the spotty bananas that end up in our kitchen. This Banana Brunch Bread recipe has been in the family for years now. My mother-in-law originally found it and passed it around. My mom says she has bad luck with it - that it always caves in or bubbles over so she doesn't use it but I find that it never disappoints. It's incredibly moist because of the sour cream and it has a crispy sugary pecan topping. The combination is just so darn good. I once sold one at a work fundraiser for $12!
Banana Brunch Bread
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mashed banana (I usually use 1 banana)
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I suggest pecans)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in eggs then sour cream, bananas and vanilla extract. Add the remaining batter ingredients. Pour into well greased loaf pan.
Mix together the topping ingredients and sprinkle on the top of batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (I have to keep an eye on it at this point but sometimes its in my oven for about an hour). Cool for about 20 minutes.
Make sure your oven isn't too hot and that the baking soda and baking powder are fresh - this really makes a difference. If you need to test your oven, an easy way to find out the problem areas are to place a baking sheet lined with bread in the middle rack of your oven. Bake for a few minutes until they are browned. My oven is hot in the back right corner so I typically avoid that area if possible.
Anyway, I have been reading A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg (which I'm loving, by the way) and Molly writes about her own banana bread recipe. She does it a little differently, adding chocolate chips and crystallized ginger. So I decided to give it a go this time around (using the recipe above) and added about 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and left off the pecans in the topping. Unfortunately it wasn't successful. Something about the sweetness of the chocolate doesn't match well (in my opinion) with the banana. Oh well!
PS. I haven't been around because my brother was admitted to the hospital last Thursday due to a pulmonary infarction and pulmonary embolism. We are not sure why this happened but the doctors suspect its genetic. He is stable and will probably come home this weekend. Very scary.
Photo credit: Cooking Light